Pacific Ocean #7

The waves slapped me like the foot of God.

It was a baptism.

Under the crash of the water the only thing I could hear were the thoughts that rang distant in my head like wolves howling in the hills, love sick and alone.

I laughed in my complete lack of power as I was pushed into the rocky, sandy, bottom.

I reach the shore on hands and knees smiling like a mad monkey stoned on fermented fruit.

I looked up into the light of the sun.

Laying on my back I heard the voices of children.

They seem free.

But not nearly as free as this moment.

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Exercise and exorcise.

A lot of heavy emotions are like ghosts. It’s like you’re haunted and you need a exorcism. The funny thing is that one of the things that can help to remove these ghost like negative emotions is to do yoga, or walk, run, go to the gym and physically exercise. Is it just me that sees a link between these words?  Exercise and exorcise.

Which Side Are You On?

The slam of the steel door was so loud it created complete silence. In the silence I heard a voice that said, “I’ll be right back” I kicked and screamed and beat the walls and the doors and the lies until I was exhausted. And when I turned around I realize, I was not locked in the cage. I was locked out of the cage.

The power of stillness

I was driving west on Sunset Boulevard.
The sun was warm on my left arm as I crossed into Echo Park.
I could smell the street vendors cooking and it set me at ease.
You’re not gonna smell that in West Hollywood.
The clouds in the sky looked like pillows offering me comfort I didn’t know was even available.
For a moment I was not lonely.
For a moment I was home.
For a moment I didn’t care. 
For the moment I was able to climb the overpriced skyscrapers that serve so few.
I touched the sun and it burned my soul  black like a bowling ball that had never been rolled.
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#333

The rain falls at a 45 degree angle as I think of dinosaurs and watch pelicans diving for fish.
The earth will wash itself of humanity with bright indifference.
The styrofoam cup will become oily sand on empty beaches with water so clear you can see the soul of the universe.

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Decaf delirium

I watch condensation drip from the car air conditioning onto the asphalt laid by men who cannot afford to live in this town. For a moment, I am sure I am not far behind them. I drink decaf coffee and Steely Dan comes onto the café sound system. I am glad my girl cannot join me today. But I hear her words anyway. “Those guys sound like pretentious frat boys.” I wouldn’t disagree. The waiter gives me my check and I walk home in the heated September LA morning, slightly high on caffeine.

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Who’s there?

There was a knock at the door, which was strange because so few people knew where I was living. I had this one-room apartment on a street lined with 30-foot pine trees. It was dead center in the town of Hollywood.

I had no cable/satellite, internet or computer in the apartment. Often, I sat for hours on end doing nothing. Well, not nothing, exactly. I searched the depths of my mind with no ulterior motive. I floated like a plastic bag on a windy street.

The times I wasn’t doing “nothing,” I read books, played guitar and taught the occasional yoga class. I had had a vision of this lifestyle when I was in India in 2006 doing exactly the same thing.

Oh yes, but I said there was a knock at the door. It was a friend who lived in the building. He was the kind of friend you knew you could definitely count on if you needed to dispose of a body. But he was also the kind of friend who would be most likely to ask you to help him dispose of a body.

He was standing in the doorway, holding a refrigerator door. I didn’t ask. I opened the door further so he could come in, with his refrigerator door under his right arm. He was very cautious not to hit it against any of my stuff, of which I had very little. He leaned it against the wall. I sat back down on the edge of my bed.

My friend says, “Hey man, I have this refrigerator door I’m going to use for an art installation I’m thinking about. But I’m out of room in my apartment. Can I store it here?”

I wanted to say no, but I didn’t. Even though I had only a one-room apartment, I had a lot of open space. I had brought a girl back to my place once and she said, “Jeez, there’s nothing here. Is this just some place you bring girls to?” I don’t remember my reply.

Anyway, he left the refrigerator door and said thanks and good-bye.

I sat for a long time looking at it leaning against the wall. I got up and moved it into the kitchen. I leaned it against the wall in there and stared at it a little longer. Then I started putting the bottled water I had on the floor on the shelves of the refrigerator door that now leaned against my kitchen wall.

I was startled by another knock at the door. It was my friend again. He had another refrigerator door. It was the top half that closed off the ice section.

“Can I store this here, too?”

“Sure,” I said, “put it in the kitchen.”

He saw what I had done with the first door and commented that he thought it looked very cool. He also said, “Don’t get attached to it because I’m going to want it back.” Then he left.

After he left, I turned off all the lights and lay in bed. It was only 8:00pm. There was another knock at the door. I didn’t answer it.

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Rain

I could sit for hours watching the Los Angeles rain out the windows of my rented room. Sometimes even the sound is enough to transport me back five lifetimes, when I lived alone in a cave. I was a woman then, and was the first of my kind to learn how to sharpen a stone. I never said I was non-violent. The few who had tried to mess with me limped away if they were lucky. The price of solitude was the muscle of knowledge.

