Saturday, October 30, 2010

I'm really homesick for the European Rolfing community.

For one simple thing, we have an ongoing relationship with the manual osteopathic community, that is absolutely outstanding. 

I have had very in-depth training, from European osteopaths, who know my teachers, and know what I am capable of, in some very advanced subject matter. 

I stand in deep humility of what I have been given, and I also stand in the responsibility of it. 

I have been trained in manual thermal diagnosis, which means that my hands are sensitized to inflammation, and the signals of the body, and my ability to interact with the human body is basically changed by my extra sensitivity to it. 

Where would you put me, consumer of manual therapeutic modalities, if I can read and palpate galbladder dysfunction, and either perform a gentle manual techique to relieve the problem, or send you back to your GP for more radical treatment if that doesn't work

This is far beyond the purview of 'Massage Therapy" don't you think?

Having paid my dues, under protest, we all ask for sentient review.

Friday, October 29, 2010

It took one mountain apple for me, and perhaps my feeling is that a handful of wild apples and rose hips can play the temptation of the wild adventure of wisdom and experience for another. 

When wisdom is evil, so will I be.
Greece needed both Artemis and Athena.
I ain't gonna be, baby, a fool no' mo.

I ain't gonna be your fool no 'mo'.

So tired, so tired, bein your slave night & day.

Tryin' so hard, so hard baby, rockin these blues away.

Lawd have mercy.
Walking into our third year in Frederick, Maryland.

We are voting, we are participating, we are part of the neighborhood (including action against the criminabes and their landlord Tom Heilman, narcissist idiot prince of the Ceresville Mansion, who does nothing while his property dissolves into a wreckage of dog poop, Oxycontin sales, and tenants who spit out windows and off the porch,  and cigarettes, thrown out windows and off the porch, right next to us) which is mostly full of decent, hard-working people just looking for the next step up in life.

Why ever did we come back?
We had to. Neither one of us, given any stable bridge to a future in Europe, would have bothered to come back to the US.
However, our vote, as we were actually HERE and our votes had to be COUNTED, as opposed to on a US Army base and absentee vote, counted only "if needed" perhaps got our New Hope into office.

I still think of President Obama as the New Hope.
I thought of young black men dressed in suits and ties, headed to college, instead of the dead man's uniform of "dumbass pants" (if they can see your underwear, they think you want to "catch" in jail, BTW) and ugly hoodies.

I was hoping that his bidding to call the "brothas need to pull your pants up!" was going to echo more than it did.

My father was raised by the black help around his family's house in East Texas, and tells me that he didn't know he was white, until he was about 10 years old. I spent time in the kitchen with Jessie May, his mother's maid, and not with my own grandmother, because she wasn't fond of small children. I sat by the kitchen table on the floor, as she told me stories in an unintelligible local dialect, deeply affected by the snuff she kept in her lip, and possibly lax dental care. I will never forget it, and listen for it sometimes.

My father drove her home once- she never drove, one of her kids always picked her up. We saw the little white, neat house, and the round, healthy children running all around.
It was then that I understood that this woman was a kind of aristocrat in her own culture, because she worked for my grandmother. It was then, that I understood that I was part of a kind of "underclass aristocracy" that is the American blue collar upper class.

So when it comes to black culture, I am deeply at home in it, but somehow mute, unable to interact as effusively as is required. So I am still white and uptight.. until I start to dance.. then the reggae boys ask me out, and the white girls ask me what I am on.

I have this umbilical connection to black culture, and I make a direct point of greeting, personally and politely, everyone I encounter in Frederick.
The black folks who seem surprised, just break my heart. I understand, that there are generations of abuse present, but I mean to reach, at least a little, across them.

My ancestors were Irish, who were also discriminated against, had their only escape in this country.

Now, I feel so sorry for them, that this criminal, dangerous, filthy, antisocial place is what they signed up for.

I have lived in a place where I can walk, dead drunk, into a subway station and end up safely back at my own place, if I maintain those faculties for myself.
I have lived in places, where children can take public transportation safely, to school and back. There are no school buses in Europe or Japan, kids just take the bus or the train, like everyone else, because everyone takes care of them, and the public health system keeps the crazies maintained and restrained.

We will have as good and safe a society, as we are willing to pass laws to maintain.

So far, in the US, we are at Massive Fail.

This criminal, dangerous, filthy, antisocial place, at nearly three years of trying to adapt, is still criminal, dangerous, filthy and antisocial, with an extra special dose from Super Negligent Landlord Thomas Heilman.

No one would put up with him, back in Germany.
We aren't putting up with him, and the fact that it takes personal risk, persuading the neighbors, and special effort, is not heartening.

This guy is the jerk, he made the mistakes, and doesn't care enough about anything other than his own problems, and won't bother to  fix mistakes he has made in any other location.

This is my blog, and I can say what I want.
Review the First Amendment, before you talk to me about anything else.

I would like to be able to stay in Frederick, but it has been increasingly painful.
My practice, is the only orienting force.

The rest of it, including Chuck's employment, has just been a wall of annoyance and pain, the neighborhood is a pain (though we intend to pay that back directly to the causor, Tom Heilman) and there is a huge squirrel problem..

