Friday, April 01, 2005

Sleepless and searching

I haven't been sleeping well. Things just feel out of joint, out of whack. The things that have been staples of my life for a long time have faded into the background over the past few months and suddenly I'm realizing how much I need those things--reading, journal writing and regular yoga practice.

I've kept a journal ever since I was 6, but I haven't been doing much journal writing for the past four months because I've been really into writing here. But when I don't write in my journal for more than a few days, I go into information overload and I can't sleep. My brain just will not shut up. Blogging is great, but journal writing is more stream of thought and it's not edited for public consumption. I have a box full of my old journals, a box full of my personal history, including the cracked hard drive from my college computer that contains four years worth of journaling that I somehow never backed up. My journal goes with me everywhere--I only buy bags big enough to carry a journal because you never know when you'll need to sit down and write about somethng, or when you'll be stuck someplace with time to kill. But this year my journal is almost blank and I don't feel like the same person because of it. So even though I'm writing here regularly, I think I need to pick up the journal again, if only to write down the random, stupid thoughts that need to get out in words but that no one else needs to hear.

I have, however, been writing about my Glenn dreams in my journal because I'm sick of writing about them, period. They still happen regularly, but I don't wake up crying anymore. Last night I dreamed that my family and friends were helping me go through a basement's worth of stuff that belonged to me and him. They wouldn't let me get involved and by the end of the dream, the basement was neat and everything that I kept was stacked on shelves. My brother told me he'd talked to Glenn's grandparents and they had told him that Glenn was getting lots of interest from women in LA. I turned to him and said, "You know what? I really don't care. I wish I could write them all a letter warning them away from him,but that's for them to learn."

Then there's the reading. I don't know what's changed about my day, but I hardly have the time and energy to read the way I used to, which was ravenously and almost constantly. Now it's a struggle to keep up with my New Yorkers and Vanity Fair, the only two magazines I subscribe to. I've had the same pile of books next to my bed for four months. Every so often I'll get a block of time and bang through a book, but I guess I feel like there's always something more pressing that needs to get done. I don't give myself permission to sit down and read, which is sad because reading has always been my anchor. When I was little, I used to take a milk crate's worth of books home from the library every week. My boyfriends made fun of me because I always brought a book to the ballgame, and I read intently every night before bed. Harvard Book Store ought to sell me stock judging from the amount of money I've dropped there, and my parent's basement is literally stacked with boxes of my books that I don't have room for right now. I miss losing myself in a good story. I miss being able to talk about books with people. I miss exploring narrative structures and admiring other people's writing styles. I need to make time for reading again.

Then there's the yoga practice. Or what's left of it. The winter was really harsh and every week it was an effort to get a workout in, no matter what it was. I keep meaning to get to the studio 3 times a week, and every week it ends up being twice. In California, I was in the studio 3-4 times a week and I have never felt so healthy, whole and present in my body as I did then ( at least since my days as a gymnast when I was younger). Yoga kept me sane. I was lean and taut and centered in myself. And I felt like I was making progress in my practice. Each day I could stretch a little more, take my twists further, add a pose or take a new, deeper modification. My goal was to start taking some of the advanced classes at the two studios I went to. The studio that was two alleys behind me added Myesore classses in the morning right before I moved back to Boston, and so I never got a chance to start down that path. Here, my practice has been almost totally physical. The studio that is closest, most affordable and has the most convenient schedule is Baptiste. The teachers vary in their approaches, and some lead more spiritual classes than others. They do emphasize breathing, but they tell you when to breathe rather than letting you breathe at your own pace. Other than the intermediate class on Sundays, the classes are exactly the same each time and I've only had one teacher who added poses or encouraged students to take the series deeper to advance their practice. There is no opportunity to take my practice further there, and the only two studios in Boston that offer Myesore are far enough away that it's not really feasible to take up that kind of practice right now. It's very frustrating. I want to be serious about my practice, but the available opportunities are few. It's one reason why I am antsy to get back to the west coast.

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