Some Poetry for your Face

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“Self”

I do not need to find myself
I am myself

Whatever’s been uncovered or discovered
Whatever will change or remain
I ride alongside what makes this me
The person I was, is, and will be

I do not need to find myself
I am myself

I am not a thing to find
like a lucky penny or lost shoe
I am not an X on a map
or buried in the sand

I am events and evolutions, epiphanies
and stagnancies
meandering paths and sharp right turns
In every holding pattern and express lane and dead-end street

These that cannot be caught with a net or
tied to a rock
But gently unraveled with time
Something you can only take in
like a wild and frightening story, no
endings or finales
Just bookmarks and dog-eared corners
Well-worn pages and fraying edges

I am exactly me when I’m not myself
I am still me, even when I do not want to be
It’s still there, something to carry regardless of weight
When it’s unbearably heavy or unbearably light
Whatever that me is destined to be, both
in and for this world.

That breath is me, that heartbeat’s me
That sigh and smile and closing eyes

It’s all me

I do not need to find myself.
I am myself.

ALL the Things

Well this “Tales from Wes the Traveling Monkey” is one for the books. What type of book…eh, jury’s still out on that one.

SO — let me paint a picture for you:
Coastline area just south of Halifax. Lovely beaches, with lovely trails that bring you to yet more lovely beaches. I got my camera in hand, snapping away like a crazy person, because it is stupidly gorgeous everywhere I look and this is exactly how I roll: take pictures of ALL the things.

Then we get to the last beach in this set of trails.  There’s barely anyone on this beach — just a few men in the distance.  I’m snapping away with my camera until I realize something very very VERY important.

This beach is clothing optional.

And those men at the beach? Opted out.

Take pictures of ALL the things, indeed.

(FYI, this picture was not taken at said beach.)

The Things I Think About After Seemingly Harmless Interactions

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Funny, the little things you remember.

I remember how adults, absolute strangers, used to smile at me when I was a kid. This was long before I realized that lots of adults do that with practically every little kid they see. I would take these interactions — whether it was a direct, emphatic smile & wave, or a more distant, observant smile — as a sign that they knew something I didn’t. And the only logical conclusion my five-year-old mind could come up with was that everyone else in the world knew that I was a princess: that I belonged in a castle and that I had been kidnapped or intentionally hidden or left behind, like in so many fairy tales. And it was only a matter of time until the king and queen — my *real* parents — came to claim me again.

Now I’m an adult, doing that exact same thing, smiling at kids and emphatically saying, “Hi!”, blatantly snubbing the “stranger danger” concept right in its face. And it makes me wonder if any of those kids rationalize these interactions in the same way. That I know something they don’t. That I know that they’re secretly princes or princesses.

And it makes me want to say to them, “Yes, I do. I know something you don’t. And that’s that you already have the keys to the kingdom. You don’t need to wait until the king brings you back. You have a sense of wonder and magic about the world that could slay any dragon. The trick is in not letting the world take that way. The world is limitless; don’t let the world make you believe otherwise.”

An alternative title for this post was: “Reach for the stars, kid!  And also tell your mom to quite side-eyeing me.”

D’s Nuts

The story of D’s Nuts first starts with the cupholder in my car.  This cupholder holds my nuts.

*dramatic pause*

But seriously: my cupholder holds my nuts.  Peanuts.  I keep a bag of peanuts propped up in one of my cupholders for some intelligent snacking.  It’s there so I have something to tide me over, especially when I’m zipping around for the majority of the day, so I don’t come home and essentially pull a Chris Farley the second I walk in the door:

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Now we can start to paint the picture that brings us to D’s Nuts: I’m driving back from one of my classes, snacking away on my cupholder’s nuts, my mind doing its usual ADHD bounce-around.  Eventually my mind lands on, well, my nuts, and the types of jokes you could make with them about deez nuts, which lead me to think:

I sure hope there’s a lady named Denise out there who owns a peanut farm.  And I really hope she markets her goods as “D’s Nuts”.

Of course, I had to research to see if this actually existed.  Outside of a few novelty items called “D’s Nuts”, this is sadly not the case.

But, seriously, could you imagine a company who genuinely tried to sell their food as “D’s Nuts”?  Imagine the marketing you could do!  The possibilities are endless.

You want some of D’s Nuts? Come on down and try D’s Nuts.

