Monday, August 3, 2009

the bible

when my yoga teacher said today, "i am going to share a reading...from the bible," hesitating just long enough for me to understand that the word also causes her to raise a dubious eyebrow, i flinched; more out of habit than anything. don't get me wrong, i was raised catholic- i went to catholic school for twelve years, i've completed almost all my sacraments (wedding vows and last rites indefinitely pending). but catholics aren't really bible-y. you know, we all have one somewhere, but it's not something we refer to regularly, or quote with preachy self-satisfaction. i'm actually pretty into catholics because of how crazy they are- it's a religion of symbols and mysticism. and thievery and deception, but i digress. i'm a catholic. i don't read the bible. end of story. i flinched. and then she read on:
"seek, and ye shall find. ask, and it shall be given. knock, and the door will be opened to you."
hmph. good one. it's kind of relevant to my life right now. stupid bible.....

and thus began the yoga. it's a class i take regularly, a virtually un-changing sequence of postures tucked neatly into 60mins, and it's the closest thing to prayer/mass i do on a regular basis. yoga is the closest thing to "talking to god" i've found, if i may be so bold. it just so happens that today i felt the proverbial walls closing in on my life so tight that i thought my skeleton might pop as i rolled over into child's pose. you see, i've allowed myself to ride a wave of fantasy towards a goal so vague and clothed in celestial light that answering any practical questions about it is not just impossible, it's painful.
when are you leaving? oh (note of surprise), i don't know.
where are you staying? ha, umm (cheeks turn red), i don't exactly know.
what are you gonna do? well, i (stomach hollowing out)....i'm waiting (heart palpitations) (FUUUUCK!)....yeah, i don't know.

what's the goal, you ask? well, it started off simply; i want to move to brazil, dance every day, play capoeira, learn portuguese, join dance brazil, fall in love, and make babies. on the beach. in that order. with no particular timeline. but DEFINITELY in that order. now, the order hasn't changed, but my good catholic upbringing causes fear to clench my throat and all major organs whenever there is the slightest risk of failure and/or unabashed, ecstactic happiness. (fellow catholics, don't argue with me. i'm not saying catholicism encourages misery, but- well, kind of.)

i am facing the cold reality of unemployment- which i signed up for, i realize- in approximately four weeks, and already i'm recognizing my inability to adjust (read: to budget.) i took a pay cut about two months ago and it's been a little rocky...
but really, what am i talking about? i'm talking about fear. there, i said it. fear of failure, fear of the unknown, fear of the probability of broke-ness. FEAR of never being free to do what i love and live a life in line with my dreams. i only have one example in my life of someone who took a flying leap into the grand canyon and lived to tell the tale. and the fall was messy. he landed! and that's what matters. he made something pretty awesome of himself. but it took him down to the depths.

as i lay in bed last night thinking about all the things that might take me to where i ultimately want to be, i had many visions of myself in said depths. "this just might break me," i thought.
there's some clever saying about just that kind of situation, isn't there?

after the bible thing, the answer came to me almost instantly- what are you seeking? guidance. i'm seeking some glimmer of hope. no- strike that- i got plenty a' hope. what i seek is assurance.
and you know what??? 'at ain't gonna happen!
there are no guarantees, there are only opportunities. that's not mine, i stole that...
i have an opportunity here to take some really sage advice and, "fuck it." i know what i could rationalize and choose out of my mystical catholic, symbolic fear, but i choose to dive off that cliff. i don't KNOW if i can do it. i don't KNOW. I DON'T KNOW!!!
and that turns me on.

and after sweating for an hour and stretching against that vice-grip of yucky lameness, i sat inside myself and just let it out. i sat on my mat and cried. yes, tears. and i prayed, and gave thanks, for everything that i have ever been given and for everything that awaits. i didn't consciously talk to "god" during my practice- i wasn't "knocking on heaven's door." but yoga is magic like that- it puts you up against ridiculous odds, or physical states of being, and there you find something divine. there's a spark inside people, and everybody has a different name for it. some would call it "god", but if you want to call it elmo, call it fucking elmo! my spark is bootylicious and she really wants to go to brazil. take that. preach!
read the bible. or do yoga.
do something that turns you on and lights your fire.
and call me in the morning and tell me all about it.


  1. Stacey!!!!! Thank you for writing this! Fear of the unknown, fear of failure, I wake up every morning facing that. I think no matter where we go, it will be there. So we make a choice... I am a playwright of my life today...NOT a historian...Follow your gut, my friend. I'm here always. And of course...would come to Brazil to visit you in a heartbeat.Love you, sister.

  2. STACEYYYYY...amazing. I have no words-- except to say that we have more in common than I ever imagined. Oh, and I'm adding this blog (and you) to my favorites.