Archive for June, 2011

June 23rd, 2011

» no joke

Last fall I bought a hula hoop from a woman at my barn. I never hooped as a kid — I remember not being able to, but I have to confess I don’t have a memory of ever having tried. It’s entirely possible I just decided it wasn’t going to work and never touched one. Anyhow, this hoop I got is sized and weighted for adults. The bigger and heavier a hoop is, the easier it is to keep it going. (Well, to a point, obviously.) So, I got an adult hoop, and I learned to use it. And then I got another one: a little smaller and heavier, with water in it, strictly for “ab blasting”. I used both of them a little (a very little) over the winter, standing in the one place in the middle of my living room where I could hoop without destroying anything, but that was it.

About a month ago, a friend and I went for a Sunday stroll around Lake Harriet, and ran into a hooping meet-up. Just a bunch of folks who’d claimed some green space by the bandshell and were hooping it out in some of our first spring sunshine. So we grabbed spare hoops and joined in, laughing and making idiots of ourselves. I got hooked again.

The hoop group meets every week; they call it Hoopla. Two weeks ago I dragged a couple friends, and this past Tuesday I overcame all my co-dependent tendencies and went all by my very own self. There was a tornado watch and the sky looked a little ominous, but we were treated to patches of sunshine, the most refreshing misty rain, and a big old rainbow. The people were awesome and welcoming, and I learned a lot. I tried some things I didn’t think I’d be able to do; some of them I could and some of them I couldn’t (yet). Number one project right now: knee hooping. It looks so easy when other people do it, but damn, knee hooping is no joke:

knee hooping, day after

So I’m sidelined for a few days (at least until my hands heal a little). I think I’ll spend the time hunting for good instructional videos on YouTube. I WILL get this knee thing down, dammit…

June 19th, 2011

» meet cute

I don’t believe in love at first sight, but first moments often stick in my mind. I love them: the possibility; the unknown; the dream of remembering them in a month, a year, ten years; actually remembering them later, looking back at when you were strangers. The man stepping into the coffee shop, the sweep of his lifting eyes and the little smile blooming. Knowing nothing, then, about the way morning light looks caught in the curve of his ear. Another turning from the marina, phone in one hand, the other fingers lifting in a wave; his whole body tilting a little, smiling. And me, having never pressed my face into the comfort of his neck. A mop of tangled hair. A body on the dancefloor. A slightly tip-toed step. A faint blush over a bookcase.

People fade off into the past; they change, they grow, they slip away. It’s the present I like best lately. Being in the place where the future is a distant, half-dreamed, unrolling promise. No pressing concern, no gaping black nothing.

“Now” seems easiest to find when I’m moving. So I keep moving, pushing. I walk, I hoop, I ride. When I dance it is for hours: I wring sweat from my hair and move, trancelike, all variations on the same motions, the music spooling through, playing me from inside my bones. This afternoon I pulled my bike out for the first time this season. I was a little apprehensive, worrying I’d've forgotten everything, but it was back in moments: the sweetness of the wind, the easy spin of the pedals, tires singing. A leisurely Sunday ride, slower than I used to go; I was surprised to discover, later, that we covered over 10 miles, quite by accident.

Today I ache a little: a hike yesterday, a long night of dancing, the afternoon bike ride, a little hooping. It feels good, this hurt. It feels like a new beginning.

June 14th, 2011

» never not broken

Recently a friend shared a link to this article, and it really resonated with me. It’s called “Why Lying Broken in a Pile on Your Bedroom Floor is a Good Idea,” and talks about how “there is a goddess from Hindu mythology that teaches us that, in this moment, in this pile on the floor, you are more powerful than you’ve ever been.”

It says beautifully some of what I’ve been feeling lately: fractured, throwing light. If you can find the vigor in your sadness, channel your despair, you can break yourself apart with it in this crazy, exhilarating way. You’re not just invited to remake yourself: you’re forced.

Every time you step out of yourself makes the next time easier. Every time you are someone else, you change. I find myself caring less & less (about expectations, about “should”, about what is safe and smart and known) and dreaming bigger. The worst that could happen doesn’t seem so bad any more. This crocodile, this fear and uncertainty, will spin you out into something big and bright and beautiful, or it will devour you. Either way, it’s a hell of a ride.

June 2nd, 2011

» 24 Books: May 2011

I am really, really tired, so I should probably not be writing this. There are actually a lot of things I should not be doing, and likely chief among them is all of this going to bed after midnight, and waking up in the middle of the night anyway & being totally unable to fall back to sleep.

Anyway: Books!

The Magicians, by Lev Grossman – This was another Allison recommendation (alongside last month’s The Book of Lost Things), for “people who always secretly hope to find hidden doorways to magical worlds” — one of the most compelling book recommendations I’ve ever received. I really liked this one. Throughout the first half or two-thirds of the book I found myself faintly puzzled sometimes about the things Grossman chose to write about, why he was emphasizing certain things — but then the book twists, and twists again, and in the end it all makes much more sense and hangs together after all. There’s a follow-up coming out in August and I’m looking forward to it.

The Witch in the Wood (or The Queen of Air and Darkness), by T. H. White, read by Neville Jason – This is the second book in the Once and Future King compilation. I’ve really been enjoying the series (though it’s monstrously long and there’s a small waiting list, so I keep having to return it to the library and wait for my turn again). It’s not at all what I expected when I requested it (I put it on my list because it won the 2009 AudioFile Earphones Award) — I was expecting King Arthur, which it is, but it’s the Disney King Arthur: fun, light-hearted, and often overtly silly. I’ve been particularly enjoying the bumbling King Pellinore, Sir Palomides, and Sir Grummore; Jason’s voices for them are fantastic.

Dead Reckoning, by Charlaine Harris – I thought this latest Sookie book was much like the last few: a little disappointing. I feel like nothing much happens anymore, and the stuff that does happen doesn’t keep me on the edge of my seat. Some of the writing seemed a little rough — abrupt transitions or strange character reactions, and it seems like even she doesn’t really know where she’s going with it or why. It’s a quick read, and I like the characters, but I’m really glad I borrowed it from a friend and didn’t buy it myself.

2011 Book Count: 21
January: 6
February: 2
March: 7
April: 3
May: 3