Ugly Face

I shouldn’t do visualization exercises during yoga. Just shouldn’t.

Today we did a five-armed blessing thing, more like a guided meditation. Silently, we’d visualize someone, and then silently give them our blessing. “_____, I wish for you to be happy, healthy, and wise.” Innocuous, and is supposed to help us extend compassion to others. The list of five “people” is as follows:

  1. Myself
  2. Someone I love
  3. Someone I barely know (an acquaintance)
  4. Someone who is a “challenge” to me (difficult, enemy)
  5. Everyone I’ve ever come into contact with (the world)

First part was easy. Ridiculously easy. Of course I’m going to be self-serving enough to wish myself health, happiness, and wisdom. Easy.

Second: someone I love. I thought hard about this. Who did I come up with? My mother. My own mother. That’s it? That’s all I got? My mom? What am I, a 4-year-old? I’m 40. I should have lots of people I love. But I don’t. I have no one. I love nobody. I’m not even partially fascinated with anybody. That’s it. That’s all I could come up with. And I half did it because, c’mon, how are you able to not love your mother? It’s like hating puppies and rainbows. Who doesn’t love their mother? I’m embarrassed, and ashamed. This activity has failed beyond imagination. I have nobody.

Third: someone I barely know, an acquaintance. Which one? Everybody I know is only an acquaintance. There are no friends among them. They’re just people I know. You’re just people I know. That’s all.

Fourth: someone who challenges me. Again, that’s everybody. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt a positive hand on my shoulder, so this puts everybody in the challenge category. You’re right, I’m wrong, and that’s the end of it.

Fifth: everybody I’ve encountered in my life. Same. Same as third. Same as fourth. It’s me, and then where I come from, and then the rest of you. That’s all I got.

In an exercise that was supposed to make me feel good about myself and my place in the world, I met my true self. The pain of being so alone is the sharpest, the weight the heaviest. I am that guy who has nobody to put down on the dotted line as a contact in case of emergency. I am that man who can walk into the cafe full of people he knows, sit alone, and leave when I’m done without breathing a greeting. This is my pitiful, shameful, true self, the inevitable fruit of wanting to be left alone.

Bent Up

Agitated beyond need.

They tell me to be kind, forgiving, compassionate to myself. That sounds nice. Pretty words. But tonight’s yoga practice has left me agitated, unwilling to stop feeling embarrassed for not getting it, for not understanding, for not having any sense of what to do with my body. I have just enough awareness that the first half of the class is okay, but the advanced asanas are beyond my comprehension. I am a 5’8″ thumb, and I’m feeling pretty dumb about myself.

I want to keep trying. I want to succeed, to see what I’m doing, to know what I’m supposed to be doing. I’ll get better, they’ll say. I’ll get better, I’ll say. Practice makes perfect, we all say. But I’m a thumb.

I shouldn’t sit at the front of the studio. The class is looking at my back. I don’t think they’re watching me, judging. No. I feel it, but c’mon, I’m not that stupid. It’s just when the class zigs and I zag, I want to know it, I want to not be that guy. I need a frame of reference that’s not the perfect body and form of the teacher, or the wall behind her. I need to know my place, not fear my place.

I could ask her for help, and she may genuinely care about my involvement, but she cannot invest any care or attention unless I make a business arrangement for private sessions. I have nothing to say in the public class that’s not personal, not embarrassing, not an admission of being substandard. I mean, dammit, I know that’s what class is for, but the tough front, y’know?

Shouldn’t be leaving yoga more agitated, embarrassed, and negative than I arrived. Just shouldn’t.

Unrested Sophistron

I am bored and restless, which is a bad way to be on a quiet night without enough energy to make things happen. Most of the people I know are occupied by All Tonight’s Parties, so the usual haunts are quiet. Drove around out of boredom, ended up back at my house. The saddest voyages loop back and return to home. Viewing the world through my windshield. Isolated, air-conditioned, insulated, sanitized.

