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Winter Sunshine

20140308-102120.jpgLately I find it hard to wake up. My dreams are dense, deeply felt and vivid — I’ve been doing a little yoga before I sleep at night, just little videos I find on YouTube (LOVE YOU TARA STILES) and doing shoulderstands and plow poses to stretch out my neck and upper back. I haven’t done yoga on the regular since I lived in San Francisco, but working out those knots and kinks is really firing the synapses. They must be firing in my brain something fierce, because I wake up from my dreams feeling like I’ve lived a whole second life that’s pulling energy from my waking one.

Or maybe it’s because I’m in the middle of reading Eleanor Catton’s The Luminaries, and the baroque, sprawling, labyrinthine structure of the novels — where stories lay coiled within other stories, nested like Russian dolls — is kind of influencing my night-brain. I don’t know. I wake up and I feel walloped before the day’s even begun.

The days are getting longer, and the tumult of the past few months is smoothing out. I rediscovered my own “ways to beat the winter doldrums” post, and what do you know — the advice still holds. There’s a time in life to push yourself, to exceed your own self-defined boundaries — but there’s also a time to be kind and gentle to yourself. Now is one of those times, I guess. I mean, even if I wanted to push myself, outside there’s just piles of slush and snow, and it’s just a battle to get anywhere.

But I’m excited. I’m sitting now in a patch of sunshine coming through the window at the coffee shop where I’m writing. I kind of feel this itch in my fingers, and I’m just writing, and writing, and writing. The gift of going through tumult these days is that I realize now just how anchored I feel in everything basic: who I am, what I love, what I’m about. Not all of life’s mysteries have been illuminated, but the most central ones have. Not that I’m a static entity and I’m not married to the form and content, but if the self has a core — and I’m not entirely convinced as a Buddhist that it does — then my core is solid. It makes you realize that doing the hard work of sovereignty and self-reliance in the best senses of those words matters. Life is unpredictable, but you are always there.

I had more written here, but the crappy new WordPress iOS app somehow destroyed my previous draft, and the last 600 words of this post are somehow gone to whatever ether words go to when they disappear. The Island of Unexpressed Expressions? It doesn’t matter — those words and thoughts belong to the past. Some of those impressions remain: a smile from a handsome stranger, the sunset staining a horizon, the way my five-year-old nephew’s head emerged from the huge infinity scarf he tried on, grinning like Curious George. Right now a day lies ahead of me, waiting to be filled and savored. Have a beautiful weekend, everyone.

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All Things Glorious and True: Love Letters to Pop Culture, New York, Fashion and Other Objects of Affection is a collection of essays exploring how my crushes on music, dive bars, books, outfits and so much else gave me a braver soul, more open heart and even love. All Things is like a great, stylish mixtape: surprising, kind of punky, fun and often heartfelt.


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