Just wanted to say Hi!
Thursday, 26 March 2015
Saturday, 17 January 2015
|Simon Girard (1979-2015) |
35 years old
In the beginning, I was supposed to help Simon translate his book about squirrels and homeless people into English. The first time I visited his apartment, I spent two hours teaching myself how to hula hoop. I invited Simon to the Granola Party I was having that Saturday. At Granola parties, you eat granola, take a quiz about what sort of cereal personality you are and then maybe share some performance art related to this discovery. Simon was concerned that he didn’t have anything to bring to the party because he was really broke. I said to come anyways. He arrived at my door with the hula hoop as his contribution.
As it turns out, granola is not the best buffer for vodka and I didn’t have an excellent alcohol tolerance to begin with. Since my boundaries were not that excellent either, Simon and I ended up naked on the blue biodegradable yoga mat in the spare bedroom. While I was drunk at the granola party, I told Simon that we should write a book of letters together. It could be bilingual. He could write in French, and I’d write back in English.
The last time I saw Simon we were “working on our book.” “Working on our book” was usually a euphemism for drinking rather early in the day, fighting about commas or other mundane issues, getting drunk, and then having reckless, oblivious sex. We did this for months after we’d broken up. “Never again,” I’d say to myself each time I’d wake up in the morning, a couple of times with vomit on my pillow.
And I wish you were still around.
My deepest sympathies to his friends, loved ones, family and parents.
His funeral will be held next Saturday, January 24, 2015. Loved ones are welcome from 1 p.m. on, and the funeral starts at 3.
Complexe funéraire LeSieur & Frère,
95 boul Saint-Luc at Saint-Jean-Sur-Richelieur,
In Simon's memory, the family would appreciate donations made to
Centre de prevention de suicide de Haut-Richelieu (Haut-Richelieu Suicide Prevention Centre)
Dawson Kid (Boréal, 2007)
Tuer Lamarre (Leméac, 2009)
Michel Bourget, sauver les vies (400 coups, 2011)
Les Écureuils sont des sans-abris (Coups de tête, 2011)
"Je vole vers l'astre qui est encore tout éteint et m'attend pour s'enflammer." (Simon)
Monday, 5 January 2015
|Spiritual Pants in Fake Yoga Selfie|
Around that time, I had the brilliant idea that maybe I should become a nurse because I was obsessed with nursing memoirs, medical shows and diagnosing myself with all sorts of diseases on Google. Also, I thought it would be fun to get to wear purple scrubs and sneakers all day. I was relieved to have finally figured out my life’s purpose. In the meantime, I continued to work at the Montessori School. I had a terrible time getting out the door. The Boatman and I devised an imaginary sticker reward system. For every morning I left for work without a frenzy, the Boatman would give me an imaginary sticker. After a week or two of earning imaginary stickers, maybe I’d get a prize. The system was not super structured. Despite this, sometimes I did win some excellent pens. The Boatman is good at choosing excellent pens.
I tried my best to be cheerful; however, I felt moderately grumpy most of the time. One night I dreamt that all the children were running around the gym with knives. A particularly adorable little girl had a huge pointy knife which she held up and aimed at my mouth. I was lower than her because I remember I could feel that I was busting my knee cartilage in an extra low hip width squat.
“Put the knife down,” I said.”
The knife stayed hovering about my mouth.
One Wednesday morning in real life, two little boys were pulling each other around in the pink and green and blue synthetic tunnel. To distract them from their dangerous game, I said, No, in French and crawled into the tunnel myself.
Wouldn’t this be very fun?
The younger of the two boys jumped on me and I wacked my chin on the concrete gym floor. I sprung up, pulled myself out of the tunnel and walked away. I said nothing, sure that whatever I said would be yelling or crying, neither an appropriate response for someone in charge of a gym full of kids.
|Danny Woodburn, an actor I met while lifeguarding at the Westin Hotel |
in Montreal. His Fan Mail inspired a valuable head trip.
At the end of August, I flew to Montreal to finally attend my first ten-day Vipassana sit. Almost everyone I know was surprised to learn that I made it through the whole thing without breaking the noble silence rules. I cried more than anyone else there and at one point I thought I wasgoing to dislocate my sacrum and/or get a spinal cord injury. When I was finally allowed to talk, I talked so much and so fast that my throat got sore. After Vipassana, I got back into sharing my writing again without thinking too much about it or worrying that I wasn’t writing something brilliant and literary like a novel.
Then I went to India. This was my first trip off the continent. It is a magical thing to be able to get on a plane and a day later, arrive in a totally different place where the leaves don’t turn brown and fall off the trees in October. Thanks to everyone who helped invent airplanes, and to the people who took the time to learn how to fly them.
On the plane, I wore the pressure socks that my father lovingly bought me, for fear my legs would swell up on the long flight.
During Vipassana, I wondered if maybe my body and psyche were maxing out after seven years of unbroken Ashtanga practice. Maybe Mysore would be my grande finale and I could move on to some “easier” yoga involving cushions and a lot of ropes. Pretty sure this won’t happen, and I think I’m going to try and stick out Ashtanga for another seven years or so. We’ll see.
