Showing posts from November, 2011

It's Complicated.

When I started so purkh-ing over a year ago, I did it with the intention of blessing and elevating my dad and brother, and resolving any lingering emotion in relationships past. The prayer can be applied for the purpose of calling in one's Beloved, but all I really needed at the time was a clean break. I wasn't in the market for a lifelong partner.

Similarly, when I set up my online dating profile I was still not looking for a mate. I just wanted to date in a normal, Hollywood movie way and get a better understanding of dudes. It's been a real mixed bag of an experiment. One guy got so upset when I wasn't comfortable coming over to his house after the first date ("I thought I did a good job proving that I'm not crazy." Ahem.) that he determined that we could never be together. Another fella smiled and flirted and smiled, sent me links to his music and never called again. And then there was the guy in rainbow cheetah print leggings. We won't get into t…

Chapter Nine: Meeting the Natural Limit

There is a particularly searing Dear Sugar letter response with a quote that I love which has been resonating lately:
"Limits are not punishments, but rather lucid and respectful expressions of our needs and desires and capabilities."

Everyone has natural limits to what they are able to offer one another. They don't always express them in a lucid, respectful fashion, but when you meet someone's limit, you know it. When we have a need and it falls outside of a person's limitations, it can be really upsetting and we often take this personally as a rejection or criticism. I had a conversation with a dear friend today about this and framed it this way:
Say you really want me to tightrope walk. I don't know how and am afraid of falling so am unwilling to try. As much as you may need or want me to perform this daring-do, it falls outside of my limitations and it has nothing to do with you or your value.

Let's apply this same idea to human relationship needs. Per…

Chapter Ten: The Bright Light

Florence Nightingale's name has been badly maligned in order to describe caregivers who form emotional attachments to their patients. FloNi was no sap, though. She was a strong, courageous woman who flouted the wishes of her family and the conventions of society in order to pursue her passion. She gained the nickname "The Lady with the Lamp" from a quote in a report on her work in the Crimean War:
"She is a ‘ministering angel’ without any exaggeration in these hospitals, and as her slender form glides quietly along each corridor, every poor fellow's face softens with gratitude at the sight of her. When all the medical officers have retired for the night and silence and darkness have settled down upon those miles of prostrate sick, she may be observed alone, with a little lamp in her hand, making her solitary rounds."

The bright lights stand out in stark contrast to the darkness around them and attract an enormous amount of attention. Some people, unac…

The Rise of a New Nuclear

Awhile back I jokingly suggested to a very beloved gay friend that he and I might have a baby together if I reached a certain age and had yet to have the parent experience. He took to the idea better than I expected and we've been talking about it since. I don't know how serious he is (how serious are you about this, honey?) but the more I date, the more viable the idea becomes. Who says babies have to be born to people in a romantic partnership? Why not co-parent with a close friend you genuinely love, with whom you share important values and interests? Aside from the fact that all the homos we go to happy hour with agree that our baby would be beautiful. And that's what really matters, right?

Lately I've been living with my cousin and her daughter, my goddaughter, and informally exploring the possibilities available in the world of family, partnership and child rearing. I am by no means my godbaby's mother- I am far too indulgent to be anything but an auntie- but…

Chapter Three: Occupy Your Body

Let's forgo a whole lot of suspense and drama with this big ol' Spoiler Alert: The only person you can ever really significantly hope to change or control is yourself, home fry. March and occupy and scream and wave signs all you want to, but if you don't make internal shifts to become the person who can inhabit a new, elevated world, how in the heck do you expect the people of Wall Street to do so?

And make no mistake: as much as some might want to demon- and other-ize the "1%", they are people. They were born of mothers who loved them fiercely just like you were. They eat and breathe and make love and feel pain and elation. Separation is not the answer. What we need more than anything else in this world at this time is a softening to one another. We need to get real soft and real gentle, to begin to see our own reflection mirrored back in the eyes of those who seem so very foreign and so very "other." These big, nasty egos keep us apart, tell us that w…

Chapter Six: Cruel to Be Kind

Let's begin with a conversation about Karma. Karma is about cause and effect. You reap what you sow. What goes around comes around, etc. Karmic actions are actions which are incomplete. The "live a good life" goal is for our choices to be aligned with the principle of ahimsa- to do no harm, to act with kindness and non-violence toward all beings. When we lean away from ahimsa in thought, word and deed, we generate ripples that can turn to waves and make big messes for us to clean up later. When we act in line with ahimsa our actions are expansive, elevating and life giving. If you think and act and speak unkindly, you will later be held responsible for those choices in ways that are perhaps uncomfortable. This is karma- the bummer effect of d-bag behavior.

As I age, I become increasingly sensitive to the size and quality of the impact that I am making in the world, or rather, the amount of karma I am generating or not. I want to preserve and ripple, build and destruct in…