Boondoggle & Bondogge
Boondoggle & Bondogge
This is me, finding balance, purposely turning my back on a world of people, taking refuge behind my camera. I am deeply troubled by the things that humans do and say to one another. I am so deeply troubled my voice rises; I add to the noise. I join the fight; I add to the conflict. This is me, quieting…retreating (for a moment) to a far better nature.
This past summer I captured the fantastical characters
who inhabit Michigan’s Renaissance Festival.
I celebrate them, one and all.
What a strange year it was. Even now after it has concluded I cannot quite figure out what derailed it, what sent me off into the stratosphere, why I abandoned so many of the things that make “me” me. I am beginning to suspect it was not any one factor in particular that caused me to put down my pen, to forego my yoga practice & teaching, to neglect my relationships, to steep ever deeper into my introversion, rendering me all but lost by December. I suspect it was everything in general.
Short of catastrophe, my habits are well ingrained. I have been journaling consistently for forty years (just had a holy crap moment—maybe that’s my problem: midlife crisis). The place where I distill the big thoughts and emotions was not kept. I haven’t written a word since July. Nothing. Perhaps a clue can be found in that last journal entry: “Of late the stress is palpable. It lives in my body. It makes itself known to me. Damnitall.” Certainly if stress was known to me, I should have known that getting my heinie onto my yoga mat was imperative. Yoga has put me right more than once. It has kept me balanced in times of upheaval, kept me agile in a skeleton that edges toward age, kept me flexible in that space between my ears, and in ways immeasurable it has sustained me. I let my practice of twenty years lapse. Why? Consistently I excused myself: not all yoga is done on the mat. Too many excuses.
And my relationships? Complicated. Murky. Painful. This too is quite uncharacteristic. I have never been about drama or conflict. I have ever been about peace and buoyancy and healing. Instead of navigating I am sinking. What is going on here?
My religious beliefs? I no longer hold them. A holier person than me would conclude: therein lies the problem. In the whole of my lineage, all previous were devout Catholics. It ends with me (though my cell tissue will always retain traces of the powerful DNA that is Catholicism). I have much more to say on this topic, on the painful and contemplative journey that led to this. And I will, but not right now. 2015 was as revolutionary as it was destabilizing.
A lot of living happened this past year. A lot of witnessing happened this year. A lot of active defending and helpless bystanding. And it got to me. Life got to me, I think. If I were the stock market, we might call this past year a “course correction”. If I were a spacecraft, I would be off my trajectory. It’s pretty clear my attitude thrusters have lost direction and my main thruster has lost momentum. Which leaves me where, exactly? Lost?
I think the New Year arrived just in time. Say what you will about resolutions, I reserve the right to make some. Already I am renewed. My yoga mat has received my sweat. My journal has received my words. Regarding those troubled relationships, I will reach out or let go; in either case it is action. I will rekindle the things that will return me to me. Because life is going to continue to happen, as it always has, I resolve to be well equipped—again—to receive it.