the TAO of CHANGE

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Archive for August, 2010

Not Writing Again

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

I was and wasn’t going to write a post again today, and by “again”, I mean two weeks of again’s. Instead I’ve been reading other blogs, mostly about music and musicians because it’s what I am mostly interested in lately, which may explain some of the agains, but I’m not really certain. I do know I owe my comeback to this blogger who thinks instead of writes but writes it down, too, so I decided it was the least I could do. So here goes:  (And thanks to David at Pitchforkreviewsreviews.com.)

I don’t really consider myself a writer. Well, sort of a writer, but not really, is what I hear myself say often, and then regret saying it, of course, because I know that I’m really asking someone to say, well of course you are a writer because you write this blog every day – well almost every day, I reply and then they are supposed to say, well, that means you are a writer. And then the truth stares at me because I mean to write everyday but sometimes a few days go by, or, like in this case, a couple weeks and each day I mean to write and I don’t, I know there is no excuse except that I’m not a writer, so how could I be expected to find something interesting to write about everyday. And then I remember that there is something interesting to write about everyday, I’m just not writing about it. And then I think, if I were a writer, I could claim writer’s block but I don’t because I’m not, so that disqualifies me from having writer’s block — which would be really cool to say, if it were true.

Actually, I have so much to write about that sometimes it just gets too messy, like a baby drooling and that’s when I usually hand the baby back to it’s rightful owner because drool is kind of hard to look at.



Office of Blame – Therapy or Denial?

Monday, August 9th, 2010

Last weekend, I saw these posters along Bedford Avenue in Brooklyn. An inconspicuous display, but that buzz word, “blame” does catch your eye. Who can resist an opportunity to speak the unspoken? A chance to place blame – on the record?

A little research revealed the back story – Geoff Cunningham and Carla Repice set out to dip into the collective consciousness throughout the country with some random research. They set up shop in areas hot in collective blame — like Ground Zero and Wall Street, as Blame Accountants, “inviting passersby to blame, record, and reflect. Who has wronged you?  What does it mean to take accountability for the actions—or inactions—of people, groups, and systems that have wronged you?  If held accountable, where will you find yourself and what actions will you take?” Here is the book that followed this project.

This particular morning, strolling through a Brooklyn neighborhood, I was first intrigued and then amused by the admissions on the posters. But what followed was a sensation of both disappointment – and boredom. As it turns out, there is not much new in the collective blame game.  What I read was was mostly  name-calling and complaining. If we are to place blame, can we at least be more imaginative about it?

As we all know, blaming people is usually futile. As kids, we blamed our siblings for lots of things, or whoever else happened to be around. We got a little older and start blaming our teachers, our parents and friends.

Hopefully, as we grow up and out of our childish ways, we learn to navigate this darker side of human nature. Yoga text says that there is nothing that will drain your energy more than having an “enemy”. I’ve personally found this to be true. So, at some point, I stopped (mostly) blaming individuals for things that happened to me or what I felt (this took years!!).

Of course, I then became good at blaming groups of people – this seemed more innocuous. I blamed entire corporations for trashing the environment. I blamed meat eaters for abusing animals. I blamed people who didn’t recycle, drive big cars, or have swimming pools, for wasting our resources. I protested and complained and ranted. Blame walks a fine line of other energy-wasting emotions. I was quickly becoming hateful and jaded.

Who knows really how and why we become aware of our foolish ways – everyone’s journey is different. But at some point, I made a shift from blame to action – action in my own life and mind. No less annoyed by the misguided cultural habits, I learned to “hate the deed, not the doer”. I slowly and imperfectly, learned to do more of what I needed to do in my own life, sending out more positive energy for what change than negativity towards blaming. It was a point of surrender, I suppose. In yoga, it’s called “giving it over” (to a higher consciousness) rather than “giving in”.

Brooklyn, NY – The good, bad and ironic

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

Me and CreatoDestructo spent the weekend in Brooklyn, NY. In the neighborhood of Williamsburg, to be exact. Not to be confused with one of the 90 or so other neighborhoods that span an area which would outsize most of the 50 states. Brooklyn sort of swallows you.

We spent most of our time on foot but covered a good 15 miles. So, what did I love about Brooklyn? The street art, the thrift stores, the many local venues and vendors, the enthusiastic people, the hostel where we stayed, the food, the dog park, and oh – the irony.

Across the street from Saturday’s farmer’s market, I ate a locally raised beef hot dog wrapped in local bacon with local cheese (I know what you’re thinking — but it was amazing, really!) from Urban Rustic, a “farm to market” cafe and grocery, followed by a raw juice made from a blend of seasonal veggies. Ahhh

The dog park was next to the market – lots of shade and lots of dogs. There are mostly really small, purebred dogs living in Brooklyn, which I guess makes sense, given the density of living spaces, but it made me envision shelters somewhere on the outskirts, overflowing with big, beautiful – and very lonely – half-breeds.

The hostel was super clean and neat, with really cozy shared living spaces — both the guests and staff were especially friendly, as hipsters tend to be. I also met people from Germany and Australia. Heads up, though, BYO bath towel or be ready to rent one, and there will be bar noise outside your bedroom window most of the night.

Back on the streets, I walked past what appeared to be a big open industrial garage and saw a group of people sprinting up and down a long driveway – relay style. It made me think of middle school gym class. The sign said “Brooklyn Barbell Club”. If I lived in Brooklyn, I’d probably sign up.

What did not like about Brooklyn? Well, a lot less than I loved, but mostly The TRASH (which was everywhere), THE TRAFFIC (there were lots of parked bicycles, but not as many actually being ridden), the noise, and oh – the irony.

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