To Stay And To Go

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It is morning. I am sitting next to Lama at the Lama House. He is slurping tea with godspeed…and now he’s out the door. Presumable to the temple, to practice. Amen.

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I am sitting at the Lama House by myself, listening to music written by a friend across the world (this makes me cry–listen!), and thinking about movement. In slightly variable ways. For instance: As humans, we go places. Three weeks ago, my guitarist friend was sitting next to me with his own bowl of French muesli. Now he’s in LA, maybe eating Pop Tarts while waiting for a visa to India. It is bizarre how we can traverse the Earth these days. It is also natural to move with changing times and seasons and necessities. Weather moves. Animals move. We move.

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Also, though, we sometimes decide not to go places. Sometimes, staying put is a new form of movement.

I am the closest I have ever been the Venice Biennale, one of the largest and easily the most esteemed curated art fair in the world. And I’m not going. I thought a lot about it, and talked it over with friends and teachers to double check my decision making.

I used to daydream about the Biennale. When I was a teenager, Ed Ruscha covered an entire room in chocolate wallpaper for his exposition. The decadence! The cultural commentary! The rush of creation and dialogue! I wanted in. Not to mention the canals and cappuccinos and cobblestoned streets under autumn skies.

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Those things still interest me. They still seem lovely and rich. But actually, they seem like luxuries. And lately, my heart wants home and simple and stability. Luxury sounds…like something that would be pleasant to save for another day. I used to chase adventure and newness and things outside to shift what is inside of me. Today, it seems right stay put and let what’s inside shift in its own time.

To Go Onward

imageI’ve got my traveling shoes. I’ve got two bags Tetris-tucked full of all the objects for my life this next year, and perhaps, probably, more than that. I’ve got hugs goodbye, boarding passes, a passport con visa, a ride to the airport and a ride home (home! my home–in France!) from the train station. I’ve got a heart full of willingness, a mind full of questions, and a purse full of books to read on the plane. All this to carry me onward into what life comes. I am anxious. I am filled with anticipation. I am ready.

See you on the other side.

After the Holidays

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Happy third night of Chanukah and Merry (T – 15 days to) Christmas.

My family is not particularly religious, but we do celebrate both Chanukah and Christmas, as an ode to our roots, and as a way to bring us all together. My mom was raised loosely Catholic, and professes to believe in a higher power, but has never glommed on to organized religion much. My Dad is a reform Jew from a big Jewish family on the East Coast who took my sister and I to synagogue every year for the High Holy Days, and still does if we’re in town. When I was little, we read about the parting of the Red Sea and the miracle of oil that became Chanukah.

I love the singing of songs, the eating of fried food, and the sense of history that my Jewish heritage gives me, but I never much formed a bond with the God of the Israelites. My sister is a devout atheist; I guess she never did either. In our respective years of life, we have each stumbled upon various forms of value and guidance for this life. Taylor is discovering her own goodness and the power of human communication. I have developed meditation practice and am walking the Buddhist path of discovering the nature of mind. We share the practice of creativity and faith in the power of art to connect and elucidate the workings of the human engine.

This holiday will see all of us, on our various paths, come together to light candles, top trees, wrap presents, and share meals made with love. It’s the big family hurrah! And when the holidays are over, my own path will take me far afield. Come January, I am heading to India to study some of those texts that have been handed down through generations to tell those of us alive today what the Buddha taught over 2,000 years ago. The opportunity came up quickly, and, for now, I mostly feel a sense of giddiness combined with all the uncertainty of what lies ahead. I don’t know what will happen to this little blog in that time, but, as it unfolds, I’ll keep you posted. Happy Holidays!