In which I cover the good stuff and the hard stuff in my week, trying for the non-preachy, non-annoying side of ritual and self-reflection.
And you get to join in if you feel like it.
The theme of this week was constantly being reminded that, as Jonathan says in response to pretty much everything, there is a time and a place for everything.
Half the time this drove me batshit out-of-my-mind crazy, and half the time it was wonderful.
But either way, there was a time and a place for everything.
And there is a time and a place for this. THIS is the time and the place for me to sit down and consciously peek at the week that was, to exit with love.
And to cross over into the new thing, in this case the weekend, which may or may not also be a pause.
So. Like it or not, here I am. Hello, Chicken. There is a time and a place for you.
The hard stuff
There is a time and a place for everything.
I chafed at that this week. And, to be honest, most of my hard this week came from this.
There was a time and a place for something to end, except I didn’t want it to end. But that was what it was. An ending.
With a designated time and a designated place.
There was a time and a place for a goodbye in a doorway.
There was a time and a place for realizing that something I thought I missed is actually something I do not miss.
There was a time and a place for making reckless decisions in the heat of the moment, yes, that too.
For me, when I find myself resisting the fact that yes, this is the time and place for a thing and I do not like it…. well, it tells me a lot about attachment and pain.
So. I learned about attachment and pain this week. It was useful. And: it was not especially fun.
It was roller derby Western Regionals aka Besterns last weekend at the Bay of Reckoning.
Gah. I don’t even want to talk about this.
Here’s what I will say. It was incredibly stressful. It was incredibly exhausting. The bout against Oly was just annoying. Not being able to physically be there was also annoying, even though it’s good I wasn’t there for all kinds of reasons.
And then we somehow lost the qualifying bout and we aren’t going to Championships after all, and it was awful and sad and painful and stupid, and this was the one year where it seemed like everything was going for us.
So that was my weekend.
See? There was a time and a place for experiencing this too: A dashing of hopes. A readjustment of dreams. And it SUCKED.
Still not very good at them.
Two very different types of goodbyes this week, in the very specific sense of a physical parting from a person I care about.
And lots of very meaningful but hard-to-see goodbyes in the form of letting go of old things. Old memories, old stories, old rituals, old agreements, old understandings of situations.
There is a time and a place for saying goodbye, and a time and a place for not wanting to say goodbye, and a time and a place for being ready to say goodbye before someone else is, and all of these things have their own particular flavor of hard.
Stuck in my head.
Times when I couldn’t access my bliss-heart of tingle-joy, yes. That’s a thing that happens.
But other times when I couldn’t stop analyzing and wondering and what-if-ing and wanting to know.
When it would take me a long time to remember that this is a sign: take it to the red rug for yoga. Take it and sing. Take it and draw. Take it and walk. Take it and dance. Take it and do anything but over-think it.
This week there was a time and a place for over-thinking and regretting the over-thinking and second-guessing the regretting-the-over-thinking. And if I had remembered (see, doing it again!) that it’s okay, because this is the time and place for that, it might have been easier.
Encountering the past in a new form.
My friend was visiting from Tel Aviv and we haven’t seen each other in eight years.
It was mostly wonderful, of course, but it also forced me to do a lot of re-examining of a lot of things from then.
We have the same stories but different versions of what happened.
And so many of these stories ended up leading back to my friend who is dead, and I am so very much not even slightly over that, and then I would have to cry.
So I spent a lot of this week experiencing what it is like to desperately miss things. Tel Aviv. Certain words and expressions and the way I am in Hebrew. People and places and ways of being in the world.
Other people’s desires and expectations.
[I will silent retreat on this other than to say that a lot of people were trying to be inside my head this week.]
Way too much busy, way too little time to myself.
People visiting and house guests and meetings and giving little tours of Portland and going out for drinks.
Each of these things individually was lovely. Taken together, it was kind of hellish.
I already plan in so much blank space because a) I need it, and b) extreme introvert!
But it turns out that I need even more than I think is going to be okay. It’s almost as if my needs for quiet contemplation of grown exponentially since the last time I tested the edges of things.
So: headache and irritable and dying to be alone.
Not enough playtime.
Not even close. Not even slightly slightly close.
