Friday, June 17, 2005

Andrea saves the day...

Lelo's latest salvo in the battle to stop me from doing my practice was much more subtle than yesterday's: I "forgot" to set my alarm. Fortunately, just after dawn, Andrea rolled over and nudged me, which for some reason woke me up. I remembered that I hadn't set my alarm. First thought: "oh well, guess I missed class, might as well go back to sleep." Second thought: hey! Pick up the phone (my alarm clock is in my cell phone). It's 5:08. Yay! I can set the alarm and go back to sleep. So I made it to class after all, thanks to Andrea's well-timed nudge.

Just to clarify on the Michael Jackson thing. My point is not that Michael Jackson is or isn't innocent. I have no clue. My point is that we have a mechanism in place for determining a person's guilt or innocence. If we don't like what our criminal justice system is doing, the way to fix it is to vote, and also to raise a public stink about it. In this case, I haven't heard anything that leads me to believe the system failed. My main concern about the system as it is right now is that people who commit assault and battery (e.g., stabbing) are less likely to be prosecuted and, if prosecuted, will likely receive shorter sentences than people who are caught buying or selling illegal drugs, because we have mandatory sentencing for one, but not for the other.

Another tidbit on the "we don't really know what's going on, do we?" is the McCain-Lieberman amendment to energy bill that is going through the Senate right now. One PAC has sent me email asking me to urge my Senators (one of whom happens to be John McCain!) to vote to adopt the McCain-Lieberman amendment. Another organization points out that one thing this amendment does is to authorize huge subsidies to build new nuclear power plants. Who's telling the truth? I don't know. The way to find out? Read the text of the amendment, if I can get my hands on it. Would I have guessed that I needed to do this from just reading what one group said about it? No. It pays to be very, very skeptical about the people who want us to support their political agenda.

Yoga class today went well. It turns out that I was doing something wrong, which may be related to the lower back pain: I was using my lower back instead of my legs to propel me up out of forward bends. Lisaji and I talked a lot about the whole lower back pain thing the day before yesterday, so this morning she went into full-on debug mode. This is something you don't usually get from a yoga instructor during a led class - it's kind of a unique feature of a mysore-style class. Basically, she just sat down next to me and watched me do sun salutations. After a couple of them, she said "you see how your butt is going back and forth? That's because you're not using your legs to stand up." Then she sat next to me again and watched me do another sun salutation to make sure I understood her. Unfortunately, she sat a little too close, and I managed to whack her in the face as I stood up. Bad Ted, no biscuit. I feel really bad about it, but what can you do?

Which brings me to the next topic: amazing women. Lisaji is certainly one of them. At a guess, she's probably grossing less than a thousand bucks a month doing the yoga class in the morning, possibly quite a lot less. She spends her whole week taking care of others, and I think she does okay, but I know it's not an easy living. She gets whacked in the face. She grabs hold of sweaty students and pushes them into poses. When her students (e.g., me) panic as she pushes them into the position they're supposed to be in, she endures it, and keeps trying. Why? Out of love for her students, I think.

More amazing women. Mothers. Highly underrated in our society. If you want to be a mom, you're giving up your career, or going on the mommy track. You're going to spend the next eighteen years looking after someone who's not going to cooperate with you very much, and who is going to go out of their way to make your life miserable sometimes. When you screw up, they're going to remember it, and possibly remind you of it, for the rest of their life. They're not going to turn out anything like you expected. When they're 40, they're still going to be coming to you with their problems. To even *become* a mother you have to go through nine months of health troubles. Once you succeed, your life is completely at the mercy of the father of your child, who you *hope* turns out to be trustworthy.

I've been dedicating my practice of trying to kick lelo's to a certain friend who is thinking of becoming a mother, because to me motherhood is the epitome of non-lelo. This morning when I was doing shavasana another friend who is also a mother came to mind. I had this image of a woman in my mind, and at first I was thinking of all the things that men think of when they think of women - soft, beautiful, gentle, kind. I know, give me a break. A mother's love doesn't come from softness. It comes from strength. I've been seeing a lot of that recently.


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