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This post sprung from a conversation with G’s new teacher, who asked if there were any German restaurants in Atlanta. With a single question she immediately endeared herself to me, which helped offset the inevitably depressing response: “Not many.”

There are a few, however, and I’ve sought to detail them a bit here for your dining pleasure and general entertainment. If you know of any others that are worth dropping some Deutschmarks…well, let me know!

 

Le Petite

Petite Auberg offers a lovely dining experience, including comfortable booths reminiscent of early ’80s hot tubs.

Petite Auberg
(3/5 Schnitzels)

There’s a venerable restaurant in Toco Hills under the name Petite Auberg, which I believe is French for “Just enough German dishes to occasionally bill ourself as a French-German restaurant but not enough to reflect it in our name.” Established in 1974, it’s been an Atlanta fave for four decades and then some.

We’re lulled there perhaps every two years, inevitably ordering in a manner that would make my Germanic ancestry proud. This holds true despite the fact that there are more escargot in a serving of their (tasty!) escargot than German dishes on the dinner menu.

What it lacks in authentic Deutsch grub it makes up for by its eastside ITP (inside the perimeter) proximity, a well-appointed environment, and warm ambiance.

 

Biergarten

Der Biergarten is true to their name, replete with open-air seating. Garten outside. Bier throughout.

Der Biergarten
(3/5 Schnitzels; 4th schnitzel pending sit-down dining review)

There’s another one in downtown that draws a more direct line to the Schwartzwald. Though I’ve only been to Der Biergarten once as part of a massive work/social gathering, I’d wager that the food would be worth the trip.

The beer selection truly impressed me, though the snack-type fare we were served wasn’t memorable enough to spark visions of Julie Andrews and the chorus of “Edelweis” when I recall my visit. Though any spot that offers a Konig Ludwig Platter for 6 automatically gets three stars, taste untasted!

 

Village corner

The Village Corner will help you forget — or perhaps not even care — how ridiculous you look in those Lederhosen.

The Village Corner
(5/5 Schnitzels)

I feel a bit ashamed that I didn’t first and foremost mention The Village Corner, which for all the right reasons secured the URL germanrestaurant.com. It’s fantastisch, charming — hands down it’s my fave, my Lieblingsrestaurant (if that’s indeed a word or a thing … if not, it should be).

Rumor has it that I once consumed their Wurst Platte fur zwei. Mind you, sometimes rumors are fact … at least in part. Located near Stone Mountain, which is eastside OTP (outside the perimeter), it’s close enough to Decatur but far enough from the urbanity to make you think for a minute you’re in Bavaria.

I’d love to say that the little residence turned restaurant on Atlanta’s southside was still in existence. Even before I began the first of four years’ high school German, we frequented the restaurant for special occasions. Throughout 9-12 grades, the German club would visit regularly.

What once was a gem of a Deutsch Essen destination in College Park is now a pawn shop.What was the name? I think it was something off-kilter like Zum Bratwurst. That sounds right. Can’t recall for sure, but I have to thank it for fostering a love of German fare and folk and culture and somehow planting the seed for this post some three decades ago. I’ll still raise a glass to it. Prost!

Animaniacs

Animaniacs. Warum? Ich hab’ uberhaupt keine Ahnung!

And here, for no good reason that I can think of, is The Animaniacs singing their version of “Schnitzelbank,” featuring Professor Otto von Schnitzelpusskrankengescheitmeyer.

 

A good story

Screw this and all sane approaches. Just start writing.

“So how’s your book coming along?”

 

An old friend asked me that question yesterday as we stood around avoiding farewells before he headed up to Virginia, where he’d recently relocated.

The answer I used to give was, “The draft is moving along at a good clip, if you overlook the dust it’s collecting.” But it’d been so long since someone had asked that I stumbled over my once-rote reply. That gives you an idea how much dust we’re talking about.

I told him as much. And added in peripheral excuses: “Y’know, work’s taking a lot of time, and I’ve been occupied with our recent move and what-not…”

He knows I’m a writer, but I’d forgotten that I’d told him about my book. And his asking kinda took me by surprise.

George UHaul

George could write about cold oatmeal and spark a fire in your soul.

Foot perched in the wheel well of the UHaul trailer, another friend of mine, who’s more like an uncle than anything, shared that what works for him is just barreling through that first pass.

And he’s right, though bless his heart, George’s likeness doesn’t come to mind when I hear “barreling through,” as methodical and glacial as he is. One thing’s certain: the world’d be better for more of George’s writing.

The Virginian is a craftsman by trade, so the conversation turned up the analogy of roughing in a structure — slapping together a few 2x4s with 16-penny nails and calling it a shed and a day. The first draft … in 3D … real, there, existent.

Steven King even campaigns for powering through that first draft without self-editing. It’s true; he’s tried it; and it works. After that, you then open your office door to the world of opinion — yours and others’.

