Saturday, November 01, 2008

Too little time for reflection

It's another one of those cycles where I run from event to work to chores and the most I get to post is a phrase a Facebook. What kind of writer's life is that? It's a sign of the times, no? But there are times, like this one, where my nose is running, my brain is fogged, and my necks aches, and I've only a half hour before yoga when I have to express some gratitude for this life, and pause. So here I am.

Studs Terkel died yesterday. I never knew him, but felt I did from his open-hearted writing. A mensch. A listener - something I endeavor to become. I wish I was able to do this better in my classes this quarter. I spend too much time talking, trying to fill the empty spaces. I am exhausted by it, especially in my morning class. How can I be present for them, and give them tools for telling their stories? This is my koan, consistently now, for years. Maybe I should reread some of Studs oral histories and see what emerges. Maybe I should give excerpts of one of his books to my Labor class. That might be a plan.

I went out as a "Blue State" last night for the Halloween festivities on the island - with blue hair, blue lipstick, blue eye highlights, blue gown. I had a good time despite a rocky beginning with Sam's costume anxiety, and the way he attempts to "spread the wealth." Thankfully he seemed to have a good time when he met up with his friend, Seth, and then later with his dad. I gave him lots of space and hung out with my friends, then went to a party at a new performing space. It was good to see the community after such a long period of solitary work. Ester did an aerial performance in Black Light to the music of Jefferson Airplane (Just ask Alice) - definitely spectacular entertainment. I met a few interesting people (don't ask me about the strange man - called himself a "lama" who practices "tantra" - I think he thought I was one of Krishna's goatherders). He told me about the glories we will be witnessing in the coming years, and the transmissions he is carrying. I haven't met up with someone like him since my NY years. He handed me his card, told me how much he expected to learn from me, and I wanted to go run for the hills - never wear electrifying blue hair in public again, I thought.

I did reconnect, more deeply than expected, with various acquaintances...perhaps we all need to connect in these moments before the election...moments when we feel a mixture of hope and dread, and realize that we need to find new ways to connect and help each other in this time that has so many challenges awaiting us.

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