I hope all is well with you all over in internet land. I'm writing with a glass of watermelon drink (frozen watermelon blended down and mixed with champagne!) in my hand, friends not too far away, and summer dancing its way into the horizon.
I’ve always had mixed feelings about August. It’s a lovely month, one that goes far too quickly, and is rich in symbolism. Summer! Corn on the cob! Full moons! Back to school! A ripe season when all of us are full of heat! I wrote a place several years ago titled "The End of August" about a dog dying, a playground, God, oral sex, and best friends. So I guess those things make me think of August, too.
In Los Angeles, it’s a bit hard to tell that the season is shifting, and so I plan to celebrate this change internally. I will be turning 27 at the end of September, shortly after the Equinox. The arrival of one's birthday often spurs internal review. Have I achieved enough? Am I where I need to be? Am I a good person? All the thoughts come exploding out of me like I'm a broken gumball machine and I can't seem to focus on one thing. Color and sweetness, nothing appreciated. When that happens, the beauty of life starts to blur together, and I miss out. I don't want to miss out, so I'd like to slow down.
As part of that, and to kick off the resurgence of this space on the internet, I’m promoting a September challenge:
- Write a poem everyday.
- Yoga everyday.
Reasons being: Poetry and I sort of fell into each other, like two drunk introverts at a square dance. We didn't ask anything of each other and yet we really, really hit it off. I never considered myself a poet, didn't even try because I didn't think that I fit the gilded label of "A POET." But one day, in an effort to collect the feelings revolving around a memory, I let a bunch of word spill out and strung them together in a way that felt right. It demanded presence, and forced me to focus on the smaller details of existence. In doing so, I felt gratitude for these small things: the warmth of yellow light, the frothy humidity, the sticky floor of a brewery on a first date . I felt gratitude for the words. And as for yoga, the practice allows me to focus on my body, the most honest thing I have. In the heat of a practice, I notice my the tiniest stretch of muscle, the last sip of air filling my lungs to capacity. Again, the details. Again, appreciation.
It sounds so simple, and yet I anticipate a struggle. Doing anything daily opens up so many windows for excuse. (I don’t have time, i’m working too much, etc, etc.) I deal with those ALL THE TIME. And thus the challenge. I hope my invitation of this moment welcomes the opportunity to make a change. You can do it too! Together we can look up to the trees, and be like the leaves.
Yoga and Poetry Challenge
30 days of yoga and poetry, starting September 1. "I am not a poet," you might say. Me neither—until I decided I was one. Allow yourself to put pen to page and see what bleeds out. It could be a haiku, it could be two lines, it could be a recipe, it could be your fears, it could be the ingredients of your shampoo strung out into a word document.
See you soon, and stay cozy.
Photo courtesy of Aminda Villa.