Semicolon Cleanse

Have you ever had that moment when you’ve forgotten your mobile phone, I-Pad, carrier pigeon, whatever–and been stricken with the image of a million people trying desperately to reach you.  And then once reunited with your phone, there is not a single missed call. Not a text, a tweet, a like, a poke…nothing.  It’s as if the whole universe is like “No I didn’t need you, let me just check with my other realms…no they didn’t want you either”. Sometimes that is an isolating feeling, a  real ‘feelings-hurter’; thinking that nobody wants you, needs you and that there ain’t no way they’re ever going to love you.  But don’t feel sad, because, shouldn’t your own company be perfectly adequate?

Alone in a CrowdYesterday I overheard a woman taking about joining her daughter in a colon-cleanse.  The daughter couldn’t face the task alone, and so the mother got lured into it.  Ugh, the thought of a cleanse sounds horrible, reminds me of the cayenne pepper, maple syrup, lemon and water cleanse that girls used to do.  I never did it because I saw the horrifying results, the monstrous behavior of malnourished girls.  It didn’t matter if you had an amazing body or squeaky clean intestines,  if you were in the clutches of something ravenous and emotional.

Trio 1

What interests me is the idea of electronic cleanses; occasionally eliminating the news or the internet from your daily life.  Since I started the blog in March, a huge part of my life has been sitting in front of the laptop.  The phone that my husband bought for me (that I said I didn’t need) has become a real presence.  It’s so easy to check on and obsess over blog stats and to post endless opinions, pictures, preferences.

Pin-up+girl yellow phoneI’m always connected, always online; delving deeper into the eternal avenues of the internet.   I worked last night, and once I got home, I just sat there, eating in front of the computer, squinting at the screen light, reading about Sid and Nancy.

sid and nancy

And I just felt so tired.  I suddenly had my fill.  I shut the computer off.  This information will be there another time, that e-mail will not implode if you don’t check it right away, and the internet is not going anywhere.

Vintage Exhausted Woman Photo

I’ve taken on a social media project,  which I love.  I could research and write forever.   But this morning…I  strayed from my routine–getting up at seven, and turning on the computer before I grab a cup of coffee.  I’d bring said beverage into the office, where I would remain for hours.  Firstly, I slept off and on until nearly nine.  I overslept so long that by the time I got up the coffee pot turned itself off.  And without making a conscious effort or declaration, I didn’t use the computer, I didn’t check my phone.  I just wasn’t bothered.  And my god, is anyone else aware of how much spare time you have if you are not fucking around on the internet?  I could have baked bread from scratch and then churned the butter for it afterwards.  I spent the morning tidying up, organizing the office, doing a load of laundry, washing a stack of dishes.   I visited a good friend, and watched her baby, while she had a shower.  The wee one and I watched a portion of the soap opera “The Bold & The Beautiful”, which takes place in a magical nether-world where everyone looks like models and makes statements like “Listen Brick, you know I haven’t been the same since that plane crash on that secret island with the twin brother I didn’t know I had”.


Afterwards I went to yoga.  I love my Friday class, the whole purpose of yin yoga is to hold poses for five or so minutes and just…quiet the mind.

marilyn red sweater

I need that.  I need to turn the volume down on my thoughts.  I get so bothered.  I get angry, jealous, frustrated, bugged, irked–you name it, I can get in touch with that emotion.  The constriction of stress.  The choking sensation of discontentment.  And I’d prefer not to feel that way.

snake charmerWhat I’d like is to hold on to that post-yoga class feeling: calm, relaxed, at peace.  I wish I could be carried home, with my eyes closed, not concerned with traffic, obstacles, deadlines.


Once home in the afternoon, I checked my phone, which I had left at home.  Nothing.  I checked my inbox.  Nothing.  Facebook offered very little in the way of messages and notifications.  And I didn’t feel alone.  I felt relieved.  No one was let down in my absence.  And I felt better for my inadvertent technology cleanse.   I then spent the rest of my spare time in the office, searching for images, staring at words, blogging, writing, and making up stories as I go along.  A feast after a fast, and everything looks so much more delicious.

phone headAll Images Courtesy of Google

Last Train To Plathsville

Oh dear.  This is the danger of a daily blog; the confessional aspect leads to texts and emails from concerned loved ones.  Surely everyone is allowed an off-day?  It couldn’t have caused too much concern, there was a Kim Kardashian joke, an “A-Team” reference, some fabulous shots of Audrey Hepburn, it was hardly Sylvia Plath‘s suicidal precursor “The Bell Jar“.


