Sunday, April 18, 2010

the polar bear.

they say with old age comes wisdom.....and a crap load of white hair.

how i have determined that old(er) age is a comin' :

*officially, my dark brown head hair has surrendered to the infiltration of - not gray - but wiry white. with the deforestation of india behind me, my 73 strands of new growth stand 2 inches tall, scattered all about my head. i am a fuzzy white dandelion.

*a couple months back my goatee sprouted a great white. i verbally assaulted it, plucked it out, and haven't seen him since.

*tonight on my arm i spotted my first long and strong mighty whitey.

god help us.

i need a tropical island vacation. anyone who wants to come - lemme know.

i'll be the white polar bear with a virgin pina colada, evian spritzer bottle in hand, relaxing to this.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

primordial personas.

presently, i have moments of being so tightly wound i will either burst into tears or ignite into flames with your sweet glance of so how are you doing?. some of you have witnessed this already. for those of you who haven't, i apologize in advance.
in india, unplugging from our surroundings was necessary for anna and myself - but there were limited avenues available for mental escape. there was no eat,pray,love-ing it up in lucknow. sitting in silence in an ashram for 10 days may have been in the cards, but we were given the wrong deck. attending together, anna and i wouldn't have lasted 10 minutes anyway. with no money and no options, we unintentionally created our own way of taking a much needed mental-pause.
i wish i could tell you we found enlightenment by studying local indian cuisine, or painting the burnt sienna indian sunsets, or studying kundalini yoga with the yogi Bahjan himself. colossal fail on our part. sorry. all of those marvelous things seemed too complicated, too much energy and not enough escape. we are simple gals, southern raised, and we were probably too far gone to even care.
we chose to share a coke ya'll.

hey, a coke was about all we could get away with. it was economical, didn't draw too much attention, and didnt make us sick. it was our go-to upper, and quickly became our unspoken ritual. the fffftz!! of it opening. the cool carbonation. the primordial swig. the first one, the best one.

your eyes closed....the animals body odor was glorious. it was cold, it was sugar, it was fizzy, it was my high fructose security blanket.

screw 10 days of silence. with the brief primordial 10 second swig: stars were born, babies were conceived, your tax return doubled, and croissant was made of rolled oats and honey. everything but tunnel vision dried up and blew away. its' initial injection granted you your wish. the first taste was the best taste... spearing through all my ish and providing me with what i required. a friggin' moment to just be.

i had forgotten about this ritual until my recent trip home to hendersonville, tennessee. (lucknow and hendersonville are similar in the fact that they both molded my character, and were incredibly hot and smelly places to live...)
there are certain idiosyncrasies of the south which only make sense to those who have lived it. i had 2 hrs to kill at the memphis airport - just enough time for the smell of bacon wafting from gate B11 through X13 to fully permeate my clothes. in a daze, the restaurant hostess had to ask me twice if i wanted smoking or non. for a brief minute the plane ride had transported me back in time to memories of a former life. bacon and cigarettes was the smell of my next door neighbor Ida the grandmother. she used to give me mini story books about fairy tales. the waiter of the non smoking section called me sugar, and i ordered one egg scrambled with a side of hash browns since everything else involved gravy, ham, atherosclerosis, and my mother's warning. i paid attention when i saw a girl reading a novel as she waited for her flight. looked a little closer and realized the title of her book read The Last Song. what's better than a miley and bacon cigarette sandwich? being delayed an extra hour so i could watch a 60 year old woman named Missy talk about the wild time her and her 70 year old boyfriend were going to have while on vacay in mexico. she wore a spaghetti strapped midrift complete with a Southern Comfort logo...her white hooters shorts and tennis shoes were extra credit points. it was good and right to be home.

the older you get, the more you for-get. or maybe that's just my mother's experience. you become recycled in with rain and work and the city and your public transportation. and then one day, your good friend devon gundry decides marry a gorgeous woman by the name of golriz (one of THE loveliest human beings)...and you board a plane wearing your roomy dark washed jeans, sunglasses and a coffee headache. physically, i look the same as i did when i was 16. even though i have lived in seattle for 10 years (yikes), i like to think of myself as someone who hasn't changed...much. still the simple southern girl who enjoys her grits.

hendersonville is where i was raised -it's where they grew me. where i learned to pluck my eyebrows and was told to act like a lady. im still trying figure that second part out. as a teenager i wasn't schooled in personal style or sustainable architecture or even world geography. we may have 'forgotten' to cover african history, but i did know trinity city housed the great Jan Crouch. i also learned you should apply a wet wad of tobacco for a bee sting. oh, and the most important: The holy cracker barrel is where God brunches on sundays. he sits outside in the rocking chairs playing checkers with jesus. the prophet playoff is the 2nd sunday of every month.

no it wasn't new york, or la. it was better.

waffle house in lieu of starbucks. pintos and cheese was our old reliable for 75 cents in couch change. a night at the park was a good place for the perfect story. high school friends were honest with the best of intentions, they looked you in the eye and loved you, and trusted me to do the same for them. our friendships weren't based off of money or what someone wanted from me. they were based on the stuff they were supposed to be based on - connectivity, mutual respect, and a lot of laughter. even though i was a bahai - and even though many prayed for my salvation- they still love(d) me. and i still love them.

but if you want to know about my life before high school...what groomed me, who i answer(ed) to, who i am indebted to forever...look no further than my bahai community of the south. these are my mothers and my fathers. my sisters and bothers. these are the ones that took care of me, that loved me, that baby-sat me, took care of max and i when we were sick, fed me, clothed me, reprimanded me, and created the makings of my identity. it does take a village to raise a child, and when i see the incredible children this village has raised - i can only pray to find such a place to raise my own. sorry, i should say... it takes a village and one baby-sitter. 10-13 children is quite the load, and assembly meetings are once a month.

i have traveled, i have visited, i have experienced community in all forms. however i can honestly say, the others don't come close in comparison. i know you aren't supposed to say things like that - but it's true. and, yes, it's a pride thing - so i'm going to save you some time and let you know the search is off. it is imperative to understand the genius of my community is not simply as a result of one person or family in particular. it is a complicated tangled puzzle of mothers and fathers and aunts and uncles and children and grandchildren all fitted together perfectly. all artists and entertainers in one way or another, regardless of how much it was discouraged. if you drank the water, you were in. even if you left, or returned, or were a late settler, you know exactly what i am talking about. the wedding allowed for the birth of a phenomenal experience. for the first time in a long time, every piece was in place.

it was this blessed catalyst which enabled me to soak in my bahai community in its truest form. at it's finest. i was gifted the experience of watching the fruits of determined parents, love, companionship, humor, and genius in all forms - and was reminded of its breathtaking mastery to heal and nurture those who are swept away within it - whether it be for 5 days, 3 hours, or 15 minutes. i fell head over heals in love again with them. even the ones that have continued on to watch over us.

i was surrounded by radiating love. pure and simple. and for the first time in a long time, i found myself in a safe place. a place where people love me for me, the person before all the life happened to her. the first friends. the best friends. my walls came down, i could unwind, and for a brief moment my heart could beat without restriction.

i'm eternally grateful for all of it. bacon smell included.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

i miss you

even if you do wear head gear.
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