I really like this part of the country, from a naturalist perspective.

From the perspective of dealing with the mass of humanity... I can only hope for an epidemic.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

If I were to sit up, and take a drink, between all the interesting events around me, I would probably be drinking more than I really should.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Back home, it's still 80 degrees.

It will go down to 66, and everyone will be opening their windows, and piling on quilts with great gusto.

It's getting to be chili season in Texas, and I would miss that, but my man makes kickass chili, like an adopted Texas son should.
Tomorrow it will be up to 90F, and that may continue through winter, except for cool fronts.

Here, it might top out at 79, and that's a hot day, this time of year. After the storms blow through, we will be at 45 overnight, probably wanting to fire up the wood stove again.
Highs will be in the 60s, lows in the 40s, for the rest of the week. That's what I signed up for. I don't mind being cold so much (the logistics are kinda annoying) but I do mind too much of any one kind of weather.

Last year we had a lot of snow here, but I had seen more, in Germany (though Germany had the wherewithal to deal with it). We had a lot of heat, but I grew up under way, way worse than that.

Somehow, coming from all the extremes of my experience, this place tried me, and I found it amusing. Coming from the extremes of my experience, I find most of life amusing.

Back home, the cicadas and other buzzy beasties will still be fizzing and whizzing their way through the night, but the crickets will keep up their steady chirp through the slowly cooling nights.

When the temps finally do dip to 65F or so, the crickets will swell to a pulsing, orchestral velvet chirp. The summer wall of sound, so oppressive, if you didn't grow up falling asleep to it, transitions to a kind of violin concerto of cricket sound. Not the faint, rhythmic random "cricks" of the Northeast, but a real tidal wave of tiny cricket wings, rocking natives to sleep on tremendous swells of sound.

Once upon a time, I couldn't imagine my feet outside the Texas state line.
Truth was, from my first step outside, I couldn't stay in, any more.

Frank Bedicek used to say, that once a Texan slept under a blanket in August, it was over.
One freezing evening in Yellowstone, and more in the effortless high cool of Glacier National Park, and this Texas girl was a fugitive from the relentless, stinging, pollen poison cauldron of the Texas climate. It turns out that three scorpion stings (attained in bed or otherwise innocently occupied) and chronic bronchitis from cedar allergies leading to chronic asthma, on top of a catastrophic allergy to poison ivy, was enough to dislodge the hometown girl.

My love of my friendsandrelations there, brings me back, as often as my health will stand it.

We all strike out, seeking our way, given the opportunity.
I am still on that journey, seeking a place I can follow my practice, help others follow their practice, and create a place for clear vision and innovation in my own life, continues.

Our recent time in Japan, the deep clarity and focus with which some of the those people live their lives, affected me so deeply.

I go back to the song by Nickel Creek, which I have listened to since the beginning of my time of transition.

"Others have excuses, I have my reasons Why."

I am striving to live a rational, grounded, yet inspired life.
Somewhere between the ground and the sky, is the path to heaven.

In Texas, the sweetest sound, is the crickets between 60 and 50F. The other bugs and frogs have gone back to sleep, and the crickets have the stage.
Their rhythm is slow and melodic, with room for individual improvisation. We get it earlier here in Maryland, we keep it longer, and the crickets probably make sweaters or something, to keep going.

I have a hard time killing crickets.. like many influenced by Eastern thought, they are too lucky and too blessed.  I tend to "relocate" them instead. I like to pick them up, I find them rather cute and fat and "pettable" and love their habit of cleaning their antennae, in difficult situations.

Tiny motions, in a beautiful melodic universe, lull my Southern mind to center, to peace, to sleep.

Monday, October 04, 2010

This is a photo of me demonstrating the Seitei set of Shinto Muso Ryu Jodo with my dear friend Peter Boylan at the Kashima Shrine in Japan, courtesy the sweet folks at Capitol Area Budokai. 

Everything in the photo reflects who I am, and how far I have come, to have the honor of being there. 

Jet-lagged, recovering from a second, 2nd degree shoulder separation in an aikido class three years ago with the help of prolotherapy injections, I look worn but focused. 

I was quite comfortable in the shoulders and neck through the training, except for my feet and legs, which were unused to seiza on hardwood and tatami, and turned a light lavender after much ignoring of pain signals. 

I have spent my entire adult life in love with Japanese classical martial arts, and the opportunity to "go there and do that" is a gift from Peter Boylan and Deborah Klens-Bigman, who were our tour guides for the trip. 

It is also a gift from my sweetie, my soulmate, Chuck Gordon. 
He worked hard to prepare me, he made the connections, and I got to this place through him. 

What a great delight it was, to jump into the deepest of the deep end, breathless and with a sense that, while I had spent in my life in preparation, I was still not prepared. 
Yet, I was welcomed, beckoned even, into the great torrent of information the instructors provided. 

I have some handwritten journal entries I will enter as I have time. 
I have also realized, how precious time is, and how much of it we waste, padiddling around, when we should be focussed on our goals, and our time in contemplation of our lives and how we wish to live them.