¿Por qué no los dos?

We met a lovely and true-to-form German man at the opera the other night.  He was so practical, 6’7″, very kind, and totally straightforward.  He was very docile and calm, but he was definitely German to the core, and in the most delightful of ways for us – it felt like interacting with family, despite the obvious distance between us.

He asked me at one point what I had studied while in Europe – my mom had mentioned my having studied in Wien and Germany.  I replied, “Language and Culture.”

He considered it, gave a small smile, and replied, “Language and culture… It sounds like everything and nothing.”

I considered his words, and chuckled heartily.  It was, indeed, true.

Conversation went to a bit of something else, and then returned to my studies and what “language and culture” meant.  “Grammar, history, arts, religion, social change, music, poetry, writing, dialects, politics…,” I listed easily, trailing off slightly by the end, all of us understanding that there obviously were many more I could list.

“So, it sounds like you are qualified for just about everything, then,” declared honestly the German.

I smiled.  “Everything and nothing…”  And we all smiled, gave a bit of a chuckle, and felt the irony of it together, to varying degrees.

I understood the turn of phrase best of all, having experienced most acutely the struggles of the truth of this joint statement of ours… I am qualified for just about everything, then,… everything and nothing…

Thus, the question remains: What, of all of that everything and nothing, do I choose to pursue right now, for now?

I think my recent thoughts have been accurate: I need some more art in my life – self-made art.  🙂

So, let’s art… for now… and let’s be comfortable and secure in the fact that it is okay to have this be for now, and to have something else, something presently unknown, be the what’s next…  Yes, indeed.

Everything and nothing, my dear… you can do it, Banana.  🙂

Post-a-day 2020

To write love on her arms

Well, it isn’t on my arms, but it is on my hand!

I hadn’t exactly intended to put the words on my hands when I started out, but they somehow happened anyway… I still find it an odd place to place them, but it does well to remind me constantly, because I always see the palms of my hands… which I’m not sure I knew before this week, and my constantly seeing the words on my palms.

People always use the phrase of knowing someone/something “like the back of my hand,” but I never understood it fully, because I don’t know the backs of my hands very well.

But I do know my palms, it turns out… I see them all the time. 😛

Also, this: The San Jacinto Monument, marking the location of the Battle of San Jacinto, which gave Texas its independence from Mexico in 1836.

Post-a-day 2020

Okay, I think I need to go to Italy.

At this point, the only thing left would be for someone to meet me and offer me a place to stay in Italy, in order for my trip to be made certain.

(That, or someone offering me passage to Italy…, though I had kind of planned on managing that one myself, I don’t mind letting someone else handle it… again…[I just remembered that I actually did have a free trip to Italy that one time I went for a long weekend…yes… anyway…])

Italy just keeps popping up around me: in conversations unbidden, in my calendar (it is a page-a-day with Italian phrases and culture, and it genuinely was the only one on Amazon that seemed even remotely interesting… I mean seriously, Amazon?), in a whole handful of conversation partners reaching out, in comments from others, and even in the book I spontaneously started reading today (It’s the first in a series and it has “gelato” in the title, but the second book has nothing Italian about the title, and that‘s the one that got me interested in reading the series!), where the girl up and moves to Italy from the US… I mean…. wow… the world really wants Italia to be on my mind right now.

And so, I am letting it.

I am embracing all the Italia I can, and am beginning to look for more around me.

I have a friend to whom I plan to reach out (not in the middle of the night) about finding a conversation partner/tutor here in town, I have begun a challenge on Duolingo, I am reaching out to the online conversation partner offers, and I have a whole plan for how to practice my Italian.

What’s funny is that, whenever I ask the whole “Why now?” to the world, though I get no distinct answer, I suddenly start thinking of what it might be like there, and I think of all the Italian men, and I suddenly have an almost overwhelming thought of, “Well, I can probably handle the Italian men now,” and I suddenly have my answer.

I just wasn’t ready for Italian men before.

Now, I actually am ready to take them on and run my own way.

If you don’t know anything about Italian men, I don’t have the words to teach you much about them, nor can I fully speak on them, for I have not truly spent time with them in Italy.

However, everything I have been told about them from others has proven exactly true with the Italian men I’ve come to know here… even just the Italian heritage ones… oof… anyway.

So, now, I think I’m about ready to take them on, and, by the time I actually get there, I’ll have had enough mental prep (and physical prep from the gym) to take them with a grain of salt, and to smile about it. 😉

This is going to be fun and absolutely amazing – I can feel it in the humidity around me… yes…

Italia awaits… me. 😀

P.S. And I don’t mean just for a short visit – we’re talking a month plus here…. just FYI.