Feeling creative, but not enough to make things happen. Song in my pocket. Want to record it. Mostly written, but stuck in my head for two years. I look at my music equipment, play it, know what I need to do to make it happen. But when I arm the Record button, nothing. Just want to turn it off. Why bother? Why bother.

So I’m sipping on vodka against doctor’s orders, looking at the internet, waiting until it’s time for passing out to sleep. Feeling of malaise today; I blame the antibiotics.

Also watched a depressing movie, “The Day After”. Reminded me of the fears of youth, of the ever-present threat of mutually-assured destruction, nuclear armageddon around the corner. What of it now? Too many players in the nuclear club. Things were sharper when we had one enemy. Our focus was like a knife blade. Now everybody’s in the game, and the enemy is ourselves.

Sinus infection is fading out. It looked like allergies, but really germs were to blame. Azithromycin is the poison now. I wonder if malaise is among its side effects. May cause diarrhea, intestinal cramping, sensitivity to sunlight, heat stroke, funny taste to mouth, avoidance of quiz shows, dyslexia, dyspepsia, dystopia, onomatopoeia, death, erections lasting longer than 4 hours, internal bleeding, headache, nausea, and voting Independent. Ask your doctor if Azithromycin is right for you.

I’ve been told my blog entries make no sense. So sue me. Sometimes, you gotta work to pick up what I’m laying down. Can you dig it?

I find it difficult to be not lonely. I don’t mean hanging out with people. That’s easy, just go to the cafe. I mean being with someone who’ll leave the cafe with me. Dance, music, sex, romance. Been over a year since my last date. Difficult making moves when there are no pieces on the board, when there are better players in the game. Grow a pair, they say. Grow a pair, I say. Positive thinking. Magical thinking. That’ll help. Stand up straight. Shoulders back. Look strong. Look viable. Look alive. They will come to you. This all means nothing.

Passing the time thinking about ones far away. It’s a futile effort. Wasted time. Easy, safe, no risk. People are more than words on a screen. Best to push buttons across a table within arm’s reach. At least you can have that someone leave the cafe with you.

Desperation is a stench that takes a while to wash off. Others can smell it. The only cure is to not care, not desire, not want, and to walk alone. But will they come to you? No. Back to square one.

I’m done. No more buzzed philosophy.

Yogi On the Path

Ripples and troubles with my yoga training. Good sessions, not so good sessions. Perplexed. I have limits. Physical limits. Things that are tight that should not be. Joints that should bend but do not. Mental limits. There are a lot of things at once to pay attention to. Posture, the roll of the leg, the position of a shoulder, the length of spine, the openness of chest, the force applied through the toe, the gaze in the distance, the breath, always the breath. Always with the interpreting what I need to be doing. The hard part, understanding the goal of the pose, understanding that when I am to be stretching the hamstring, I should be stretching the hamstring, not straining my calves, for instance. Balance; I don’t feel balanced. Nobody is perfectly balanced, sure, but when I lay flat in the savasana, I should feel somewhat level, but I don’t, I feel warped, uneven. The imbalance makes me tense to relieve the imbalance, and I have to remember to relax. Relax. This will take me a long while to be able to see myself, to see my body, to see where it needs to be, to see how to get there. Awareness. Proprioception. Control.


I wonder sometimes if my role in this world is to add counterbalance to the chipper, positive, hopeful, blind-to-the-consequences world. It is my lot, apparently, to state the things that nobody wants to acknowledge, to inject reality into the little platitudes that we say to ourselves and to each other to prop up our false hopes.

If your goal is to keep your nose clean, then going through life with the sniffles is not the way to go about it. You may be able to hock and snort and swallow yourself into some form of nasal clearing, but sometimes you have to actually blow the snot out to get a clear head. That is what I hope to do, to metaphorically remind you to blow your nose.

So if you find me making broad statements about how to go about life, that’s me on my mission. Even two decades hence, I’m still on the pulpit, still on the soap box, still trying to tell people how to live the right way. It’s a dick move, sure, but I apparently live my life to serve as a warning to others.