on the first night without daylight savings time i got to yoga early and overheard a woman tell the front desk people she was visiting from berlin. i was curious but of course i didn't talk to her. instead i surreptitiously stared at her before class started. she was alone and completely herself, going with the flow of filling out the disclaimer without any grand announcement of her status as a visitor or her yoga capabilities. just calmly curious, present and self-sufficient.
she had a gray twist band hair elastic worn as a bracelet. they’re sold at the studio and i imagine she bought it as a souvenir of her visit. it’s definitely something i would do.
as i admired her lack of texting, because let’s face it, only Vodafone messages you with any regularity when you’re abroad, 2 things struck me. one, she embodied all the adventure and simplicity of traveling internationally. by necessity your life is so pared down. my life looked predictable and full of crap by comparison.
secondly, “don't forget berlin!” her presence shouted. i suddenly remembered there are europeans scurrying around world capitals in black, quilted down coats, taking the metro, toting umbrellas and sitting in cafes in the late afternoon. when they get back to their apartments the plaster walls keep them in a perpetual chill. no one eats kale. very little yoga is done. if the sun emerges everyone leaves the office, flocking to park benches to soak it up.
while i chill in this too-bright urban jungle, weaving myself a water-tight routine and forgetting what month it is, there’s a whole broader world out there i’m missing. but i used to be a part of it. by seeing this stranger i unexpectedly time-traveled back to my early 20s, my european vagabond days when i spent a thanksgiving alone in vienna, hunting down Art Nouveau buildings i'd studied in modern architecture class and lived in italy with a cat who shares my name.
but so much has happened since that Sunday evening. my grandmother broke her pelvis in a fall and is undergoing intensive physical rehabilitation at an in-patient facility. i didn’t know such places existed—like drug addiction centers for troubled youth, i guess, but instead for old folks. she even has a roommate named Violet, who’s in her mid-90s and wears a blond wig. she’ll be ok but it’ll take time. she sounds so tired on the phone (she speaks italian dialect, i respond in english) and told me the physical therapy is so hard it sometimes makes her cry, which makes me cry.
even more yoga teachers are leaving the studio/L.A. my whole yoga universe is swirling around in a blender without any signs of stopping.
recent dates have been a succession of blockheads. exclusively. but it shouldn’t be too surprising since i’m carrying all this uncertainty and anxiety around with me. i’m getting back all the weirdo energy i’m putting out there.
and those are some reasons for the recent light posting.