Post-a-day 2020

Dreams

Last night, I dreamed that I was in a live-in minimester course at UT (Austin) with the temporary professor Johnny Depp.

The class began beautifully (though a couple people almost got hit by cars in the road), and was about learning to pinpoint pieces of perfection within one’s artistic expression in various aspects of art and life.

He was a very good teacher and quite a silly, introvert-esque guy who really didn’t seem to be too bothered by anything negative, and who was a good teacher naturally, without really trying or having to think things through too much.

It was a great class and very non-professional-like in terms of traditional school, but the activities and approaches were spectacular from a learning standpoint – he really got us getting in touch with everything within our inner core, and challenged us beautifully.

He commented multiple times about how he doesn’t really have many/any friends, and that it mostly because 1) he was weird and 2) he was busy working on stuff and being silly, and most people had normal jobs and weren’t interested enough in doing something like a paint swimming day with trampolines and dogs instead of going to the office.

They aren’t too interested in hooky…

Thus began my brief time of befriending Johnny Depp…

And then the dream ended, and I awoke wanting donuts…

I still want those donuts…

… hmm…

Post-a-day 2020

Nakey-Nakey

I have two things I want to discuss tonight: getting naked and, well, getting naked.

I hadn’t really realized this seemingly blatantly obvious link between the two, until just now…

***Note: These are not standard nothings tonight, but actual open thoughts and descriptions of two separate scenarios involving human nudity… so, be forewarned that it isn’t exactly PG13 material tonight… ***

Anyway, so the first getting naked…

I had my final appointment today at the laser hair removal place.

It was for laser hair removal on my bikini line.

—— Side note: The appointment was actually for tomorrow, but I somehow got it wrong in my calendar… the girl who showed up while we were sorting it at the counter turned out to be the same girl who had been behind me and had helped me after my fall on the road the other week(!)… we had a fun time of evaluating the crazy odds of our meeting like this, mere blocks from where we had first met, though under entirely different circumstances – actually for both of us, as she worded it, to ‘have our pubes lasered off’… ——-

So, anyway… laser hair removal…. bikini line…. final treatment…. As usual, the technician asked during my lasering session whether I had considered doing a full Brazilian.

First off, Ouch!(!!!).

Second off, mmm, I want to keep a semblance of natural to my body, thank you…. plus, no offense intended here, but it kind of freaks me out to see no pelvic hair on adult bodies…. it reminds me too much of children’s lack of pubic hair, and is in no way attractive to me… and makes me not even want to consider for too long, because it starts freaking me out having sexual attraction and children be in the same line of thinking, despite their being technically separated in the thoughts…. anyway…

However, I didn’t say all of this – it was just my regular thoughts that arose at the idea of having a Brazilian lasering session done to remove all of that hair.

I did tell her, though, that I had considered it, that I wouldn’t mind having the hair in the back be gone – I mean, who likes butt crack hair?… eww… – but that I wanted to keep the hair in the front.

‘We can do that,’ she tells me, ‘just the back strip.’

‘Really?’ I ask, surprised that it is an option, since I have never seen it listed among the many area options these laser hair removal places all offer.

She gives me some details, and I follow up with the girl at the counter, after we finish with the session.

It is extremely affordable to do the ‘add-on’, as they call it, and so I sign myself up for it.

(Then, they get me in on the other part of the last day of their Black Friday sale, and I go ahead and sign myself up for the final area I had been considering to have lasered for quite some time now… and the price is so good, I know it won’t happen again before I’m ready to seek out doing it later on, so I accept, and gladly so…, but that is beside the point here… moving on…)

Rather than wait for my next appointment – turns it I had one more I could do for bikini line, so we scheduled me for that, and just included the others in that future appointment – in January to start the two new areas, they gave me a razor, I went and shaved myself freshly, and the same technician and I went back into the room together, and quickly did the other two areas.

Now, I was mentally prepared for this back strip of Brazilian, because a friend and I had just been discussing her Brazilian waxing seasons of the past and laser hair removal of the present last night.

She was comfortable with someone touching her buttocks in that context, because she had been doing it for so long, and, well, that’s why she’s there – it involves being handled in private areas.

We got into talking about how context allows for lots of things in one situation that would be absurd in another.

For example, I shared about how I was on a topless beach in Barcelona with or mutual acquaintance Bryan.

“You did not go topless on a beach with Bryan,” she says, almost panicked, eyes wide, turning to face me directly.

