Sunday, February 2, 2014

Winter Blues Chasers, Piano Music, Memory Loss

It's been ... well, about three months since I last posted.

It wasn't writer's block, per se. More like, everything I've been feeling inside has been marinating gently in the backdrop of my life, waiting for a time when it was ready to emanate.

And yet, I'm not sure it will all lay itself out here tonight. In fact, I know it won't. But that's OK ... I gotta start somewhere don't I?

It's a Sunday night ... and anyone who's followed my writing over the last two years or knows me at all, knows my relationship with Sunday nights ... especially cold, wintry Sunday nights.

But, perhaps because my entire perspective on life has shifted greatly in the last two years or maybe I'm just more comfortable in my own skin for the first time in ... well, possibly ever, I have learned to make friends with Sunday nights. In fact, I've learned to make friends with winter. I have learned to chase its bitterness with breath and peace, to counter its hits with a few of my own. And to envelop it when I feel as though I've had enough.

Because winter is not just about death, hibernation, dormancy ... it's also about rebirth, transformation and the peaceful quiet within the stillness.

The funny thing is, the year I decide to do this of course is one of the harshest winters of my entire life, at least cold-wise. The snow (besides driving in it) has never really bothered me. It's the darkness, the constant darkness and the cold, the kind that steals your breath and never gives it back entirely.

However, besides a few bumps here and there, a few challenges Old Man Winter has given me this season, I've rolled with the punches and embraced the bruises. I think it's a combination of now having many many "healthy" tools to choose from to fight my depressive episodes, maybe it's because I've learned to love myself, including my flaws and my sadness, my fears, my smiles and tears. I've learned to be kinder to myself ... to listen to music again, to play piano and listen to piano and violin compilations with the fervor I used to as a child and teenager, to smile as I watch the snowflakes fall ... to look at my dog, who is older and grayer now, with such love, appreciation and gratitude for the time I have with him, to caress Bella, my faithful, purring, wise green-eyed feline and take in the moments she offers.

The energies I've drawn into my life in the last year have been very precious and meaningful ... the connections I've had for some time that had grown and flourished with me, I feel that much more grateful for. And those that have come and gone, I find myself loving them still, feeling each of them in my heart every single day.

Last November, I said goodbye to my 20s ... and I did so with mixed emotions. That decade was a whirlwind roller coaster, and the force behind it peeled every single layer off my body and left me wondering who the hell I ever was. That decade I floated, I fell, I rose up again, I got lost, I got found ... and I crawled back into my shell. And then I curled up with my transformation ... and I let go.

I took a trip to Romania ... took a trip on my own, to my roots. I took a trip for my soul.

The self discovery continues and is an adventure worth every up and down. I'm excited to see where my yoga teaching takes me, where finally getting my book self published and out there for whoever cares to take a dive into takes me, where my work, my personal life, my dreams ... my loves ... take me. It's not about waiting for some future moment, it's about completely loving every moment of the journey as it happens.

And lastly ... I have come face-to-face with the reality that someone very, very close to me, is losing a piece of herself more and more as the days go by. My grandmother, perhaps one of my biggest soul mates, is losing her memory. If counseling and yoga has taught me anything, it's that life is never linear and it is never just roses and smiles, that sadness and challenges and pain are a part of life and you can't truly live life without it all.

Seeing her, spending time with her has become a priority in my life more now than ever before. It's hard, being across town, working full time and teaching yoga on the side not to mention an active social life ... but if not now, when? There is always time for things, it's there, you just have to get out of your own way and carve it out.

There will be more on this topic ... I don't honestly have it in me tonight to delve in. All I will say is, my grandma, even now, teaches me. She teaches me to live in the present, to enjoy my moments with her, to be grateful for the memories we've shared, the stories she's told me  — her life stories — to cherish what I have, because one day it won't be as it is now. Everything changes. Everything.

And with that, I'll leave you with a poem that comes to mind ... one to curl up with on these cold winter nights ...

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

~ Jelaluddin Rumi,
    translation by Coleman Barks




  1. Oh my gosh I am so so sorry to hear this about your grandmother. This happened with my grandfather we well. My thoughts and prayers are with her Cassandra.

    It is so good to see a post from you :)

    1. Thanks my friend <3 I've missed being here ... and reading you. So I'm glad to be back. Thank you for the words ... and thoughts :-)

  2. Good writing. You are a good writer and paint a portrait of your grandmother as a good person. Write her into a story or a poem.
    The Asian