Time and Inspiration Are the Themes
I’m coming back to this first paragraph and writing it last. I thought the theme of this newsletter was “time.” In fact, it turned out to be time AND inspiration. I’m recently inspired by many things and people.
I’ve pulled in the parameters of my life, my goals, my desires…kinda “sorted” out the detritus and stuff that’s not important to me and that has made my life a little more meaningful and intense, as if I’m not intense enough. This winter I hunkered in. I read a lot, watched tv a lot, and petted my furry family a lot. I reveled in My Studio and I wrote fan letters and apologies. I threw out junk, cleared out my house, and clothes (again). I’m ready for spring…for new. I’m starting to get out…surprising a LOT. I’m making the most of my time and as I do so I am inspired by what I see and who I’m spending my time with. I am motivated to live up to what I see my friends doing in their lives.
Erin is the best mom ever and Matt is as devoted a father as I’ve seen. Donna does a spectacular job at Nebraska Urban Indian Coalition and so enjoys her sons and grandchildren. Susan takes my breath away with how she cared for her mother to the end and what she’s doing for her community at No More Empty Pots. Margaret inspires me with her travels and zest for life and Elaine is just a little firecracker that cracks me up and makes me want to put her in my pocket. Jean’s commitment to her beautiful art work inspires me and Virgina’s love of her peeps at Families in Action in South Omaha and her own family is inspiring. Abbi’s kicking the pipeline’s butt and making courageous decisions in her life! Ginny’s passion for life and her accepting nature and attention warm my heart. Tom’s generosity with his time and his kindness is endless. Buffy’s work on behalf of Families of Those Stolen KILLS me. Sheri and Rick enjoy their lives, their grandchildren, and each other so much it’s nice to see a good relationship. Dale continues to teach, inspiring tolerance even in retirement.
I know that by naming names I risk seeming to leave out people that are equally inspiring to me. The students that have become my family inspire me. Some are caring for husbands and elderly mothers, improving their businesses (with signs and awnings!), there are those teaching, some traveling to see family, some maintaining their homes, their art, their work, and their yoga practices with such care, devotion and regularity it is…well, it’s inspiring.
And I love you all and I see you, I appreciate you and I’m thankful to you. Wow. That was long and kinda mushy…like the big brown bananas on my counter. Gotta go now. I’m making banana bread.
Spending Time with Angela Davis
For a person who enjoys staying at home more than almost anything…almost anything has occurred quite often recently.
I attended the Holland Center to hear Angela Davis. I can’t begin to articulate how beautiful and eloquent she is. Some of the information on prison reform was disheartening, in fact, some of the facts she delivered were horrifying. And yet she never once raised her voiced or used an angry or accusatory tone…she just delivered the information. I think that made it all the more impactful. She was intense and passionate, and yet, calm. She was inspiring.
I attended this presentation with three beautiful African American women who are the kindest, most intelligent, generous, and accepting women I know. They are inspiring…and never ever make me feel embarrassed that I’m white. Thank you.
Sometimes Time Runs Out
Time is weird, don’t you think? At night, in the dark, it crawls. On a busy day it flies. An hour can seem like a week and the weeks are a minute long. Crazy. When someone close leaves (it’s hard to use the other word) the loss reminds me time is neither flying or crawling, it’s speed is all in my head and the one thing very sure is that, if we’re here, time is ours and if we aren’t, it’s no longer our time.
In February one of my best high school friends passed away. There were about six of us that were inseparable then…if one did, we all did…anything. Vicki held my hair back while I vomited in the bushes outside my foster parents house, we cruised Lincoln Avenue with Debbie Gloystein crammed into her Desoto, hung out at Peggy’s folks’ paint store, went to dances together, rolled up the waistband of our skirts to make them way too short, we gossiped together, cried over boys together and did (a little) homework together.
I hadn’t seen Vicki in many years and yet the news of her passing made me very sad. When I said, “If I die young…”, a friend interrupted me and said, “I think the ship has sailed on you dying young.” It startled me and made me laugh out loud. She’s right. I’m blessed to have gotten to the place that I’m enjoying grandchildren…very very blessed. For now I’m leaving Vickie’s photo on the front of my computer to remind me that, for now, time is still mine and it is precious.
Last weekend I went to the stunningly, take your breath away, beautiful Orchid Show at Laurintzen Gardens. The reds of those flowers were redder than blood, the whites purer than pure, there were striped orchids, speckled orchids, bearded orchards and they were spectacular. AND I’m now a card carrying member of Laurintzen with a PLUS 1…so if you ever want to go with me, my treat. Just let me know. I will thank you for it! It is a WONDERFUL time.
36th & Lafayette Ave.,
It’s Been a Looong Time…
…since I went to church. But I could not pass up the opportunity to hear Dr. Dale Stover present a series of lectures on Understanding Islam. For two more Sundays he’s speaking at Augustana Lutheran Church here in Omaha, 9 to 10 a.m. This Sunday’s topic is what the Koran says about women. Listening to him I was reminded I really like to learn. When I told some folks some of the things I’d learned and admired about the Muslim faith and how I could understand why Muslims do not want Isis described as part of their faith, someone commented, “Yes, it’s like calling the Ku Klux Klan Christians.” I am inspired by the time I spent in church! (See how I’m milking this time and inspired theme?)
Well, I’m going to sign off now. I could just chat and chat with you…in fact, I think I have. I’m not going to reread to edit AGAIN or I’ll never get this sent, there’s always one or two more errors. I know you forgive me and will fill in the word I may’ve left out. I think I’ll write again soon because I’m not quite done but I fear this is already waaaay too long. Take care. See you in class. xoxo
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