“No, I didn’t,” I laugh, “but, once he left, I was totally fine going topless.”

Because the context of topless beaches in Barcelona had it be totally normal for the Spaniards around me.

e.g. The family of Mom, Dad, and two boys, aged about 12 and 8, in which even Mom was topless as they sat together on their blanket.

But it is not normal in our home culture, so there was basically no chance I was going to be topless around Bryan.

Fast-forward to my second session within my laser hair removal appointment today.

In the first session, I was lying on the table in my t-shirt and underwear, when the technician, clicking at buttons on the machine, says to hang on, it’s not working.

She then tells me that I can relax, because it’ll be a minute.

And then, quite casually, ‘We’ll have to go to another room – this one’s not working.’

She asks while standing at the door, almost as an afterthought, but not quite, if I want to put my own clothes back on, or if I want her to grab me a robe.

I quickly remove the sheet covering me, as I tell her that I can just put on my shorts, and then do so.

I leave my belongings there, and go with her to a different room next door.

Without giving her a chance to leave – they always leave, even though I am keeping on my underwear, per their recommendation, but the way, and they are going to see me without the sheet anyway as soon as they start doing the treatment… – I drop my shorts on the floor, and plop on the bed.

She seems unconcerned in every way.

As she talks to me, she is so casual and blasée, and says everything like an almost afterthought, as though she had just caught herself daydreaming, and realized that she was supposed to be talking pleasantly to the client.

Her lumbering drawl, at such a slowed rate from the traditional, “Hi! I’m Kimberley!” waitress or general service industry young female, ready to serve You! way of high-energy speaking, is soothing, but also almost comical.

Compared to Kimberly!, she seems to be drugged with super-chill pills…

(But not actually drugged.)

I personally am very comfortable with silence, so I didn’t mind her lack of conversation, but I can imagine that their training tells them to talk to the clients, and so I accept her after-thought-ish comments with sense of wry humor.

– It’s funny having a conversation with someone when you both know that you definitely are okay not talking with one another, but that also the conversation is necessarily by royal decree, so to speak. –

So her comments always seem to be ever so slightly delayed, giving her a very laid-back and chill vibe, though differently so from typical laid-backedness and chillness…

Now, as mentioned, we go back in the room for our second session together, after I talk with and pay the girl at the front desk.

I am expecting, in the room, to be put on my belly or something, and to have her move my cheeks to the sides – since that was something specifically mentioned by my friend about her Brazilians, and she is the only ‘experience’ I have with them – but that, of course, does not happen.

She tells me, still in her passive and casual, slow meter, “Okay, so, for the butt, you’re just gonna pull both your knees up to your chest and hold them there with your arms.”

I have a moment to process the words and what they mean, and then another to verify with myself that I’m okay with fulfilling the suggested request, and then I do it.

And she, as with all the rest, casually, as though she’s barely even aware of what actually is in front of her, but is instead thinking about that blue and purple drink she saw in the store yesterday and what was it made of?…, lasers the back strip of a Brazilian, and I consider laughing at the whole thing, as I recall Sophie Kinsella’s I’ve Got Your Number comment of, “Mind your own Brazilian!!”*

But I was totally comfortable.

The context of the situation – a laser hair removal place where getting Brazilians is totally normal in the first place – combined with the oh-so-blasée way of the technician allowed me to be super comfortable, despite the fact that I was lying on my back on a table, wearing only a bra, hugging my knees, and showing all my lower parts to a woman I don’t even know…

I am still grateful for her.

And I am grateful for all that has transformed in me, which has allowed me to enjoy and participate in such a scenario, as opposed to long for it but be too terrified of it even to consider doing it.

Okay, nakey situation number two time!

I’ve begun reading the book To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, after falling little girl in love with the Netflix original film by the same name, which is based on the book.

So far, as usual, some is exactly the same and some it totally different, but I am enjoying the book, nonetheless.

Tonight, I read the following passage, which really had me start thinking:

I wonder, though: What would it be like? To be that close to a boy, and have him see all of you… no holding back. Would it be scary only for a second or two, or would it be scary the whole time?

There is more to the thought that the character is having, but this was the part that stuck out for me.

What would it be like to be naked with someone we love wholly and who wholly loves us?

Would there be embarrassment at all -even if we both are totally for, let’s say – or would we be shy, at least on the inside, concerned by the exposure and the prospect of… of what exactly?

Of being hurt?

