Thursday, December 26, 2013

The coffee pot from the writing prompt

The coffee pot. Sometimes, it is my only savior when I need to feel awake. Used incessantly, like a charm every morning, reminding me yes, it is possible to awaken and move. This might sound counterintuitive for someone who is a yoga instructor, but it is possible to be a yoga instructor/writer/project manager who is just like everyone else. The ritual. Dump the grinds, wash out my reusable filter, take the Trader Joe’s can ou t of the freezer, scoop in the good stuff, pour out the old drip, fill with water, and stick the friend under the magic top. The handle is like an old friend shaking my hand as my feet freeze. The sides of the pot maintain a coffee resin, and the sound and smell of the drip reminds me of my parent’s home outside of Boston. In this way, I wake up. In this way, I can take on the day and attempt to make something beautiful out of it.  The ritual is just as much a part of the security as is the effect of the aromatic bean. Occasionally, I have time to read a few pages of E.B. White’s essays before work, and a sense of settling within the jump of the coffee before I go to the office is lovely. 

Last night, I had a dream that I ran into a teacher of mine from college, though it was really more of a mixture of her and the other inspirational teachers I’ve had throughout the years. She and I spoke chit chat about what I am doing, what she is doing. In my dream, we were at a department store and she was with her family, and I was by myself. She talked about working on some new novels, and how much she loved that she could do what she wanted and get paid for it. When I woke up from sleeping, I realized, I am not doing what serves me best. I am taking too much time in front of the television, shopping, diversion, diversion, diversion. There is a balance, and I am a perfectionist, and I really think that at this point in my life I need the discipline. Maybe it is because of the turning of the season, the beginning of a new year and all that resolution stuff, but I think it is also enough time of being out of the academic world and recognizing that in order to maintain that part of myself, to remember that I am more than a workhorse in the working world, I write. And the coffee pot helps.

Also, check out my new website at FINALLY finished it!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Expecting Greatness.

There is a fault line between reading E.B. White’s essays in the morning and then getting to work and getting lost in Facebook for half an hour. At first, it is interesting. People I had completely forgotten about, wondered what they were up to, how we were living our lives after high school. I looked at some profiles of random people I knew from high school. They were pretty much the same- same money, same makeup, a bit older, some prettier, some with their own houses, impressive jobs. I turn it back on myself, judging their life vs mine. Stellar beach house and Louis Vuitton bag, salary, fancy shoes and perfect dimples. Facebook gives the mirage of the life you think about. That people actually make it. And I want it- but then again, do I really? What is it that I am really looking for? 

When it gets right down to it, I am more of an E. B. White person than Louis Vuitton in Paris. I don’t think you can win in that life. There is always the next best to be, the prettier, the wealthier, the more impressive. Friends competing. When White writes about New England in the winter, Maine, the quiet magnitude of the forest and the pleasant life, I recognize it. The immediate happiness, the opportunity for sitting next to a fire and listening to music, true recognition of the love in my boyfriend’s eyes, regardless of how I look in heels and jewelry (though of course I do indulge from time to time). 

In all reality, I think, I’m happier in the quieter life. In the mountains of North Carolina, the steady hum outside my window at night of insects and the occasional dog barking, my pup sleeping peacefully at my feet. My happiness in what I read and write, in true friendship, in the changing color of the leaves. I like the not trying. I did it for a while in high school. I guess I could do it if I wanted to. But really, I’m happier wearing the softer colors and Danskos and hiking along the Blue Ridge. Of course, a wicked beach house in Chatham would be nice. Enough money to do whatever I please. Traveling to Versailles. Who wouldn’t? But at the end of the night, I’d trade all money in the world for a satisfaction deep in my heart. I’d rather hear the crunch of leaves under my sneakers than the pavement under heels. I’d rather be free from others’ expectation and live up to my own.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Spin off on writing prompt about home. Welcome back to my blog....

I never wanted to leave my home. 

When I was little, I told my mother I would go to Merrimack College because it was still in Andover and so I could still live in our house. She smiled and said, “We will see how you feel when you are older.” “No,” I responded, “I will never want to leave.” Well, I now live in Western North Carolina, and I do miss my home. Especially in the fall. There is something special about Massachusetts and the crisp Autumn air. It feels familiar, yet new. Changing. It reminds you to look at yourself since last year when the leaves crunched underfoot. Where have you been since last time the leaves were falling? Since the sweaters started to be worn and boot shopping became a must? 

