February 2009


God I loved that book.  And so many of the reviews online were all about how depressing it was.  And yeah, it’s not exactly pollyanna roll-around-in-the-sunshine book, but it’s awesome. 

The main character is a 12 year old girl who witnesses everything going on around her but has no experience or support in trying to process and understand it.  And it’s also about the damage people do to themselves, other people and animals.  But it’s not hopeless, or at least I didn’t think so.  Because it’s also about how the same people can find connection, compassion and committment with others in those situations.

I loved this bit of the book.  Jerry, a rodeo guy is helping her get her head on straight at a horse show.  She’s terrified because her Dad is making her show a horse that is kind of nuts and not really broken, and she doesn’t want to say no to her Dad.  It struck me as an interesting take on mula banda and focus and probably life in general.

“It isn’t about control,” he whispered. “It isn’t about concentration.”

He slide his hand down my arm, resting his fingers lightly on my hip.  “You want to be tight here,” he siad, then smoothed his hands down his own hips, making a frame around the space between his crotch and navel. “Put all the the fear right here.  Just stuff it down until it’s a like a knot, a cold, hard fist clenched right in your gut.”

Jerry’s jaw was hard, his eyebrows knitting as he balled his fist into his stomach.  Then he reached out, touching the pads of his fingers to the center of my forehead. “And here,” he said, “be empty.” His skin felt cool and dry against mine and I closed my eyes, trying to let my thoughts drain away. “Look right between her ears, nowhere else.  Don’t think. Don’t feel. Make your mind as blank as the sky in summertime. Okay?”….. She’ll do the work,” he told me. “All you have to do is stay on top of her.”

Ugh, I dunno if it’s winter-itis or what but I could just be on a Bitch. Moan. Whine. Repeat cycle here about a bunch of things.  But I won’t cause it’s just too boring.  And when I get whiney I have to remind myself of all the much worse things that I could be dealing with, like a gruesome traffic accident, and that’s no fun.   

Ever have a song come into your head when you first wake up even before you’ve had your first thought?  This a.m. for me it was Alicia Keyes’ Superwoman.  The song makes me smile. Thank you music goddess, I needed that.  I’ve listened to it 8 times already this a.m..  Not that I feel like a superwoman per se, but what do the alcoholics say?  Fake it ’til ya make it.  Have a good Friday.

Superwoman

Everywhere I’m turning
Nothing seems complete
I stand up and I’m searching
For the better part of me
I hang my head from sorrow
Slave to humanity
I wear it on my shoulders
Gotta find the strength in me  

Cause I am a Superwoman
Yes I am
Yes she is
Still when I’m a mess
I still put on a vest
With an S on my chest
Oh yes
I’m a Superwoman

For all the mothers fighting
For better days to come
And all my women, all my women sitting here trying
To come home before the sun
And all my sisters
Coming together
Say yes I will
Yes I can

Cause I am a Superwoman
Yes I am
Yes she is
Still when I’m a mess
I still put on a vest
With an S on my chest
Oh yes
I’m a Superwoman

When I’m breaking down
And I can’t be found
And I start to get weak
Cause no one knows
Me underneath these clothes
But I can fly
We can fly, Oooohh

Cause I am a Superwoman
Yes I am
Yes she is
Still when I’m a mess
I still put on a vest
With an S on my chest
Oh yes
I’m a Superwoman

I still peruse the Runners World newsletters regularly even though I haven’t run in 3 months and probably won’t run for 6 more thanks to baby goiter enlargening my midriff.   I really miss it but it’s ok because when i’m running regularly I always find that if I can’t make it for a few days, it’s like all that urge, all that juice makes that first run in a while awesome.  So I figure this’ll work for long term non-running too, it’ll be orgasmic just tying up my shoes.

But running is hard, although no harder than holding a yoga pose for longer than is comfortable.  Or doing anything hard. There’s that point where your head has decided for the rest of you that you should be doing anything *but* what you’re doing.  It’s essentially screaming at you. 

But you being the courageous, strong, human being who defines herself by her actions gets to *choose* what you’re going to do about.  You’re going to give in the screaming or say ‘suck it up princess’ and keep going until all of you is ready to stop.

So I love this article on tips for toughing it out in Runners World.  I especially love the bit about focusing on the body parts that don’t hurt, like noticing how great your index finger feels while your legs are burning off at the hip.

I used to do this 10k race pretty regularly in Greenwood, NS every spring.  And it was always harder than I expected.  I never trained enough for it and always thought it should be easier and less painful than it turned out to be.  It was put on by the military so for the last bit of the race we’d run the full length of the runway. 

And I remember being in total pain, the wind always in my face, never my back, running on an airstrip that felt like the longest in the world – like what do they land here the friggin’ Challenger? And then I’d finally round the corner and find the finish line.

And I’d feel kind of pissed off afterwards.  Here I was physically strong and capable enough to run 10k, but nope, I’d be pissed. Angry at myself for not doing enough to train or angry at my body for being as slow as molasses (you think I’d be used to it by now) or angry at the cold weather or angry at the race for being so long and stupid.

One time I caught a ride to the race in a van with a bunch of people.  And on the way back we were talking about what parts of the race were hard and the woman driving was a 40-something very fit nurse and mother of 4 kids.  And she said, “sure it hurts, but eh, it’s just pain”.

I’ll never forget that.  Why  do I bother resisting it or looking for something or someone to blame?  It’s just pain.  Pain happens.  It’s best to be clear about what you have and not what you don’t have.  So when I get back to running it’s gonna hurt, but I’ll be sure to notice how great my index finger feels.

I found a Jim Jarmusch article on his five rules of directing.  I love #2 as a reminder on how to get stuff done whether you’re getting support or not.  And #5 is great too, regardless of what you’re making:

Nothing is original.  Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination.  Devour old films, new films, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows.  Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul.  If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic.  Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent.  And don’t bother concealing your thievery – celebrate it if you feel like it.  In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: “it’s not where you take things from – it’s where you take them to.

Jim Jarmusch

I like a good bean dip when I’m detoxing because it’s filling and tasty and a detoxer cannot live on carrot sticks alone, as fun as that sounds.  The dip is great on rice cakes and for dipping your carrot sticks, pepper slices and cuke spears into. 

Black Bean Dip

Ingredients:

1 garlic clove squished

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

1/2 cup chopped onion

2 T lime juice

2 T olive oil

1/2 t salt

1/4 t cumin

1/4 jalapeno pepper chopped fine

19 oz can of rinced and drained black beans

Directions:

Have a food processor?  You don’t have to bother chopping as fine as described above, throw it all into your food processor and let ‘er rip.  Scrape down the sides with a spatula and continue until it’s pureed, then put it in a bowl.

Don’t have a food processor?  Or if you like a chunky dip, mash up the beans with a potato masher or fork in a bowl first, and then add all the other ingredients and mix it up well.

Try to give your bean dip some fridge time before eating to let the flavours mingle.