Thursday, October 16, 2003

what lurks behind the blog

Haven't posted in a while. I'm recuperating from last week when I was just inundated with wine, tastes, smells, people, music, sounds. To recap: 2 year old, 4 house guests (in a 2 bedroom, 1 bath place), various wine tasting and trips to Napa, a poetry reading at a festival for a fine fine human being, 3 new poetry books (maraming salamats to Aimee, Barbara, and Sandy!), voting against the recall, rehearsal for a kulintang gig this week, dinner with my parents, and the regular job and kali class schedule. whew!

A friend of mine emailed, "haven't you noticed that although your calendar starts out empty and pristine that by the end of the month it's filled with dates, gatherings, and appointments?" I didn't quite know how to break it to her that life gets that way.

Now that life has settled a bit, I'm just soaking it all in. I believe in quiet time.

My house growing up was filled with people all the time. Numerous uncles and aunts came to live with us on and off. Being the shy, quiet one, I often sought refuge outside my home to find some quiet. Sometimes I would go to school early and just sit in the empty classroom, watching it slowly fill with light and sound and movement. During the summer, I would spend afternoons sitting on the playstructure watching the shadows creep longer and longer.

I do that now. But I find that sometimes I find my quiet time in the midst of noise and motion, like driving on the freeway early morning on weekends nothing to think about except the road or when I'm attending my teacher's kali class and I just get to be the student. In the motion of the kali, it's like being in the eye of a storm, while everything swirls around you, there is a calm and silence in the center. My friends have often called me the calm in the eye of the storm.

Here's a trick! I had my students spar. I told one of them to take slow deep breaths, his hands went faster than I'd ever seen them go! It was SO cool! I asked him how fast he thought he was going. He said about the same or a bit slower. There's something about the rhythm of our hearts and breath that keeps time in our life. Our perception of how fast the world is moving seems to be tied with our breaths. In taking long slow breaths, the world seems to move slower and we're able to notice detail. I tell my students it's just like the Matrix.

I'm such a sci-fi geek!

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