Thank you all for your questions from Saturday’s post. I have answered several here, and I will answer the rest yet this week. This was lots of fun!
C. Delia asked: do you have any specific adventures, accomplishments, or silly bits of ephemera that you hope to experience before 40 comes along?
Hmmm…am I allowed to admit that this question is the first time I really thought about the fact that I will be 10 years away from 40 soon? Have to take a minute for that one (long pause)…
Okay, I would love to travel—to Europe, Africa, and India. I would love to record a CD of chants (in Sanskrit and in English and maybe even learn some Native American chants as well). I do want to finish a book or two or three and send them off into the world. I would love to build forts with blankets and spend the day under them with my husband and a pile of books and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I hope to begin to make pillows and maybe even quilts eventually with my new sewing machine. I should have it figured out before 40 right? I hope to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. I also want to tell the people I love that I love them and why. Over and over again. I would love to swim with the humpback whales but I imagine that one will not happen. Maybe I can at least see them a few more times in Alaska and Hawaii. This question does invite me to want to write an actual list though...things I would actually cross off.
DebR asked: If you could travel to any time in the past—your own past, the recent past, or the ancient past...any time at all!—and spend one day there just as an observer, no one could see you or interact with you, but you could see and hear everything going on around you, when and where would you go? What would you want to see?
This one is hard for me. I keep coming to the idea of watching Jesus after they put the boulder in front of the cave. Watching him to see what happened. That may seem cliché to some, but really, I want to know if what some people are “fighting” about really happened. I would also like to see the pyramids being built or life on the plains when the American Indians were the only people in this country or watch Chagall paint or listen to the Beatles sing live. I would also really want to be in the room with “the founding fathers” when they figured out that second amendment thing.
These two are similar, but I am going to answer each of them because my answers are slightly different based on the subtle differences in the questions.
Marilyn asked: How about this...if you could spend one day being any previous age, what age would you be and how would you spend your day?
I would be the age I was when this picture was taken. I want to be right there helping my mom plant flowers. And I think this was the day when we went to the playground at Marshall School and flew my purple octopus kite. And a family friend encouraged me to be brave enough to slide down the slide (with him helping me). This was conquering a big fear for me; as a little girl, I was afraid of almost all equipment at the playground. But I this day I let a little of that go. If I sit quietly, I can still hear my giggles.
Alexandra asked: You have to live one day over from your past. Which will it be and what will you do differently?
I would live this exact day two years ago. I had the flu. That is not the part I would really want to live over. But this was the last full day I spent with my grandmother. I just wish I would have paid attention to every single moment. She spent part of the day talking with me about her childhood and members of her family. She shared many things I had not known. But I was sick so I wasn’t taking it all in as much as maybe I would have on another day. So, if I had to do it over again, I would journal about the entire experience right away and maybe even ask her if I could write some of it down. I would touch her face and hold her hand. And I would take a nap next to her and cuddle up with her one more time. I thank the universe for the gift of that day though. As I explained in this post, if I hadn’t gotten sick, I wouldn’t have gotten to spend tomorrow two years ago with her (so this meant I got to see her on my birthday).
On a much lighter note. I would also want to go back to a moment my senior year in high school when I was standing outside Beason Hall (the senior-only “hangout” at my boarding school) looking up in my friend’s face, and he was saying, “don’t look at me like that,” after he had just told me that he was in love with me (oh but never fear he was also dating my good friend’s sister at the time). In that moment, I realized that women do have a bit of magical power when it comes to men. If I had to do it again, I would have kissed him. In a big way. Though I wonder how different my life might have been. Not necessarily with him, so much as my own journey. This one will always just stay a wish, even if the genie comes along and tells me I could go back.
January asked: What in your life gives you your greatest sense of peace?
I love the moment at the end of a yoga class when the students come out of savasana. They come to a seated position, and I invite them to find their breath again and then to find the space they have created in their body with the awareness of their breath. Then I share a meditation, a chant, a poem, a thought that comes to me as we breathe. The moment right before we say namaste together, that moment gives me great peace.
I also love listening to music. Laying with my head on my husband’s chest listening to him breathe. And the moment in the morning when Millie, our golden, will sometimes climb up onto the bed and put her head on my foot.
bb: How did you begin your relationship with yoga?
I had an opportunity to take some training in yoga back when I lived in Indiana. It was part of my experience working at the boarding school (you might be catching on to the fact that I went to boarding school, then a year out of college I went back and worked at that same boarding school). A yoga teacher from the Boston area was brought in and I had about 60 hours of training with her over a year or so. I started teaching classes at the school. My only experience has really been in viniyoga, so when I knew we were moving out here, I found a teacher who connected me with my teacher who practices viniyoga. And as soon as we arrived, I began the two year teaching training intensive I am finishing up this weekend. (To learn a little more about how yoga has affected me and my philosophy about yoga, visit my “in-progress” website.)
gk girl: What’s your favorite jello color?
I like green. I also really love it when someone layers the red and green together around the holidays. Yum. (since I am sick today, this actually sounds quite good to me right now.)
megg: If I was to have you over for four courses of your very FAVORITE foods and because we were eating together there were no calories or consequences, what would those courses be?
First course: Brie with a cranberry jam and fruit and carmelized walnuts and fresh bread.
Second: A caprese salad with balsamic vinegar and oil dribbled over the top.
Third: Sushi. Wild salmon is my most favorite of all.
Fourth: Mint chocolate chip ice cream with hot fudge sauce.
I hope we have hours to consume this, and I can’t wait for the good conversation and wine that would of course come with this meal right? And when we get done with the ice cream, can we start over with the first course?