Plath, 30, famously left her two small children with buttered bread and then popped into the kitchen to stick her head in the oven.  “The Bell Jar”, and her other books of poetry had a small following, but her fame blossomed after her suicide.  (Because isn’t that always the way?)  She was being swallowed into deep waters of madness, where I was dipping my toes in pools of discouragement.  Plath gave up; and I’m not giving in–sometimes frustration can feel claustrophobic, and all one can do is find an appropriate outlet to let that out instead of holding it in.


After writing the blog, I walked down to the nearby yoga studio, and had a lovely class. Once home I curled up with some mac-and-cheese and ‘Eat, Pray, Love‘ on NETFLIX. Ben came home early, and watched the film with me, cracking the occasional snide remark but not judging me for taking this movie a bit too seriously, or for referring to Javier Bardem as “hunky”.

javier bardem

Settled by a few creature comforts, I was able to just relax and not worry so god-damned much.  What can I say? I have a big, bruisable heart and I feel and want too much.  I think Sylvia Plath says it best:

“I can never read all the books I want; I can never be all the people I want and live all the lives I want. I can never train myself in all the skills I want. And why do I want? I want to live and feel all the shades, tones and variations of mental and physical experience possible in life. And I am horribly limited.”

I hear that girlfriend, but what are we meant to do with these limitations?  My friend Robin says of some actors, that it is the audition where the really satisfying work is done.  That, even if the part is not won, that you performed within every inch of your capacity, and are still a success.  As it is with writing, whether there is a flush of readers or publishers, that the work is being done faithfully and with great joy.  And so I will never be a sailor, doctor, astronaut–or even a professional writer, and I will probably never get to all the places I wish to see; but what is there to do with this moment, right now…when few things are in your favor.  Focus on the things that matter most; feel grateful for those few pebbles in your pocket, and keep moving forward into this continuous present state.  sitting plath

Images Courtesy of Google

Downward Facing Dog

Yesterday I was feeling slightly blah, so after I wrote my blog, I decided to partake in the lunch hour Bikram yoga class at the studio I occasionally visit.  I used to go regularly, and somewhere in the middle of the class I thought to myself “Why don’t I do this more often?”  Because of the $20 drop in fee? Perhaps, but mostly it’s because I often feel like that ballerina hippo from Disney‘s “Fantasia” in a roomful of beautiful swans.


And of course, that’s not the point of yoga, the point is breathing and stretching and pushing your body to the limit, all while quieting your mind, but I’d like to meet the bastard in the room who has a clear head and limber body, because I’d like to shake their hand, and then immediately karate chop them.  Especially those women who are head to toe in Lulu Lemon, with elegant topknots exposing graceful necks.  And while I am sweating like a hooker in a Baptist Church, they are simply glowing as they extend limbs with perfect straightness.

audrey hepburn yoga

Yes, that’s Audrey Hepburn practicing yoga…what a fun, serendipitous find on today of all days.  But this is the kind of gal I am dealing with.

audrey hepburn yoga 2

At the exact moment you are trying to twist your torso, breathe deeply and quiet your thoughts;  you are simultaneously dissatisfied with yourself while coveting the body types, abilities and outfits of others.  And I’m pretty sure that’s not the point of yoga.

vintage yoga

This is my kind of gal–just take a big ole nap in stripes a la Child’s Pose.

In reality, I hold my own in class and enjoy the exercise.  The yoga instructor was a robust woman, extremely curvaceous, but relaxed and smiling.  She looked happy, why shouldn’t I? Why should my life be less fabulous because I feel more like a cartoon hippo than a movie star.  In one breath I think: “I need to come here more, I want to look better, feel better”.  In another breath I think:  I want to be at peace with myself, but have skinnier thighs”. Then, “but I really need to be at peace with my body”.  Because in reality, I look perfectly fine–Victoria’s Secret would not hire me to model lingerie, but I also don’t look like Honey Boo Boo‘s mama.  I’m somewhere in the middle, and I need to remember that the middle is perfectly fine.  And another breath; the inhalations and exhalations like the ocean lapping the shore.

After class, while changing in the cramped change room, I overheard a variety of conversations.  Children, husbands, careers, renovations, travels, and weekend plans.  One woman was struggling with energy levels after a series of immunization shots, as she’s off to Germany before zipping off to Zimbabwe.  As for me, I’ve nothing planned other than going home to make the scrambled egg wrap that I started thinking about mid-way through class.  Then I will write, and accidentally mash hot sauce onto the keyboard.  It’s not Zimbabwe, but it was delicious nonetheless.


Courtesy of Etsy/Google &Disney