Saturday, October 31, 2009

If...

...I could spend every night for the rest of my life on a dance floor, I would be one happy penguin. Nothing feels more natural to me than moving to music. Doesn't matter where in the world the music is from, if it's got a beat, I can dance to it.

Some of my earliest pictures as a child are of me dancing. At the age of 5, I would choreograph dance numbers in my bedroom listening to 45's my parents bought me. I would practice and practice and then call my family into the living room to watch my performance. For reasons I will never understand, my mother put me in gymnastics class instead of dance class. I hated it. With a passion.

Life takes odd turns and sometimes you're left wondering what if. Is it too late to become what I might have been? I wonder.

tall penguin

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Nurturing Creativity...

Thank you to Eric for sharing this with me. And thank you to Elizabeth Gilbert for oh so much. I am in tears and beyond words.

tall penguin

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Beloved...

The words that lingered
Behind his eyes
Since he learned to see
Leave his lips
And fall like a kiss
Upon my cheek.

I breathe in
The fragrant wisp of longing
Scenting each syllable,
My eyes closed tight
With dreams.

He speaks
With carefully picked peonies
And tulips
And roses in bloom.
He brings his bouquet to my table
Filling me with the radiance of Spring
And an endless Summer.

He spreads himself
Like a garden
At my feet
And I lie
Curled up in his grass.

Entwined
We search the skies
For falling stars
And clouds of dust
Finding heaven
In each breath
And soft caress.

An everlasting embrace
Wraps us in Fate's design
A blanket of gossamer
And gold
Weaving us into
The threads of immortality
Where all lovers come to rest.

tall penguin

Maturity

"The awareness of the ambiguity of one's highest achievements (as well as one's deepest failures) is a definite symptom of maturity."
~~Paul Tilich

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Friends Don't Let Friends...

My friend L introduced me tonight to Oreos dipped in peanut butter. Oh my. Now, I'm not sure you can call someone a friend who introduces you to fat and sugar dipped in fat and sugar. I mean, really, what sort of friend is that? Obviously not one worried about my expanding waistline or the implications of my slipping into a sugar coma or even one worried about what happens when PB-dipped Oreos become my latest substitution for love and affection. No, he's no friend at all. L, you're an evil, evil man.

tall penguin

Existential Amnesia...

I've blogged many times here about my sense of existential angst, that squidgy feeling in my gut that reminds me that I don't know why I'm here. That feeling stems from what I feel is a sort of existential amnesia.

I wake up every day feeling like my brain has been wiped clean in a really fundamental way. I remember how to do all the basic life-maintaining stuff, but I don't know why I'm doing it. Even if I've gone to bed feeling relatively okay with my place in the world, I awaken with this sense that I'm starting from scratch, that today is new, but not in the "Wahoo! It's another day!" kinda new. No, it's more like, "Who am I? And what do I do now?" kinda new.

It's like going to sleep erases any sense of self I had. It's as though I forget why it is that I get up every day and live my life. Perhaps this is not that uncommon. I don't know unless you tell me that you've felt the same way. Perhaps you notice it and can quickly put it to the side, grab your coffee and move into your daily routine. I wish I could do that. I really do. But I can't. And I don't know why. Sure, the docs have their explanations--brain chemistry issues, sleep disorders, a lifetime of stress and various traumas...blah, blah, blah. But it's more than that. It's like some brains are wired for living life and mine is wired for endless contemplation and wondering.

I've spoken before about my mind's tendency to obsessively (yet, not compulsively) count, perform math operations and do shorthand. This has been a default setting in my brain for at least the past 15 years. I think it was my way of giving my brain something to do so it would stop badgering me with existential meanderings, like giving a dog a bone so it doesn't chew up your couch. But it doesn't work. It helps, but it doesn't solve anything. There doesn't seem to be any easy solution to these existential perturbations. I've done the meditation thang, the meds thang, the psychotherapy thang and still, this daily sense of futility and deep feeling of nothingness remains.