Being naked doesn’t mean we’ll be hurt, but being exposed emotionally always seems to carry with it a fear of being hurt, and so does our physical nakedness and exposure somehow also carry that same fear and discomfort?

Is that why we struggle to be naked in front of people Period?

Are we so afraid of being hurt?

And I don’t mean physical hurt… purely emotional, psychological, stuff with the head.

Are we so afraid in our heads that we would be afraid to show everything openly and comfortably to the one we love most?

How often do couples just be naked together, without it being sex?

Do they take the time to explore the physical beauty of one another’s bodies without haste and without avoidance or hiding anything?

As Sophie Kinsella’s same book says, “including the dodgy bits.”

But, even then, she only mentions that her man has seen them, not that he has embraced them, nor that she has.

Does the comfort of being seen fully and embraced naked by another stem first from our being able to see ourselves naked and to embrace all parts of our naked selves?

I think so.

And I think it would be a wonderful and powerful experience for couples to take the time just to see fully on another’s bodies, and to learn to embrace them just as they are.

Like how we can take the time just to sit and to gaze into one another’s eyes and be with one another fully – what if we did that with our whole bodies?

I think it would be not only beautiful but beneficial – for the individuals, for the couple, and for the world as a whole.

Expanding our love in such a way could only be a good thing for the world around us…

So, yeah… those are my two things about getting naked tonight… I think I went a little off the trail here and there, and I might have used some poor wording – I definitely did – but I hope the points made it across, anyway. 🙂

Sweet dreams, World.

*Look it up… it’s a great book and an awesome scenario around the comment. ;D

Accountability Partner?

What would happen if I had an accountability partner?

My room would be cleaned, completely organized, and kept that way – it would be glorious.

I would write quality pieces, just about every day (maybe something like an average of five to six days a week, with about eight days off per month).

I would take photos every month, and have them ready within a week of taking them.

I probably would take photos about once a week.

I would meditate intentionally, and often.

I would do laundry weekly, and put al my clothes away almost immediately.

I would be working actively on writing a book.

I would learn the extra details of sewing clothes that I have wanted to learn for years now.

I would paint.

I would bicycle-ride.

I would teach my art and yoga class I have wanted to teach.

I would read an average of 30-40 books per year. (Actually doing well in this one without a buddy, but the official book challenge on GoodReads has kind of been like an accountability partner…. so yeah…)

I would play music often.

I probably would do some acting and performing.

I probably would wake up early on most days.

I probably would spend more time with friends.

I would be doing all sorts of wonderful things I have only imagined and haven’t even imagined yet, and it would be awesome.

Yet I have no accountability partner.

Perhaps it is time to find one, already…

Hmm…

Post-a-day 2019

Picking up girls*

*Or one, anyway…

So, my mom and I were bringing home a woman from the workshop we had attended/catered in the yoga community, which had taken place last week and this past weekend.

And by “home”, I mean that we were bringing her back tot he hostel where she was staying, which was nearby.

I had heard of this hostel years ago, but learned little of it since first hearing about it – I had merely been glad back then that there was a hostel in Houston, and had left it at that.

So, when she offered for us to come inside and see her “humble abode”, as she called it, we gladly agreed wanting to learn more about the hostel.

While inside, we overheard a conversation about someone wanting to go to Rice University, and also that she was planning to walk the approximate 45 minutes each way.

My mom, of course, offered this nice-looking woman/girl who was clearly from somewhere in Europe, a ride to Rice in our car.

I helped by sharing that the girl was welcome to walk or take the bus home, and we could just drop her off and let her look around on her own, if she wanted, or that we even could show her around some ourselves.

At which point my mom added that we really could take her just about anywhere she liked, even if it wasn’t Rice – we were willing to help out.

After another handful of verbal exchanges, the girl says that, ‘Actually, I will accept your offer: I will take the ride to Rice.’

I get her name and tell her mine, and let her know that we’ll meet back downstairs in the entryway in just a little while, after we finish looking around.

Her name sounds almost French, and so we consider that as we finish looking around with the person who had brought us in in the first place – perhaps I will have someone with whom to reach out with French…

As we all leave together, my mom, this new girl, and I, we learn that she is German, and not of French-speaking origins.

But I still got to use a bit of German with her, which was nice (Germans around my generation’s age are notorious for being spectacular at English.).

As we arrive at Rice, it is decided that she would love to have us show her around campus.

My mom attended Rice, and so shared about various memories and events from the school, as we took the girl around to some of our favorite spots, and surprised her with the magic hidden amongst the older Rice campus buildings (they are serious cool).