For me, last fall I was still in college, beginning my last year as a student. I was happy to be there yet done with it in many ways. It felt monotonous. I was taking a John Crutchfield class, which is always a plus in my book (and many journal entries whether I liked it or not), but somehow always encouraging and truly believing in his students’ writing. I recently emailed this professor of mine, to connect, find out if he was in Berlin (he is!), and for some advice on my graduated-non-writing-ness. I thought for sure it would be something like, “Well, maybe you aren’t a writer,” for that was my thought  to myself. This thought has been haunting me for the last few months as I transitioned from full time writing student to full time project manager for a web company in WNC. What do I have to write about? Who cares about my life (I was writing a memoir last year)? 

Instead, his response was typical Crutchfield. Full belief in me as a writer, reminding me that we all go through these lulls, and fortunately, at some point, you will pick up your pen once again. Truthfully, I didn’t totally believe him. Yet, instead of letting the dull thud of my own doubt knock around in my head, I let his words saturate my mind. My fears of my writing not being as great as the Greats still abound. My fear of not being a good writer after college exist. But at least I picked up the pen again.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Snippet into my book...

Oh yes, in the works. Here is a piece of a piece that may or may not make it in to the finished product, but one that I find comical. Aunt Debbie. Pullin out the stops.

Thanks to my boi Dan for inspiring me to post. Check out his blog at

My background is different from a lot of people. Growing up pagan, Jewish, and Unitarian Universalist sets me up in an interesting situation.

Plus, I currently live in the south.

I specifically remember going to my cousins’ bar mitzvahs and family celebrations, and the older I got, the more I received the question: "Have you found a nice Jewish boy yet?", My overmakeup-ed aunt would ask me with that intense New York accent. "What are you doing? If you ever want to run away, you can always come live with me,” my aunt Debbie would say in a wicked thick NY accent. Her perfume offered a whiff into a life I never really knew. As if my suburban lifestyle was just oh so awful. I mean, living in New York would be nice. But it is not as if my unique religious background was making me want to run away. I think it was an endearing thing to say, as though she loves me so much and would want me to live with her, but I still found it rather odd. She would say it with a smile and I would laugh, and my mother would say “Debbie” and she would smile and hug me. My mother would lovingly take my hand and lead me onto the dance floor to sway to the music.

There were no artificial scents here. A true deadhead at heart (and at one point, on the road), my mother’s never shaven legs and free flowing skirt was a stark difference to my suburban town and Jewish family. Sure, I went through an awkward stage of being embarrassed like we all are, and wondering why she doesn’t wear makeup or care about driving a BMW like the rest of my town in Boston (or much of my New York family). We figured out together as I sat at the edge of the bathtub how to shave my legs, where she continually told me I did not need to if I did not want to. My health educator in 7th grade told us differently.

She looked like a seaweed in the ocean. I danced alongside her, and the older I got the more I ended up looking and dancing like her. She never drank (this is where we differ and I take on my father’s characteristic). My father would have a decent amount of wine or beer and end up on the dance floor doing the “boogaloo” as he coined it, which equated to him doing something looking like he was squishing a bug into the floor. But I think it was my mother who instilled this incredible joy for moving the body to music, sans the booze.
 The pagan part of my childhood is from my mother-- she is kind of like the Jewish hippie earth loving deadhead. The gem. The super sweet, married at 22 to my father, and commenced to having four children and living not in New York or New Jersey (gasp) but in Boston. He was a journalist, a much calmer and put together self made American dream of Swedish immigrants. They fell in love, and one day while walking on the beach he said, “So, do you like, wanna get married or something?”.

Mama bear and I in San Francisco circa 2010

Monday, January 14, 2013

Rejuvenation. Relaxation. And fantastic adventures on the horizon!

The past few weeks have been so nourishing and revitalizing! It is so nice to have the time to relax, strengthen, and stretch... funny enough, that is my tagline for my classes. I am planning a yoga retreat with my friend and yoga instructor Sarah Jean to Peru in June, so stay tuned for updates on that amazing adventure.

The easiest summation for this blog post may be as a list of some of the rejuvenation I have experienced the last few weeks. Hopefully it will inspire you to seek out what it is you are looking for...

Soak in hot springs
Hike all around the Blue Ridge Mountains with my dog
Eat delicious food including sushi and chocolate cake
Spend time with family
Make new friends and hang out with them
Go on awesome dates, including a yoga date and a writing lecture date
Attend writing lectures- especially free ones
Work and make money... and then go shopping
Revamp and rework your workout routine
Go out to dinner with yourself. Also, go out to dinner with friends
Go to hip hop shows
Go running
Drink hella ginger tea
Play pool and drink beer (but not too much of it. This applies to both pool and beer)
Drink almond milk lattes
my brother and I at a cool bookstore in Portsmouth, NH. It is the sister bookstore of Raven Books in Cambridge, both of which are stellar.

Ms Wishnick at Max Patch, NC

The Royal Baby