I think too much. It's tiring. Bleh.

tall penguin

10 Ways I Know Winter is Fast Approaching

I hate Winter. Or rather, Winter hates me. It's only two weeks until Daylight Saving Time ends and already my body is in full revolt. So, how do I know that Winter is fast approaching? Let me count the ways:


1. Out of nowhere, I've gained five pounds.


2. Every morning, my body feels like it's been hit by a MACK truck.


3. I bought a bag of Oreos the other day and they weren't even on sale.


4. I'm making a list of must-have bubble baths.


5. I haven't eaten a piece of fruit in days.


6. Facebook is becoming my main way of connecting with the outside world.


7. I cry. A lot.


8. I actually know what's on television.


9. My book, DVD and music collection is expanding rapidly.


10. I have daily conversations attempting to convince myself that life is about more than staying home, sleeping and eating carbohydrates. (I have yet to succeed, by the way. These days, life looks so much better from my apartment window, me wrapped in a duvet, tenderly caressing a bag of Lay's.)


How long until Spring?


tall penguin

Churches Attacking Children as Witches

We need to grow up as a species. Seriously. This shit shouldn't happen. It's 2009. Haven't we learned anything yet?

According to the linked story at msnbc, a number of children in Nigeria are being accused of being witches by their neighborhood pastors. The article states:

The idea of witchcraft is hardly new, but it has taken on new life recently partly because of a rapid growth in evangelical Christianity. Campaigners against the practice say around 15,000 children have been accused in two of Nigeria's 36 states over the past decade and around 1,000 have been murdered. In the past month alone, three Nigerian children accused of witchcraft were killed and another three were set on fire.

Now, you know I'm not a big fan of organized religion, and have a particular contempt for Fundamental Christianity, so it's no surprise that this spins me into a frenzy. It saddens and enrages me that children are being beaten, maimed and killed because someone in the name of "God" thinks they're evil. It's bad enough that people continue to believe in their imaginary Sky Daddy, but to take it a step further and decide that their Sky Daddy has given them special powers to detect witchcraft and practice exorcisms, well, that's just madness. Really. It's psychotic behavior.

And I'm the one on meds. Sigh.

tall penguin

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Established Men

I'm sitting up watching TV; it's almost 3:00 a.m. and an infomercial comes on from a company called establishedmen.com. At this time of night, I'm used to seeing ads for dating sites and phone sex lines, but this particular infomercial went further. It became obvious pretty quickly that this site's agenda is to hook up young, beautiful women (Gold-digging princesses) with "established" men (Sugar Daddies) for relationships (sex). I had to look up the site because, frankly, I thought it was a joke. I don't remember getting the memo where prostitution became acceptable late-night infomercial fodder.

So, I hop over to the official site to find a very real service, whose tagline is "Where Beautiful Girls and Successful Men Meet". The main page says it all: "Welcome to a brand new service catering to ambitious and attractive girls seeking successful and generous benefactors to fulfill their lifestyle needs."

Here's a story that ABC Nightline did on the company.


Thank Goddess such a service exists. I'm so completely overjoyed that shallow people can find, and use, each other in this big ole world. Just please, use a condom; I hate it when ignorance spawns.

tall penguin

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Elegy...

George O'Hearn: Beautiful women are invisible.
David Kepesh: Invisible? What the hell does that mean? Invisible? They jump out at you. A beautiful woman, she stands out. She stands apart. You can't miss her.
George O'Hearn: But we never actually see the person. We see the beautiful shell. We're blocked by the beauty barrier. Yeah, we're so dazzled by the outside that we never make it inside.

This is a scene from the film Elegy. I loved this film. Unlike my last entry, I don't think I have the emotional fortitude to explain why this film affected me so.

The heart is a deep ocean,
Waves of secrets,
Tides moving in and out
Of a life
That is only seen clearly
From the bottom
Looking up.

tall penguin

Synecdoche...

"All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players."
~~Shakespeare

I watched a film recently that affected me deeply. Synecdoche, New York starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, is the story of writer Caden Cotard who, while experiencing a mysterious illness that is slowly eating away at his nervous system, is attempting to write the opus of his career as a playwright. The line between the play and his life gets blurred and leads to a very deep look at the mind of a writer and the challenge the creative mind has in keeping it all together.

