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Thanksgiving ‘On Leave': The New Time Out

26 November, 2014

When my daughter was young I created a new version of Time Out, the long honored way to stop childrens’ bad behavior. I renamed it Think about It Time which she experienced in the big green armchair in the living room.  The Think About It Chair was where she said for as long as it took for her to realize what had landed her there and to be able to have some thing to say about it. She could say whatever she wanted to say after this silent time alone. Most often what I heard was  ‘I’m sorry’ and ‘I shouldn’t have done whatever it was.’  It was my way of showing her that it was possible to take responsibility for one’s actions without shame, blame or beatings.  The only requirement was that she immediately experience the consequences of her actions with solitude time requiring observation and reflection.

What she always said after these sessions was: “I’m sorry.” and “I’ll never do that again.” What she received back was hugs and snuggles as a her reintroduction to civilized life – but no commentary on her heartfelt words. I provided her with a way to take full responsibility for her actions.

What is shocking now is that time out has been twisted, and is being used for when a police officer kills an unarmed young black man. These time outs are called on leave. 

On Leave for the police has become the New Time Out. Killing unarmed black people as of Ferguson is now legally sanctioned as a half way house of forgiveness toward complete exoneration. Now due process of law includes the right to kill an unarmed man in front of witnesses, and not go to jail. The requisite conditions are that the person you kill must be black, preferably unarmed and young. Needless to say this only works if you are white. Then you can expect ‘On Leave’ protection, including a paid vacation from work.

Note, that if you are white and the person you kill is also white the above does not apply. In that case, expect to be taken to jail and booked; however if you must get a prominent well connected attorney and you can go free, attract a ghost writer, secure publishing advances, do a book tour and have a profitable career as a consultant and speaker.

In yoga there is no get out of jail card free card. In yoga, and perhaps in many other things, the difference between and ordeal and an adventure is attitude.  Are we are all now awake enough to begin facing truth and reconciliation about the very bad things that have been done in the United States of America in the suppossed interests of democracy?

Ferguson is only a pus filled example of the toxins that lie just below the surface of our communal skin. As we now approach Thanksgiving, and the nonsense of the Pilgrims and the Native Americans being friends, Let’s be truly awake to the reality that we sit on land stolen from the now mostly exterminated Indians, and made profitable by the African Americans now mostly incarcerated.

Let us be awake to the fact that we thankful that those of us who have been successful have done it by accumulated wealth over generations generations generations by dishonesty and outright theft.

Truth and Reconciliation seems like a small thing to ask, but when one benefits by things being exactly as they are…this year, now, isn’t’ it finally time to ask “at what cost?” and further to ask is it worth our humanity to continue this way?

Yoga for Writers

18 October, 2014

I’m a writer. There’s no other explanation for my thirty years involvement with the written word. It’s a wonder that I haven’t killed myself – what with not achieving the fame and acclaim + the brass ring. To my credit I haven’t killed myself, am still happily writing, and feeling quite optimistic don’t mind if I say. To pass the time and as a way of punctuating the thousands of words that I’ve felt called to spit out or birth – if you’ve got those civilized religious sensibilities, with careful study of my favorite writers and their encouragement, I’m now the happy possessor of many useful writer’s quirks.

  • I have a cat
  • I like parties
  • I write in bed
  • I walk my dogs
  • I write at a desk
  • I write standing up
  • I work methodically
  • I weigh myself frequently
  • I keep charts of my progress
  • I drink lots of coffee and alcohol
  • I prefer my own company to that of anyone else
  • I think incessantly about my own interesting ideas
  • I prefer not to spend time with inauthentic people and nut cases
  • I’m highly sexual but spend most of my time alone without a partner
  • I prefer the night to the day, except when I prefer the day to the night
  • I put tiny pebbles on pieces of paper that contain important notes or ideas
  • I spend more time thinking about art, literature, decor, beauty, and design than about car gas consumption or celebrities

Well, enough about me…is there anyone else out there trying to connect with the universe? I’ll accept responses off line, and of course on line if you’ve a mind. The above rant was prompted by my discovery of the first ever article I’ve seen linking yoga and writing. It’s got me wondering if I should offer a course :-)

Title: Yoga, Bukowski and Writing

INFOGRAPHIC: Yoga for Writers | Electric Literature.