I don’t have mine at that point yet. It’s kinda like my own albatross; instead of hanging around my neck, it’s sitting on my desktop, ancient like a mariner. It’s tough to put this truth out there without having put the book out there.

F*ck this. I’m the writer.

An artist friend suggested I read Steal Like an Artist. I respect her a bunch, bc as an artist she walks the talk. (That’s one reason I own two T-shirts she designed.) So I bought the book.

28 pages into it, I write the title to this blog, penned outta frustration that’s been building for a while. It’s no compositional call to arms as much as a statement of fact:

I write. So with a tip of the hat to Immanuel Kant, therefore I am.

Steal like an artistYour words vs. my words

As professional writers (well, creatives of any color, really), we’re tasked with using what are inherently our words for someone else’s benefit. That someone else can be another soul or a soulless organization. And in that process, there’s a transmutation, wherein what originates within us as professional writers changes into what fits the other’s needs.

It’s nothing new. Even Michelangelo had his patrons, right? Norman Mailer wrote about Monroe “because people would but it.”

I think that we, as writers, lose a bit of our souls in the process regardless. Editing is a separate process, mind you, one that’s honorable. What I’m taking issue with is the act of writing for others at our own creative expense.

When we do, we’re subject to their whims, opinions, tastes – and that has nothing to do with our own inclinations or our better judgement as writers. But, hey, they’re footing the bill and helping make sure our rents or mortgages are paid monthly on time.

So we have to bend. That’s part of the game.

But don’t break

If it gets to be too much, then you have decisions to make.

Let’s say you’re a freelancer. You’ve gathered (through trusting yourself and selling your worth to others) a number of clients that, together, support you. As such, you’re freer to say fuck it, or more pointedly, fuck you, and walk.

It’s all on you, so you’ll then have to lean more heavily on other clients or patrons, or hustle to replace the one you just dis/mis/ed. The decision to jettison the client is binary. Simple. Just have to make the call.

But say you’re employed full time. Salaried. Benefits. Vacation. 401 … ok? Hook, line and sinker. You’re all in – and don’t get me wrong, it’s pretty sweet as long as ocean’s not too choppy.

The bends

In this case, the degree of your bend is arguably more obtuse than the freelancer’s. As you increase the bend, however, you feel it more acutely.

Castle, my hero.

Be willing to take a stand.

The decision in that case is one of either giving in to the ever-present, sometimes-regretted impulse to say fuck it, or, lacking that, deciding to acquiesce.

Poor vs. proud

Why do the latter? Making the mortgage is pretty sweet. And as a former manager (and fellow freelancer) on a contract job once quipped in a feigned cavalier tone, “Being poor sucks.”

I’ll offer a third option, one which I’m leaning into, drawn into perhaps, as a way of creative self-preservation: Do good … enough.

Be boring

I’ll be damned, but “Be boring” is one of 10 missives that my homie Austin Kleon, the author of the above book that somehow kicked off this anything-but-pity-party post, suggests. I’ll get to that chapter soon enough, but here’s what I think he’ll suggest:

Do good … enough.

Deja vous, right? Right.

If you’re boring, you’re not being creative. Either that or people simply don’t get what you’re giving. You’re so deep that it appears simplistic on the surface. (That’s a blog for another time.)

But let’s say that honestly … you’re boring — on purpose. Boring affords you something invaluable: a creativity surplus. It’s there to use for you, not others.

Good enough

Say you do good enough for a client. They’re happy; they’ve gotten a writing product that they’re happy with. You’re happy; you’ve satisfied your client AND more importantly you’ve not expended your creativity when it wasn’t needed.

So you got this creativity surplus. What do you do with it? Easy – use it for yourself. For your stuff. For clients that recognize it … and appreciate it. Damn straight.

Acme & Co. wants pablum? Publish it, baby. Preserve your purple prose for something else, something more worth your while.

Write good. Save the great writing for those who recognize it.

Slip-slidin’ away

“He kissed his boy as he lay sleeping // then he turned around and headed home again.” That Paul Simon lyric stuck in my head as I kissed G and sauntered off for coffee and coherent humanity.

Slip Slidin’ Away,” released the year of my berf, 1975, might make a good background track to this post as it fits a few things that are going down right now.

IMG_20160722_105940

Not too far from Georgia, but far enough to realize you’re not in Kansas

Roam away from home
We’re up in the Tri-Cities area of Tennessee, where my uncle spent his last decade or so preaching at the Old Kingsport Presbyterian Church. It’s the oldest church in the area and, at least as I recall Uncle David relating to us, the structure itself was relocated to its current hillside location, brought up by hand and horse and hydraulic from its original location near the river a half-century ago. But that story isn’t mine to tell. Nor Uncle David’s … still, he had something to say about the church.

 

We came up for a final visit with him last month, when he was placed into hospice at the Johnson City, Tenn., VA. And it was a good one. Laughter, good spirits, wit, and his trademark slapstick delivered with a deadpan expression before blossoming into a jackass-eatin’-briars grin.

