Monthly Archives: March 2013

Prop 8, DOMA and SCOTUS

my 43 year marriage is not threatened by equality

As you are all probably aware, the Supreme Court is going to hear oral arguments for Prop 8 (Hollingsworth v. Perry) on Tuesday and DOMA (United States v. Windsor) on Wednesday, Apparently people are already lining up for tickets. The NY Times made a super helpful infographic to understand the possible decisions. And Scott Fujita, another NFL player for marriage equality, wrote a great op-ed on acceptance. The SCOTUS Blog has tons of entries to help you understand these two cases. They are going to release same-day audio of the oral arguments, since there is so much interest in these two cases. There is going to be a noon rally in front of the Federal Courthouse on Wednesday, to show support and solidarity for marriage equality.

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No Effort Is Wasted

anole

I’ve been feeling low-energy this week. Yesterday in my yoga class, my teacher asked if I would demo kicking up into handstand with a partner. I felt extremely depleted, but I agreed to try anyway. Despite not feeling full of energy, I made it upside down. This is the only way I’ve ever been able to get into handstand – with support. I have been practicing yoga for over a decade. And handstands have been on the menu for just as long. Some of you know how much fear I have with this pose.

“No effort is wasted.” My yoga teachers say this all the time. There is also the concept of a “lifetime pose” – as in, it may take a lifetime to get there. I’m not sure in which lifetime I will get over my mental blocks and kick up into handstand on my own, but I’m certain I will surprise myself so much I will fall out and have to do it again.

I judge myself against my classmates, many if not most of whom can kick up on their own. I wonder what is wrong with me that I am not like them. But the reality is, I am not them. Each of us has her own struggles. I do know that over the years, my relationship with this pose has changed in subtle ways. There have been small and subtle shifts, perhaps like the movement of the tectonic plates. I trust in the process and recognize that even if these changes aren’t visible, they are still happening.

Yesterday, after I demonstrated kicking up into handstand with support, a classmate approached me and said, “I aspire to do what you just did.” Wow did that expand my perspective. We are all on a continuum. We all struggle. Only some of us keep coming back and making the effort.

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And sometimes you get a parachute

orange jellies

A short update to my post last week about getting locked out of Facebook. After a few days of gnashing of teeth and rending of garments, I was magically able to return. I believe I know what happened, although I don’t understand the timing. Last fall I changed my middle name to a political campaign. Even though I removed it after the election, for some reason it took Facebook 4 months to figure out I was violating their ToS.

So, I am back in, but in a more moderate way. For me, Facebook feeds this narcissistic, ego-centric view of the world. While I didn’t have access, I realize how much time I spent just crafting what I might post next with a view toward how much attention it would receive.

Facebook has its utility, which is why I (along with so many others) continue to participate in that space – namely that it is the one social media where all of my close friends are also online. Also, I like the passive nature of sharing there. I just post what I want (har har) and then people can respond as is their wont. As opposed to sending an email or making some kind of direct engagement that requires me to break through the imperceptible personal boundary. Clearly this is an issue I just need to get over. I don’t think most people feel receiving an email is intrusive. Hell, I think I’m stuck in the last decade and most people don’t even use email anymore – especially if they are under 30. But that’s another topic for another day.

For now, I have made up with Facebook. But I’m still making sure to grab all my friends’ contact information before I get cut off or leave of my own volition. In my experience, there is a lifecycle to these things and even if Facebook does nothing, some day something else will come along that will supplant their monopoly.

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Standing at a precipice

biking on suspension bridge

I have the terrible habit of standing at the precipice for far too long. One might attribute this to sitzfleisch or a sort of paralysis that builds up the longer I wait to make my move. Sometimes you have to hurl yourself over the chasm, sometimes you have to ask for help in the leaping.

In my yoga class, we are working on handstands. For two months. That means that twice a week I get to practice hurling my body upside down. I am not at the point where I can do it without support. On Monday, I needed extra support, but I knew I needed to push myself over the hump and get past the psychological block that was holding me back. Today, I was able to go up more gracefully, with less support. But I know if I hadn’t literally hurled myself into the pose on Monday, I would still be hopping and not getting my feet over my head today.

And something interesting happened that I don’t think I’ve ever noticed before. Once I was upside down, my teacher told me to look forward of my hands. I thought I was, but apparently not FAR ENOUGH. When I did look farther forward, I felt my upper back relax and my arms and shoulders could better support me. It doesn’t seem like it should work, and yet, it did.

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In the interim, yesterday morning as is my habit, I checked Facebook after I got up. But within an hour, I had to log back in and then was told my account might not be “real” and I had to verify who I was. I’ve had to do this before, so I identified the 5 people and then got to a new step: they wanted a phone number to text a confirmation code to. I gave them one, and never received the code. If I want to proceed with recovering/reactivating my account, I’m now required to give them a government-issued ID. UH, FUCK NO. Apparently this has happened to a bunch of Instagram users, which as we know, Facebook bought several months ago.

I have no idea why my account got flagged, but I have felt ambivalent about Facebook for a long time. While I mourn the lost connections (primarily the people I met overseas and that was the only way to maintain contact), for the most part, I will not miss it. Facebook had devolved into a stale echo chamber, with most of my friends reposting things they thought were funny or moving or whatever. I did like the minutia of daily life and just hearing what people were doing, but those kinds of updates were becoming fewer and fewer in between. It may have just been that the Facebook algorithm suppressed them, so I wasn’t seeing them at all.

My point here is, just like the handstand, I needed a push. Whether it came from within or without, it was the right thing for me. I spent A LOT of time on Facebook, perhaps to the detriment of other things I want to focus on – like this blog! For now, I want to spend my energy on creating stories I love and connecting with friends over a table, instead of the internet.

ETA: Another friend pointed out this piece: 7 Ways to Avoid Identity Theft Before Facebook Gets Hacked, which just adds fuel to the fire for me in staying off of Facebook. One of the reasons I’ve always felt uneasy was the degree to which they require and/or collect personal information.

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I’d be curious to hear what precipices you are standing on, where you feel you need a push and where you want to push yourself.

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