Because: busy! And because my playmate was also very busy, and also because, blah, situations.
More playtime please! This is what I am planting for next week. More playtime and more conducting.
Also too little sleep. Okay. Too little everything, really.
This can’t happen. It really cannot happen.
Sleep didn’t happen. The things that I need to stay grounded didn’t happen. Not enough yoga, not enough dance, not enough of a lot of things.
Because I chose other things. And because — see? — it was the time and the place for those other things.
But I really need yoga and sleep and the absolutely absolutelies that make for a stable, calm, grounded Havi Bell.
The good stuff
There is a time and a place for everything!
You know what, sometimes remembering this helps.
And sometimes it is just true.
And sometimes it is also beautiful and perfect.
There is a time and place for something to get enthusiastically ripped to shreds!
There is a time and place to do something you wouldn’t normally do, or in a way you wouldn’t normally want to do it.
There is a time and a place to take risks, to laugh, to blow off work, to have an adventure, to begin again, to end again, to be exactly where you are in exactly the way that you are.
There was a time and a place for some really truly beautiful and astonishing things this week.
A week that was busy was also packed full of good things.
How busy was this week? I could have written a ridiculously long Chicken as early as Tuesday morning.
A lot happened this week. I mean, a LOT.
But most of it was amazing. And even though I complain about too much and too busy, being busy with joyful experiences and fascinating thoughts and special people…it’s a good thing.
You know what? I still enjoyed Regionals..
So I’m just going to list some good things about Regionals that do not at all detract from how crappy it was to lose, but I enjoyed them.
First of all, an entire weekend of roller derby. Hell yeah.
Second, great skating. Truly fantastic feats of athleticism.
Third, this wasn’t just great skating. It was also what is known as “f***-you-get-past-me” derby.
But the idea is: no doing that annoying thing where everyone stops skating. No walking in place. WORK IT. SKATE. GET PAST ME.
This was a weekend of that.
Fourth, knowing that the number ten team in our region could likely beat the number three team in any other region.
Fifth! I bet you didn’t know this! Three teams out of the ten playing at Western Regionals had skaters who have taken a Shiva Nata class with me! Rose City, Wasatch and Denver. Awesome.
Sixth! The field of fierceness exercise I ran for Scald Eagle before the bout totally worked! Oh, and I lent her a buttmonster for the weekend and the whole all-star team pinched its butt. This makes me happy.
AND. The biggest deal. This was the weekend that I have been waiting for since last December. So okay, yes, we blew our big chance. But also: Rose City had an amazing season, and a terrific team, and everyone played hard.
PROUD. I am proud of these women.
The holy grail. I found it..
That is, the holy grail for women who live in the Pacific Northwest: a gorgeous warm winter coat that is also WATERPROOF.
But doesn’t look like a raincoat.
In my size. On sale.
Picture the most delighted smile you can imagine. That is me.
I got my day of puttering.
Got my day of puttering. On Saturday not Friday but it happened.
I slept in! I know, what?
Saturday I stayed in bed until eleven! As opposed to what normally happens which is that I wake up on my own a little before six.
This turned out to be fortuitous when my Week of No Sleep Crazy-Busy showed up.
So it turns out that a great way to get ridiculous amounts of work done is to only have say, an hour during which you can work.
Every day I made my guest go take a tour of Portland while I snuck in an hour of work, and dear god I was so productive it was ridiculous.
Like, Rally levels of productive.
I mean, I have known for a long time that for work to be successful you need a CONTAINER and it has to be relatively small and have entry and exit. I know lots of things about making good containers, and lots of things about lovingly and playfully and setting time limits.
But something about this situation of: Okay, I have exactly one hour in my office, how much can we do?!
It was amazing.
I am going to play with this some more.
I found a response to the thing I didn’t know how to respond to.
There’s been a situation that has been just sitting, because I don’t know what to do with it.
But I committed to the sitting, and I kept fractal flower-ing it every time I did something else (“this hour of yoga will somehow help me find the next step that will help with this!”).
Now I know what I want and I know how to respond with love.
Time and time passing is an astonishing thing.
We all have experienced the mysterious healing properties of time: when something hurts and hurts and then it doesn’t. Or not as much.
But this week I was extra aware of how fully things can change.
