Hay insists that in order to practice, we must “disattach” from our personal experience. She insists that this dance doesn’t belong on the street, or there would be madness. Bindler rebuts that maybe the streets could use a little more madness. I see Hay’s point: to use the practice to work through grief or personal drama is to be seduced by your personal drama. And to bring the practice outside the walls of the time and space set aside for it is to invite the madness into your personal life.
I am seduced by the idea that anniversaries live in my musculature & that yoga today
helped me work through the severing I endured last year, the breakup that thankfully changed
everything. I was writing this in my head as J deepened my “happy baby” pose. I was generating/reflecting on how far I’ve come, as I’ve done intermittent dedication lately–
I’ve been meaning to write an entry about feeling like an adult. This wasn’t meant to be that entry.
So many things have happened since I last unleashed into this trashcan for my feelings.
In the abstract, I’ve learned to set boundaries. I said no to my best friend. I asked the scariest question at the job interview I wanted wanted wanted & I did my best given I could not sleep the night before.
For the most part, I’ve stopped procrastinating, though I suppose this is procrastination– I have a final report to write, but this entry felt unavoidable–
I may strive to be an administrator, to teach artists structure, but even with this ritalin/meditation focus the artist emerges, demands her attention–
“to use the practice to work through grief or personal drama is to be seduced by your personal drama.”
Guilty as charged. I used to want to reconcile my dedication to a postmodern perspective on language, my almost unavoidable urge to use my writing practice to “work through grief,” & my Buddhist-identified desire to get beyond my story, to make room to look at my emptiness, to look at how I am the stories I tell about myself & the stories others tell about me.
The adult story came & went as applying for full-time jobs & setting boundaries & only spending the money in my bank account, no credit cards.
But then, the story goes, my bosses decided they wanted someone else to manage the restaurant because I wasn’t there/ wasn’t eager / was looking for other work. Ding to the ego.
But then, I did not get an interview for a position for which I was initially told I was a top applicant. My story turned.
I cried in bed & said many awful things about myself. I chose to focus the narrative towards 27, credit card debt, spent inheritance, no health insurance, no job prospects & you don’t even write though in the same week I cooked beans for the first time in months & went & purchased a gym membership.
& this is the anniversary of a similar story confronting me, over & over, for months. Having to look at what I built– & the sand I built it upon– crumble. & I decimated it until there was nothing left, searching for myself in arms & booze but still meditating with this idea that it would be a thought that would get me beyond my “story.”
It’s not like that. It’s more like a grand fucking “so what,” & it doesn’t stick, or else “chaos,” as this essay suggests. It is a practice to reveal construction. & if construction on the macro level, why not set boundaries? Why not see losing my managership as a blessing?
Maybe I’m not bad, maybe I’m not good, I’m only destined as far as I can navigate the structures that define my access to resources, & even only that matters as far as I fall into a shame spiral, ding to the ego, it’s not real nor is anything–
So I’m glad that my horoscope for the week warns me to “be a bigger, bolder version” of myself. To be confident. To pick that story out of the chaos of details.
& I’m glad that it is no longer difficult to state my anger anymore, to claim it as a valid feeling that I trust– I’m not worried that it’s me–(a new level of trusting myself?)
& to move, to move on, I know I can finally get rid of the books that are heavy shadows of the musician I’m not anymore, all the papers I won’t use because I likely won’t be a teacher or use the warranty on the food processor I’ve owned for eight years. The file that has all the death certificates. In most moments I can finally be a new person, accepting, larger, deliberate, all the adjectives I want to adopt as my own–
I’m excited to throw it all away. To figure out if chaos can be introduced in/through the body of language, that closed system–
The essay I refer to in this entry, of course, is not about a poetic practice but about dance. I found it on the man I’ve known forever’s Facebook wall & it is written by a woman I talked to for hours at a New Years’ party once. I drank a purse-sized whiskey on the A from Bushwick all the way to Washington Heights, so the details of the conversation elude me. I do remember sharing common theoretical & personal artistic interests. I remember wishing I lived closer. I’m glad her essay has haunted me for the last 24 hours / helped me put some elements of my regenerating “practice” into perspective–
because if these conversations are happening in Boise, I am no longer included, or only in the space in which P & I are talking, which is the most invigorating space of my life. But to be larger than that, to let that be a new rock (tired metaphor, I know), how can I carve the space for that in Boise? Where the art isn’t laced with fatality or urgency but instead this dogooderism that merely reaffirms a tired conversation about what it means to be good/bad/conservative/liberal/a landscape/ a lifeline–
If I ask how I can best participate in breaking it down, am I merely reaffirming it? What do I get out of not affirming it? What structures & resources would aid my survival then? My thriving?
What do I have to say about it?