A fire sits only slightly back from the entrance of my cave. Smoke billows out of the opening and into the tall trees. In the downpour, I am safe to show my location to the other tribes who have all settled in for the storm.

A wolf crosses the entrance of my cave. Fur wet, he looks in on me with ears down and back. I throw the remains of my rabbit dinner to him and he jumps as if being attacked. He then smells the rabbit, puts it in his jaws and runs off. Today we are friends.

The rain stills my mind with its uneven tempo. I sleep and dream of the sun.

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Go!

Oliver Stone wrote Platoon in three weeks.

That means, if you start today, your dream project could be on it’s way to completion on January 2nd, 2016.

What do you want to do?

Start a band? Write a story? Stop the war? Save the whales? Feed the homeless? Teach children to read? Write a rock opera? Meditate everyday? Lose weight? Gain weight? Learn to speak another language? Clean your apartment?…Go!

Yoga Asylum #4: Adult Yoga

One day, on the way to yoga, I was stopped by a woman walking her dog.

She says, “You’re the yoga teacher at Runyon Canyon,” and I say, “Well yes, but there are 5 of us that teach there.”

She says, “I’ve been wanting to talk to you.” She continues, “The other day in class, you said, if we were facing the building during the beginning of class, that the class was going to be a motherfucker.”

I said, “Well, yes. But you can face any direction you want. It’s just that, if you’re facing the building in the beginning of class, it’s gonna be really hard to do the sun salutations because you’re facing downhill. But you can face any direction you like.”

She says, “Yeah, but ‘motherfucker’ is a negative word.”

I said, “Oh, I’m sorry. That’s just the way I talk. It’s really important for me to be myself during class. I think people are more comfortable when I’m not pretending to be someone I’m not. And I use bad words sometimes.”

She says. “Well, I’m a mother.”

I say, “Well, I try to look around and if I see children, I try not to curse as best I can.” I go on to say, “There are lots of teachers in this town that don’t use the F word. In fact, Tuesdays and Thursdays, Kamala teaches and I don’t think she swears too much.”

She then says, “When you say ‘motherfucker’ it makes me think of rape.”

I hear it in my head like a bell as I finally realize, she is saying that she doesn’t like me saying motherfucker because she is a mother and somehow I’m saying (this is a big jump) that mothers should be—I’m using her words—raped. So I say, “My mother was just at class on Friday. That’s not what I’m saying.”

Then I go on to say, “Frank Zappa’s first band was called The Mothers, which for them was short for motherfuckers, which in the 60s was a term used to say that someone was a great musician. Mostly jazz players, but I think it could work in all styles of music. Certainly I’m not saying anyone should be raped.”

Sarcastically, she says, “Oh great. The next time I meditate, I’ll think of Frank Zappa.” Then she walks away.

One of the other yoga teachers walked up to me just about then. I was a little disturbed and I told him the story and he said, “Did you tell her to fuck off?”

The next day, the “motherfucker” lady is at class and I’m teaching. I see her and she sees me, eyes on eyes like Sam Fuller would do in a film.

My first thought is, “motherfucker,” and she brings her hands together like she’s praying. You know, I don’t think praying to get people to do what you want is really what the gods had in mind… except, maybe, the guy with the horns.

I’m making an ASSumption she’s praying to get me not to say “motherfucker” in class. I’ll tell you this, if praying was meant to be a way to control people, bars would be full of guys dropping to their knees and praying at the sound of the last call bell.

So I’m not really sure what to do. The rebel in me wants to blurt out “motherfucker” and be done with it. But I don’t want to be “The Motherfucker Guy,” like that’s all I do. Did you ever see the Simpsons episode where Bart says, “I didn’t do it,” and becomes famous and goes on TV and everyone’s always waiting for him to say it until they’re finally sick of it? I don’t want to be that. I want to say “motherfucker” only when it is appropriate in my yoga class.

But I really wanted to say it that day.

But then I remember, I told her to come to class Tuesday or Thursday if she wanted to take a class where the teacher would be less likely to say that phrase. And it’s Tuesday (I’m substitute teaching). So I didn’t say it. But we did focus on the face of Frank Zappa in final meditation. Frank-Zappa-deviation-from-the-norm-297x300

It was a very good class, but I couldn’t help but notice, at the end of class, the motherfucker lady did not leave me a motherfucking donation. I did announce that I would be subbing for Kamala the rest of the week. So as they say, fair warning, motherfucker. What’s next? People telling me reverse triangle makes them uncomfortable? Yeah, me too. But we’re still going to do it.

I spoke about this on the social network and the next class, somebody was wearing a Frank Zappa t-shirt. It was awesome and really blew me away and made me laugh.

Also, the MF lady was at class… and I did say it. And she did leave me a donation.

– – – – –

This happened several years ago. Since then, I have taught thousands of yoga classes, some of them in businesses (corporate wellness), schools and retirement homes. When I teach these classes, I do avoid that phrase… mostly. I don’t have fucking Tourette’s, you know.

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