(Aka science had us feeling silly, delighted, and also nerdy as we laughed over and over again at these spots.)

Eventually, she says that she would like to attend the concert with us later, that w head invited her to join us to attend.

We told her it was either a strong quartet or quintet.

When we arrive for the concert, which is to take place in an art museum on the UofH campus, we do a quick drive around that campus and are all just a bit underwhelmed after having just run around Rice campus, with all of its green and trees and live oaks overhead and gorgeous old buildings…

Finally in the art museum, we discover that we were incorrect about the string quartet or quintet.

The string quartet or quintet had played at the same performance as this group the very first time my mom saw/heard them both perform.

Since then, she struggles to keep their names straight from on another.

This group tends to be involved in slightly whacky performances and events, my mom shared as we sat in our front-row seats.

Sure enough, the concert turns out to be a bit of book readings, followed by six performance pieces, the focus and purpose being fluxus music, music from the genre of John Cage and his buddies who took music composition to a whole new dimension on many levels.

If you’ve ever heard John Cage’s piece “4’33″” performed – I suppose that’s the correct word, anyway – you can easily guess the kind of oddities and uniqueness found throughout the concert…. (View a performance of it here, along with a brief introduction on it.)

The pieces were great in their nuts-ness, and I thoroughly enjoyed the concert.

I also enjoyed that we had proffered a string quartet or quintet, and had then delivered John Cage and Fluxus

One of the greatest pieces of the evening was the violin solo piece by George Maciunas.

Check out the written piece here, what goes on the music stand, when the violinist performs.

Did you check it out???

If not, I’ll offer it again, because you need to read it before moving onward here: Solo for Violin by George Maciunas.

…..

Now, isn’t that nuts?!

What’s more nuts is that a guy actually performed it.

I was very stressy about it at first, then calmed down a bit, and eventually got a point of hilarity at it all – it is only a piece of wood, and we put a lot of importance into the piece of wood, and this is practically irreverent, but that this piece of wood is not actually anything to do with God…, and it was somehow hilarious… I could hardly contain my laughter by the time he started drilling holes.

Plus, he guy did a great job of acting with it all and really having fun with the whole piece – and it made it all that much better and well worth his efforts.

I share here a few photos from the performance, as well as what was slid and tossed at / handed to me near the end of said violin solo piece.

The fact that the lady had done a reading from her soon-to-be-released book (March, I believe) on Fluxus was really helpful, both in understanding and appreciating the pieces, as well as being mentally prepared for them all.

It was fabulous.

These were the pieces:

Afterward, I offered for us to go have leftovers from the amazing food my mom and I had made for the event the previous several days, and the German girl once again accepted our offer, though we made it clear yet again that she was 100% welcome to decline, if she so wanted.

We had a little picnic in my living room, and it was a lovely, hot soup (including the dessert: hot apple soup) dinner that we all enjoyed greatly.

Finally, my mom took the girl back to the hostel, and then headed home herself, while I started rushing to get myself to bed ASAP.

Unfortunately, I got to bed around 23:30, and had to be up around 6:30 at the latest the next morning… so, I was exhausted Monday… I even cried a little at the start of the gym time after work, I was just so tired and my emotions were out of whack from exhaustion.

(Fortunately, the girl with whom I was talking at the time totally got it… also, I had voluntarily asked her for a hug when I’d first arrived, and that was great [even if it did set off my crying spell].)

Then, the German girl/lady walked over to my place for dinner again Monday night, and my mom joined us a bit later, after she finished a meeting downtown.

We went to the Waterwall, to show one of my favorite spots in town, only to find that it had either closed early or closed temporarily for construction – we really weren’t and still aren’t sure which… super bummer… anyway…

Now, the German girl/lady has headed off to Georgia to visit her family from her days of au-pèreing, and life is back to usual for my mom and me.

But I have a new friend in Germany (who also wants me to come visit sometime) now, which is great, and I have a renewed sense that I am sharing lovingly with the world – she had an amazing and blessed time while visiting Houston, and in ways she never could have anticipated.

And I am grateful that my mom and I were able to offer that to someone, to share our love so distinctly and strongly with someone.

Gratitude 🙂

…..

Be sure to check out Natilee Harren’s book on Fluxus in the Spring – I think it would be a valuable read for everyone to learn a bit about the whole process of creation involved in this whole movement of music composition and performance.

Also, find the music ensemble Loop 38 if you’re ever in the Houston area – they are sure to impress, though I couldn’t tell you in what way it will be, aside from music’s being somehow involved!

Post-a-day 2019