Someone who felt so strongly about one thing four months ago and thought they would need years to adjust to [Big Change] is already fully adjusted. Me from eight years ago who thought she would never get over [Big Loss] actually forgot about it for several years.
I like to wear the ocean on me.
I like to wear the ocean on me.
I like to eat without cutlery and make a giant mess.
Both of these things are literally true and also they are proxies.
And I did them this week, all week, literally. But also as proxies.
Friends in town.
My friend who shows up suddenly and unannounced, the one who makes everything simultaneously worse and better but mostly better?
The one who was came last week and then left town almost immediately after. We painted the town red. It was the time and the place for painting the town red.
Then Rami was here for a few days and we shared nostalgia about Tel Aviv and all the places and all the people and all the shared memories from then. We caught up. We rewrote memories.
It was fantastic.
Speaking Hebrew again, all day every day..
Okay. Obviously I am not unaware that I miss speaking Hebrew. I spent a third of my life in Tel Aviv, there was a time when Hebrew was infinitely more comfortable for me than English.
And there are lots of times when I reach for the just-right word, and it isn’t there, or I miss certain ways of describing things.
But I had not realized just how much I miss living in the language. Seriously. It is the best. More importantly, I am the funniest in Hebrew. It’s like there are certain aspects of my sense of humor that don’t even … crap, see, now I am losing words again, they don’t even ba l’iyde bitui, they don’t even come into expression in English.
Almost as if there is this certain hilarious, cynical, talkative, self-referential part of me that for some reason only lives inside of that language, and it was so much fun to have it back. To have me back.
I’m also sad about it going away again. But it was great.
DO-OVERS. They do exist after all.
The other week I was writing about how we can’t get do-overs on certain situations.
Instead what I get to do is to practice do-overs by changing how I react and respond to things now.
But this week? I got actual do-overs.
Two of the four goodbyes in my life that I have the most … regretful conflicted thoughts over.
Two of the four goodbyes that I would definitely definitely do over if I had the chance. This week I had the chance.
And I got it right this time. I mean, what does that mean? I don’t know about right. But this time there was sweetness and presence instead of fear and pain.
This time I didn’t hide and I didn’t run and I didn’t cry and I didn’t lash out and I didn’t mourn. This time I smiled and was there for it.
It was the time and place for a real second chance, and I took it. Thank you thank you thank you thank you.
Speaking of people I haven’t seen in years and years, remember Bryan? He was in Portland this week and I went to play.
Sweet sweet yoga, sweet sweet reminders of what is true. Peaceful body and peaceful everything.
So many wonderful things.
A lost thing returned. A stone returned.
A thing that was much hoped-for (it even involved the wearing of Hopefulness Hats) finally actually happened, and it was just as sparkly and beautiful as imagined.
I feel happy and content and appreciative.
It all worked out.
Not in the first part of the week but…
Eventually I got playtime and body time and sleep and yoga and dance.
I got the things I needed, in a variety of different forms. And I feel incredibly grateful about this too.
Playing live at the meme beach house — it’s the Fake Band of the Week!
Background? Ez and I make up bands. Stu (retired Bolshevik-fearing voice-to-text software) once translated “people will hate me and be jealous” to “they’ll hang out at my Meme Beach House“. It’s just one guy.
This week’s band emerged from a playdate, and they are just as much fun as they sound:
Closet Full Of Pow.
They’re loud and raucous and I adore them. You should get their last album, it’s called Moments of No.
And, of course, you probably already guessed it but I just found out that it’s just one guy.
Hallo Hallo! I am saying Hallo Hallo. Announcement time.
Picture me wearing that crazy hat…
I have stuff coming up that I want to tell you about but one more reminder about the monster manual and coloring book.
It works. It works. It works. And it’s fun. And also you get to color.
That’s it for me …
Join my Friday ritual in the comments if you feel like it. Or call silent retreat!
We let people have their own experience. We’re supportive and welcoming. And we don’t give advice (unless people specifically ask for it).
Wishing you a glorrrrrrrrrrrrious day, a restful weekend and a happy week to come.
p.s. It’s fine if it’s not Friday anymore. There’s complete chicken amnesty — join in whenever (or not) and it’s no big deal.