Sometimes I wonder whether I am more in love with the story of my life, than the life itself. I have these moments of disconnect where I'm not sure if it's me (whatever me is) living my life or this body playing a role that my mind has decided is the appropriate one. It's like there is a cast and crew in my psyche constantly vying for attention. I am the writer, director and the star of the show.

The film, written by Charlie Kaufman, who also wrote Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (another favorite film of mine), raises the question of how best to live one's life. As Cotard writes his play and directs the players, he is constantly at odds with how best to move the story along, how to let it unfold organically yet methodically, and how to ultimately bring it to an end. This quandary is not just the domain of a playwright or writer but that of the life-writer--you, me, all of us living out our stories on this planet each day. How do we best live out the story? Which characters do we invite onto our life's stage? When should they come on and when should they leave? How is a life best lived--planned out to the detail or allowed to unfold as it will, or somewhere in between? And how does one go about striking that balance, if it is at all possible? And how to end the story? And when that end arrives, will the main character be contented with how the play came together or didn't? Will she be able to look back on the story and feel it reflected her best work--as a writer, a director, an actress, a human?

I don't know.
I never know.
I write the story.
I live the story.
I am the writer,
The director,
The actress,
And the waiting fool.
But I never know.
Never know for sure.
If any of it
Is worth it.

tall penguin

Monday, October 12, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

"For all that has been: Thanks.
For all that shall be: Yes!"
~~ Dag Hammarskjold

This quote has been my motto for 2009. This year has been filled with gratitude. And today, on Canadian Thanksgiving, I take a moment to reflect on all that I am grateful for.

I haven't written many entries here on the blog this year. In fact, it's shaping up to be the quietest year here at tallpenguin.com. It's not that I don't have lots to say. Goddess knows there's always stuff swirling around in my head. It's that somehow, so little of it matters enough to want to share it with a greater audience. I have spent more time this year than any other in quiet reflection, just being with life as it is, just enjoying watching the meanderings of my own mind and I must say I'm quite thankful for this shift in awareness. I have come to a very grounded sense of who I am, realizing that I am not my body or my thoughts or any of the external labels this life may give me, nor am I the sum total of these parts. I am an infinite, expanding, compilation of cosmic dust and consciousness. And it's okay. In fact, it's pretty wonderful. For this opportunity to experience life as a human being, I am thankful.

Over the past year, my relationship with my parents has deepened. There seems to be a mutual respect that has crept up on us, from not sure where. Our connection is virtually unspoken but beautiful. We spend more time together and it feels much easier. For this I am thankful.

And I am truly thankful for my brother. He has supported me in so many ways this year, emotionally, spiritually and financially, when needed. He came to the rescue when my computer crashed and has recently set me up with a new bed and decor items for my humble abode (which I will blog about at a later date). He has always been my rock in this life, showing me the true measure of a man. And he is one of my best friends. Not many people can say that about their sibling, so I am deeply grateful.

My life abounds with strong friendships, satisfying work and profound love. As I sit here at my computer, I am filled, not just with gratitude, but with a very deep sense of awe. I am at the most content, quiet and loving place I have ever been in my life. Not exactly sure how I got here, but I am here. I am happy. I am.

May my gratitude extend to you and yours this day. Whether you are near or far, know that you have made a difference in my life just by your presence. Thank you.

Big hugs,
Anya

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

My new BFF...

This is Ninja. I dogsat her last night. She's a seven-month-old Pomeranian. She's all kinds of awesome.



tall penguin

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Autumn's Up!

Staying true to my chameleon-like nature, I recently morphed myself to better match the Autumn colors of my city. My hairstylist, my relationship with whom has outlasted most other relationships in my life, has been prodding me for the past few years to color my hair. Back in the day, I was a hair model, and took my coif through all manner of cut and color, but in the past few years, I have let my virgin brown hair return. Much to my stylist's chagrin. For him, my hair is a work of art, and he has felt a little saddened by my limiting his palette of late. So, I gave in and let him do his thing. Whatcha think?



tall penguin