Tag Archives: blog

9E71: a time out

home-1Last week Mar and I saw a play (Rx at 59e59. Very cute). I haven’t seen her in years and it brought me back to our Time Out days. Her photography is beautiful. Like me, she’s not particularly commercial, though she leans toward fine art and I toward documentary. The cover image at right (mine) is still one of my favorites. I was in Uzbekistan when it was published and didn’t know it made the cover until I came back and saw it in a bookstore.

Jpeg is back Monday, thank god. I missed him, but in a nice way. He’s classy enough to call regularly, not use the “ah, oh, yeah, there’s no internet here” line on days we don’t speak, and didn’t need to pick up a Russian prostitute to keep him company on his travels. Respect, gentlemen. That’s all we ask.

Danchik likes to analyze why I stop speaking to people, just cut them out completely. It’s not that I’m angry or upset. It’s that I’m done being angry and upset. After I’ve explained that certain behaviors aren’t acceptable (e.g. lies and inconsistency), not once but ad nauseam, and it’s clear he’s incapable of basic civility, I lose all respect. A line is crossed and I am done. I never really know where this line is or when it will appear, which is perhaps what causes confusion (“she put up with it before. What’s the problem now?”). Sooner or later, clarity descends and the person’s little world seems both toxic and boring. I’m no longer able to look past the trite and unnecessary excuses and lies, justifying them because of the person’s obvious pain. I finally see my own behavior as aiding and abetting, and I’m done. Danchik doesn’t get the respect thing, and he doesn’t get why I haven’t cut him off, a self-proclaimed asshole.

“You’ve always been good to me. Well, maybe there was a short time you weren’t, but you were a baby and I let it go.” Behavior that is understandable at 19 is not acceptable at 25, and definitely not at 49. And that’s the issue. The bottom line is that Danchik is good to me. We have a history. As Bij would say, “He’s family.” I can’t say that for those I can no longer be bothered with. (No, I’m not talking specifically about you. You are typical. You are one of many. And that is, actually, the bottom line. It’s not all about you).

There was some time to think about this with Jpeg out of town. I say it because I’m relieved I broke a 5-year string of bad luck (disingenuous, selfish men) but also because bad behavior seems to be a dating trend in both women and men. I own my misery—it wasn’t bad luck. I let poor behavior continue, and chose to ignore the reality for what I’d hoped was there. Or put up with bad behavior because I felt sorry for the guy. It’s fucking hard to be close to someone, and I’m sure I will always fear it. But I will no longer choose men with whom closeness is impossible—for recreation or relationship. It causes dreadful problems and more pain than simply facing my fear of intimacy and the hurt behind it. But it’s familiar. And easier. Easier to look outward to solve problems than within. Not just for me, but for many.

Take this depressing blog, “Uptown-Lowdown,” about a young woman’s adventures on the dating site OkCupid. My gawd. She started off genuine and endearing, but then somehow got wrapped up in the need to exude freedom and cool, and she lost her voice in the process. It reads now as if having deep feelings for someone and risking vulnerability is wildly unhip for either gender. “Women can be douchebags, too!” Wow. I think most of us got that awhile ago. The need for young women to flaunt it seems to indicate just how far we haven’t come. Or just how scared we all are. Better to justify excitement about a guy in his FULLYPAID invite to Jamaica than to admit vulnerability and excitement the person himself. Sad times. Sad times.

Further, it is amazing how poorly behaved people are willing to be, in writing, in an age that such behavior can be published at large on the internet (and I’m not talking about a dating blog). It’s especially shocking when such people have PR as their first and only concern. But then, in an age of narcissism, nothing should come as a surprise.

 

a purpose, or something

“I don’t know.  I just think blogs need to be about more than just the person having a personal stroke online. There ought to be a purpose, or something.”  —JT

Contrapunctus9-josh-mckeonThus spake JT, a friend with whom I spend a lot of time writing and talking. You met him a few posts back when I shared his thoughts on the modern man.

We were talking about another blog, not mine.

Well, what is my blog about? What’s my purpose? It started as a way to share my travel stories, but I don’t travel as frequently now. So it’s a place to share my stories from home. In short, it’s a place to have a personal stroke. Online. Something to keep me writing.

If only because writing makes me feel good.

JT insists my online presence is artistic and discreet, but hey, I get it. I’m sure there are personality tests now based on the level of one’s online presence. Most of my friends, or generally speaking, my closest friends, fall into the barely-if-at-all sector (though they feel free to laugh at my cell phone, age 4, which I will use until it breaks, even if I can barely write a text on it). Georgie, Patty, LisaDe, Bij, Oushi-Za, Haircut, Becki, Karen, Sherry, etc, are not on facebook. I actually use google buzz because they will see it—those who use email and haven’t permanently tuned off the chat feature.

Then there’s the next layer, those who use facebook, but seldom. I asked a friend I’d quoted to look at my status and it took six emails to explain to him where to find it. I respect that.

And so, though it may appear otherwise, I do filter quite a lot out of what I post online. I find discretion the wisest tool in navigating our brilliant new world. And this is not to say I don’t have close friends who use the assbook et al. with great frequency, have online personas as large as their own, and find my concerns about privacy silly. Trust that I love them, too.

I explain this for two reasons. First, because I do at times question the wisdom of my online presence. Second, because many of my stories of late (as yet unwritten) fall slightly beyond my online comfort zone. But they are hilarious and informative, so I believe I need to do it. Discreetly, mind you.

at long last

Oi! I’ve finally done it. I’ve switched my blog over to a true blog format, which lists posts backwards and allows comments. This is the first post in this format. Those below were on the old blog and I switched them over. I’ll probably change the url and design soon, but it’s nice to have the blog up and working. So much to do. Still stories and photos to edit from Sri Lanka, so I’ll pick up there.

fullmoon
fullmoon at ashtangalanka

As I mentioned in the last post, the characters and vibe at AshtangaLanka had me thinking about the culture around ashtanga, with which I don’t have much experience. In my research for my yoga blog, I came across more ashtanga blogs than any other. Some were very theoretical, like the insideowl, who has an interesting post on ashtanga and imperialism (mentioned to Amanda in the comments of the last post). She referred me to an aussie academic who’s done anthro research on ashtanga as a daily practice, as well as others’ work on yoga. My foray into exploring the world through anthropological eyes put me in a place of too much separation: me observing them. Me experiencing them (and vice verse), and the argument that me/them was too a false a dichotomy to work from, was unacceptable in academia at the time. After years on the road,  it felt fake. In the end, though I’m great with theory, it put me way up in my head and way cut off from the world around me—even the world in me, as my own senses freeze up when my analytical mind takes over. So I opted for a different way. Nevertheless, I do love to flirt with these things from time to time.

Someone asked me about a posting from years back. 2006. I reread it last week and realized that when I have more time to myself, to rest and relax and just be, as I did then, I’m much softer. My writing was much softer. I imagine my teaching was much softer, my being was much softer. I miss that. In Sri Lanka I realized that I feel good, but not connected to my life. Something needs to shift.

Sri Lanka. There are about 400 photos to edit. A few highlights to share of the travels. Oh, to write as I travel, when it’s fresh, rather than four months later! To carry a laptop? Okay, the next post will be stories. xoA.

For ashtanga fans, Sharath is on flickr (thanks elephantbeans).