Say goodbye to everyday snacking and say hello to D’s Nuts.

D’s Nuts are so good, you won’t want anything else in your mouth!

You can take D’s Nuts anywhere!

Don’t know what to bring to a party?  Bring D’s Nuts!

Don’t know what to have?  You can have D’s Nuts!

Don’t know what to eat?  You can eat D’s Nuts!

Making a grab bag?  Grab D’s Nuts!

Looking for a snacktime remedy?  Re-me-D’s Nuts!

Here’s something that’ll always bring a smile to your face: D’s Nuts!

When a friend tells you they don’t know what to buy, tell them they can buy D’s Nuts.

Did your friend say she usually doesn’t like peanuts?  She’ll like D’s Nuts, I’ll tell you what!

When you’re at the store, make sure to ask the grocer if they can direct to D’s Nuts.

Come on down to the farm so you can see firsthand D’s Nuts!

My brain has got to be one of the most exhausting places anyone could ever be, but I’ll be damned if it doesn’t provide entertainment from time to time.

Wicked Good Yoga

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You know what can be incredibly relaxing? Savasana, aka that resting pose at the end of a yoga practice.

You know what is never — EVER — relaxing? The Boston accent.

Most of my family grew up in blue collar Medford, which produces one of the thickest accents you will ever hear. I grew up not knowing there was a difference between “author” and “Arthur” (true story). My own accent is but a distant memory, but it’ll slip out from time to time. There are certain words I’ll say incorrectly if I’m not thinking about it (like “pharmacy” – er – “phah-mihsee”) and the accent will come out in full force if I’m tired (or should I say “tie-yihd”).

Why am I giving you a brief history of my Boston-area roots? Because tonight, during savasana, I decided to talk about the “one breath meditation” — where, instead of trying to keep the mind blank for all of savasana, you focus all your attention on just one inhale, and then on the corresponding exhale. You can repeat that if you’d like, or you can let the mind wander. And — if you let the mind wander — you can try observing where the mind goes, but without interacting with the thoughts. I’ve heard this neutral observation likened to a theatre goer watching a movie on the screen, and that’s exactly the metaphor I used.

The only problem? I was absolutely exhausted AND “theatre” is one of my accidentally-Boston words if I’m not careful.

The result?

“You can watch where the mind goes, like a THEE-YA-DAH GO-AH at the movies.”

Oy.

So, given my absurdly overactive imagination, I did a little more than “let the mind wander” during savasana. I started thinking about a yoga class taught by someone straight out of Southie. The biggest, most stereotypical, The-Departed-meets-Boondock-Saints Bostonian you could ever come across. I imagine him (or her) running the class a little like this (I mean: “like dis”):

“Alright, so — yeah. Welcome to dis yoga thing, whateva dat iz.

We’re gonna staht in dat easy seat-ihd pose. Alls you gotta do is sit der an’ close ya eyes. Don’t think about nothin’ for a second, a’right?

Den we’re gonna do some poses. Get in ya downwahd-facin daaaahg already. I ain’t got all day.

Okay, ya in ya downwahd-facin daaaaahg? Get in ya upwihd-facin daaaaahg. It’s a wicked good backbend.

Ya gettin’ some idears in ya head? Get ’em out. Breathe ‘n shit. Dat shood do da trick.

Yo kid! Kid! In da back! Why you talkin’ durin’ yoga? Shaht the fahck up! Ya mutha raised ya better! Also, tell her I said ‘ello!

Now we’re in our warrior two — I mean: nows we-yah in ah wah-ye-ah two! Didja fah-get to breathe? Betcha did!

Nah, it’s okay, kid. Ya fine. It’s okay dat you fih-got. S’all good, kid. S’all good.

Okay, now ya get to go into that shah-vah-san-ah. Dat final restin’ pose n’ shit. Alls you gotta do is nothin’. Nothin’! Don’t think about nothin’ kid. And — if ya do — dat’s okay, kid! Just let ya mind wandah. Watch it like one of dem, uh, ‘neutral outsidahs’ — y’know, like dey ain’t gotta be ya thoughts or nothin’. Like you’re one of dem THEEYAHDAH GOAHS at da mooveez. Like, ya watchin’ it, but it ain’t you. Ya get it?

A’right, but no, seriously. Shaht up and go to sleep.

A’right. Class is ovah. I’m off to the packie for some bee-yahs n’ some smokes.”