Writing and editing

In practice today, I felt all lightheaded and airy again. I added on my poses dutifully. I felt so breezy I came up from laghu like a spring – as though I was 50 lbs lighter. Which I most certainly am not. Kapo was fine, but also giddy and fast. I did my closing quickly and got out of there as fast as I could. I thought I might float away.

And of course, just when you feel completely ungrounded – India is right there to ratchet up the weird a notch. I left the shala and turned a corner, and right in front of me was a cow that had been dressed in colourful blankets with an ornate headdress complete with bells.. A man stood beside the cow playing a drum. The cow was slowly moving his head to the beat. I also heard a horn and it took me a few moments to realize where the sound was coming from. The cow was standing on the man playing the horn. No one seemed that astounded by it. I guess it is a thing. I googled “cow standing on man with horn” when I got home – and sure enough:

It is totally a thing. No biggie – one in every town. I felt so strange looking at his legs in kind of a yoga position – I hurried past in case I totally spun out. When I got home I didn’t mention the cow on the man’s legs for a couple of hours, until after I had some food in my belly and I knew where I stood in the world again.

Ganesh Chaturthi is tomorrow. Holden got the day off school today so that his teachers could prepare for the celebrations. They painted him a picture of Ganesh to hang in his room and gave him a bag of sweets that David was told were very good for him. Today we watched dragonflies at the pool, tomorrow maybe we will get to see the huge Ganesh statues and possibly more cows dancing on human legs.

Spooky bat!

And for the Ashtangis – Mercedes in her pig costume busting out kapotasana (totally cold btw). Spooky flexible!

Today I googled “animal friends’. Why don’t I do that more often? Honestly, so great.

I am working on Kapotasana this week (and forever). David told me on Wednesday to pick up and jump back right afterwards. Wow. Every single bone, muscle, particle in my body is screaming to sit down after that pose. Today, I managed, shaking with claw hands and my belly sticking out, to crawl back slowly into the vinyasa. Gross.

Cabbies in Ottawa:

David: I got a strange cab driver in Ottawa.

Stan: Oh yeah.

David: Yeah, I told him what I did for a living and he told me, “All my friends are amazed because I don’t have a care in the world. I never worry.”

Stan: Wait – you told him, “I’m a yoga teacher.” and he said, “I never worry.”?

David: Pretty much.

Stan: That is strange.

David: Well, actually I told him I taught yoga and he told me, “Oh yeah, I do that.” but he looked crazy, kinda big with hair sticking out in all directions. And I said, “Oh yeah.” And then he told me about how he never worries.

Stan: That would be nice.

David: He said he used to live in Toronto when he first came to Canada, but that he likes Ottawa better.

Stan: Hmm. That is also strange.

Today walking home from Indian food:

D: Look at that van “Mobile Tanning Service”.

S: Hmmm.

D: Now that is a weird job. Some people say my job is weird. But that has got to be strange. Going into people’s houses to give them a spray tan?

S: Yeah, you are right.

(I start thinking of typical Mobile Tanning Technician’s day. Where do they spray? The bathroom? Do you get naked for the MTT? Does the MTT have 911 ready on their cell phone before entering your house?

Most importantly: which crackhead in my neighbourhood is paying for at home tanning service? And how bummed would you be if you got the call to come out to crackville and spray tan the bedbugs?)

What is it about needing a break from everything when you have been away for a full month? I have been meaning to post so that my poor grade 3 remora readers aren’t subjected to angry vegan missives for weeks on end. Every once in a while something will happen and I think to mysefl, “Ah, yes – gotta blog about that.” But then the day passes like the day before and I’m in bed before I can put a few thoughts together.

This past week, I actually avoided my website like a late homework assignment. Which is pretty sad considering I’m the frustrated teacher as well as the delinquent student in this case. I’ve been catching up on my New Yorker reading since I have been home – and trying to wrap my head around the business in Egypt and Libya. And this is totally a silly lame excuse, but sometimes blogging is so writing-lite. Like Japan is underwater and radioactive, and I want to write about going to the park.

Incidentally, here is a picture from the park that David took. You can really see his front teeth while he is on the swing. Good stuff.

But anyway, I am steeling myself to go back to work soon, which is terrifying on many levels. Mostly because there is no job to go back to. I feel pretty floaty about the whole thing. I am so busy everyday, but I accomplish next to nothing. There is such a strong ambivalence. I desperately want some time to do things that don’t involve wiping someone’s bum and then I have moments of thinking he is only this age once. I have regretted working too long at a lot of jobs, but I can’t imagine that I will regret spending more time with him. But then there is the question of my sanity, as Tova pointed out to me a couple weeks ago. My grasp on reality is on a bit of a slippery slope currently, and although I’m not positive – I believe an extracurricular activity might help provide some grip.

The longest amount of time I have been away from Holden was his first night when I was in a hospital bed and he was down the hall in the NICU. He is nine months old – so I’m pretty sure that can change. And I have help. I am almost sure my mother would take him until next Christmas if given the opportunity.

Giving birth is a big whirlwind, particularly when you have a c-section. I just sort-of gave birth and ended up in my room. Holden was tucked under my arm and David and Mercedes went out for pizza. I didn’t really notice the train of nurses and doctors coming by. I felt nervous to be alone with the baby, but a nurse showed me how to feed him lying down and we just lay there cozy as the sun went down.

During the night (David was back at this point of course) a doctor came to my bed and told me that he had to take the baby because he seemed to have fluid in his lungs, and although Holden looked great, he had very little oxygen in his system. So, I politely told the doctor, no – he couldn’t take the baby from me. We could think about it some more and talk later. And the doctor said, Umm – the baby will have to go to the NICU And I said, Ummm. No. He is better off with me. And the doctor said, You don’t have a choice. And then I cried and the doctor told me not to cry and got me some kleenex and then took Holden out from the crook of my arm. He told me that the nurse would be in early the next morning at 6a to take out my catheter and help me walk to the NICU.

The nurse was 2 hours late. 2 hours.

Catheter came out at 8a, I popped out of bed (not really) and she led me a few steps towards the door. Then she turned to me and said, “Great! that is all you can do for now – let’s get you back to bed.”  Bahhhh! Holden was 10 feet down the hall – he might as well have been on the other side of the world.

When you have a baby there is certain knowingness about looking at them You just feel compelled to stare at your baby. Somehow that looking is a way of getting to know them, fixing them in your mind – how did they manage to arrange themselves, fully formed, inside you? Not seeing your baby right after birth is really disturbing. Even seeing them wrapped up in blankets is a bit crummy. You have a compulsion to examine them.

And I think I still feel that way. Luckily, I get to do that all day.

Practice Notes:

Last week I had the Laghu vajrasana walking down the stairs thing where you have to turn around and go down backwards clutching on to your burning thighs as you think to yourself, “Why the fuck do I do this?” At the end of this week, David gave me Kapo. I feel good, elated high from the backbending – which means next week it will kick my bum. Ok. closer to my made-up goal of Yogi nidrasana by June 16th. Really, having those goals is pointless because beyond Yogi nidrasana is endless misery. I should really make my goal getting a good well paying job so I can help support my family. Sadly, that doesn’t seem as appealing. Again the sanity thing.

Next post: Cab drivers in Ottawa as told to me by David.