The Boatman thinks I’ve grown up quite a bit since I left. Probably this is true, although I did blog about my pubic hair at least twice in three months and I went on and on about humping various kinds of bedding in approximately every other post. Also, in this picture with Sharath, somehow I look so young.
|Me and Sharath, so young|
Happy, Exuberant 2015!
Sunday, 14 December 2014
|Farewell to the Spiritual Pants|
|The Ugly Bedsheet from my Last Apartment|
|My Creative Intellectual and Astute Canadian also has an ugly bedsheet. I thought it was even uglier than the one from my last apartment but now I can't say. Maybe it is just more photogenic. |
And this is the polar fleece bedsheet from my current apartment. I think it is the ugliest. You can buy your own ugly polar fleece bedsheet at Honesty Fashions, on the Gokulam main road.
Do Not Kill Your Baby
Thursday, 4 December 2014
A couple of weeks into it, Butt Club died out when the Queen embarked upon Seventh Series and adopted five little kittens. It was a good lesson for the Glutes Group slash Butt Club to learn that some things are more important than your pelvis. And we learned about the importance of self-practice.
“Yes,” I agreed. “Only then.”
Malcom, whose real name luckily isn't Malcom, is an earnest young ashtangi who we always see eating plates of raw vegetables and smoothies. He dips his veggies in tiny containers of tahini butter. Otherwise, that seems to be it. How sad for him.
“I’m a control freak,” he explained, crunching on a raw beet. “Eating is one thing I can control.” How interesting. Sounds like the clichéd description of an eating disorder. “My life felt out of control and so I controlled my eating.” And then what happened?
This was before the gluten-free days. Otherwise, I’m sure I would have taken that up too.
I had eight ecstatic months of ostensible freedom.
Then May came, and suddenly I was really hungry and anxious. My practice was getting longer and longer. I was biking all over Montreal to get to school and my very physical job working with people with disabilities. And I was eating less and less, since many of the other yogis in my teacher training program seemed to do fine subsisting on salads and green drinks in mason jars. The puke came back, first once or twice a week, and then all the time. I wouldn’t let myself consider the fact that maybe if I ate more and practiced less or at least less aggressively, my anxiety might decrease along with some of the eating chaos. No, without giving everything to practice, I was convinced I’d be even more of a disaster. I kept going full throttle with little to no increase in sandwiches or cheese.
|The Wild and Magical Daniel Vitalis|
“Yes,” I replied.
“Yah, that’s the fungus. It’ll keep coming back as long as you eat sugar.”
“Yah, fruit’s the worst.”
The list of food I wasn’t allowed to eat was lengthening steadily. By September, I hired a naturopath who prescribed an extremely restrictive 90-day raw food cleanse. I immediately stopped menstruating. At the time, Darby was having me practice full primary all the way to Karandavasana. Although I’d become disturbingly lighter, Karandavasana remained a lost cause. That said, as my muscles started breaking down, backbends became significantly easier.
“Don’t expect to be able to do that when you start eating again,” Darby said as he easily yanked my hands to my heels in Kapotasana. Several unempowered head trips ensued. Luckily, by mid-October, even Darby advocated that I cut the cleanse short. I felt and looked horrific. At the end of October, I bailed, surrendering to a lifetime of hideous and infested toenails. My weight stabilized within a several months; however, now a whole bunch of old eating hang-ups and patterns had returned including puke in my mouth and in the toilet. It took another two and half years for the puke to disappear completely, and I hope it never returns.
My Cool Friend From Belgium claims I’m the best eater in Gokulam. (While we’re at it, I am also probably the best at pooping and menstruating). The Queen of Butt Club, one of the most wonderful vegans I know is also quite good, though alas, our competition is rather pathetic. I would be so rich if I got money for every time I heard someone complain about how full they were from lunch, at 6 P.M, or maybe even the day after. Or how repulsively heavy Indian food is. I find the food here is spectacular and delicious. And my digestion is better than ever. Back home, I eat way more salad and as a result I am way more gassy. In Mysore, the food is so well cooked that I barely ever fart. Congratulations to me.
Maybe it is okay for people to experiment with food during a certain stage of their practice. Some people’s diets could be more healthy and nourishing. That said, a great number of people come to yoga with tendencies towards perfectly sensible and reasonable food choices. Despite this, many practitioners seem to suffer from a widespread lack of faith in themselves and their bodies. As though if they were left to their own devices, they’d expand into massive hedonistic Buddhas.
|The Fiesty and Fluffy Sambar|
Exuberant Bodhisattva on Facebook
You Cling to Things Until They Die
The Day Yoga Almost Gave Me a Stroke
Butt Club et. al.
21st Century Yoga and an End to Self-Care
Sunday, 23 November 2014
|The Hot Wax Ladies, around the corner from the Shala|
|Who made this bed sheet and why is it the ugliest thing I have ever seen in my life?|
|The Boatman looks a little bit like a beautiful cardboard pin-up in this photo. |
And he is wearing a vagina-resembling pin:
|Spiritual Beard Kiss at Airport|