the image on top is "Welcome Home Sweet Sugar" by Kelsey Brooks

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Collaboration, Love and Economics

A friend of mine went on a date with a woman. They vibed particularly well, and seemed in joy of each other's company. He asked her, "If I were more financially stable, could you see yourself being with me more?".

"And a normal girl, he says, a normal girl would say 'Oh, of course, no'. But she needed to think about it for a moment....and say, hmm...I don't think so?"

I thought it was a bit unforgiving. It's a harsh reality for women. I've heard that women earn 77 cents on the dollar. In my experience, the women in my world earn less than half the income of the men I owe, and although this is skewed because many of the women I know are independent artists- a difficult profession in any gender- it's still the current state of affairs. In my world, I can tell you that the guys I know can get a plane flight or a boat or a new apartment or whatever the heck, and the women I know are having trouble paying for meals. I know that's not a demonstrative demographic. I am only trying to share my experience.

In our society, we usually share our income and possessions, our lifestyle, with those closest with us. For most, but not all people, that usually means that one shares more comfortably with one's spouse or one's girlfriend than with anyone else. And when you get to the level of structuring a world....

It could mean living in a world where you take a weekend vacation to Fiji, India, Morocco, and visit the symphony orchestra. Watch plays and enjoy nice meals, donate to charities and appreciate design. Organize benefits and choose every aspect of the home you live in. Or you could be trying to make ends meet in a dinky little place and have to worry about roof leaks and healthcare.

And I, with all my ideals and radical notions on equality and independence- have I ever thought about the opportunities that may be available to me in this respect? Has this idea presented itself in temptation?


And the nausea that accompanies this tiny prick of desire as well.

When you realize that you are seeing your companionship as a grander opportunity than your talents and passions....yes, this is sick, truly sick. When I think that love, yes my love, is subject to material appeals and my mind seems unable to escape this. Well, I feel sick, I do.

The feeling fades and passes I explore other perspectives on the link between partnerships and economics. In Russia, people frequently don't move out of their parents homes until they are married because the cost of housing is just so absurdly high, it frequently takes two. And I think my generation is thinking like this- the power of teaming up- from a space of equality- but seeing collaboration as a route to abundance.

"You shouldn't marry someone rich" said Yohei, "You should find someone who is going to become rich, and marry them".

At the time, he had no clue that this was actually the message my mother has sent to me since perhaps birth, and how creepy it was that he mentioned it out loud. But that was always her thought- connect for love, and then you both together seek to grow.

Anyways, this has been on mind a lot recently and I just wanted to take an opportunity to let it go.

Saturday, September 15, 2012


I am nervous.

Seriously nervous. Harry Potter about to play quidditch nervous.

I actually have not been this jacked with anticipation since I was a mock trial debater almost 8 years ago in high school. To those who have never found themselves as mock trial debaters, this is a horrible allusion to the profound nature of this nervousness. I think the absurdity adds a nice touch.

That was the last time I fasted for an event, although at the time all the spiritual meaning of fasting was lost on me. It just seemed, for whatever reason, to be a good idea, the way it feels today.

In the early part of the week, I was all "yang" energy- running around, connecting post-Bhakti, getting out all our info, connecting with studios- up from early morning to late at night in a buzz of creation. Suddenly, mid-week, the energy shifted. I became more aware of my emotions and more sensitive than comfortable for sure, and I realized that I was entering a phase of "yin" energy.

It took me a long time to come to terms with this when it happens. For a few days, I'm not up in my running shoes listening to NIN, but rather down on the floor in a gentle yoga practice, or curled up with my journal. In the past I would repress this state, try to figure out what was 'wrong' and try to pump myself with energy. Time has taught me to honor my reflective state, to give myself permission to be a bit more sleepy, a bit more sensitive, to explore my dreams and express the myriad of strange human feelings I get filled up with. It's an intuitive space, a way of being that perhaps offers or forces insight and understanding into my existence. During this time I find being alive altogether weird and bewildering, and a bit overwhelming, even.

And I know that tonight, though I have little expectation about what is actually going to take place, I have a strange inclination that it's going to be a very strong experience. I feel like I'm about to lose my identity slightly, and that I, like the people in savasanah, may journey away a little bit as I ring the gongs, and find myself different upon my arrival.

Even though I know the experience is usually quite pleasant, the very presence of the unknown alerts me,

Well, let's finish getting ready then.