Uncle-David-visit

Enough Ham for everybody (taken during our recent visit)

Yet, peppered throughout, were moments of slight confusion, reminiscent of his parents’ (my grandparents’) final years.

“Somebody should let those dogs out of that box over there,”he said, to which Marilyn replied, “David there ain’t no dogs over there.”

She was right. And he’d shrug it off, resting for a minute before we shuffled into the next topic.

Uncle-David-funeral

Placed by the Honor Guard

Home-going
This afternoon, we attended a graveside service for him, replete with military honors. 21-gun salute. Taps by a bugler. Folded flag. Airborne…an Army Chaplain…a Screaming Eagle, as I remember. Twice to Vietnam. Twice back to The States. Luckier than many.

His service is the last foreseeable reason for us to be here.

Going home
Tomorrow, we’ll drive back through Asheville, perhaps stopping for a meal at that Decatur-Georgia-on-steroids city tucked in the mountains of North Carolina, his sister’s (my mother’s) home state.

If we don’t stop there, there’s an old standby awaiting us further south. Through Buckner’s Gap, we’ll continue on, passing through little of note, but a lot of beautiful space. The Dillard House is a venerable establishment that offers southern food and plenty of it.

That kind of homestyle cooking might serve as a fitting final meal before we make it back home. Meat and vegetables and cornbread served in dishes with a rich history of their own. It reminds me of my grandmother’s cooking, and I’m sure he’d stopped there before. If not, he sure missed out.

Uncle-David-funeral-Tupelo.jpg

Ironically, the restaurant we ate at prior to heading to the service had on display a model train of Kingsport, circa 1950. In it was this graveside service scene. 

The home stretch
With Uncle David’s recent passing and Mom passing just four years ago, the reality of finality or maybe all things finite is, well, realer than ever.

I’m not glum. There’s some sadness, but I’m not distraught.

A friend recently shared that her relative — a mother of but 30-something — complained of a severe headache on a Friday and was gone by Sunday. My father’s passing was even more unexpected and expeditious. My mitigating response to her…hell, my approach to life…is this: love. Every damn minute.

In other words, be grateful…at least try. I figure if it all works out in the final mix, at least I believe so. And not every day or week or even month is filled to bursting with spotting rainbows, running through sprinklers, and drinking chocolate milkshakes, but that’s okay.

Sip after sip, the glass remains half full. So drink up and chin up.

Having just finished J.K. Rowling’s first Potter book that morning, I couldn’t help but smile at the cosmic timing of receiving a used copy of Edward Abbey’s “Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness” late last Saturday. New book, new adventure.

Cloudy_Sunset_at_Delicate_Arch_(8520706358)

“Cloudy Sunset at Delicate Arch” by Arches National Park

Mr. Weiss, one of our neighbors (and only immediate neighbor) had picked it up. He found it at a local book and comic store, the purchase prompted perhaps by his telling me about the book in one of our near-the-hedge conversations, reminiscent of Tool Time‘s Tim Taylor and Wilson W. Wilson. Side note: Were the worth of our new neighbors factored into the property value, we wouldn’t be able to afford this place. 

337 pages of loveliness, not loneliness
Desert Solitaire coverIt’s a book about the author’s time as a solitary US Park Ranger at Arches National Monument in the Southwest. Autobiographical and perhaps envirographical (if you’ll permit me a new word though it’s a wee bit early in the day for that kind of foolishness), the book’s about his series of experiences in nature, and arguably experiences as a part of nature.

That’s what I wanted to write about: that separation.

Well before noon, with C already at a lecture and G still snoozing, I’m making some progress in the book, when I’m particularly struck by a snippet:

“There’s a disadvantage to the use of a flashlight: like many other mechanical gadgets, it tends to separate man from the world around him.”

Truth ages well
I’d never thought about a flashlight in those terms before, though I can see his point. But more than just the electric torch example illuminates, I’d say it’s important to consider how today’s mechanical gadgets tend to separate us from the world around us.

Take the Chromebook on which I’m scratching out these thoughts — mos def not part of Edward’s reality when he typed out his draft. Yet his observation still holds true.

IMG_20160518_195137You see, now, I’m looking at a screen, not the wild rabbits in the backyard, daily visitors in our little half-acre Eden, seen through the large kitchen window.

I’m using this electronic medium to (hopefully) connect with others, who will (hopefully) get something from these words, who might (hopefully) share them with others, perhaps helping them in some way and helping me make way as a writer in the meantime. All that hinges on my being in front of the screen.

But the cotton-tailed little darlins are still in the backyard, nibbling the grass to their hearts’ content.

I could be outside, grass between my toes, moving slowly, quietly, seeing just how close I could get before they dart off. What an experience that would be. What fun. How memorable and worthy of my time!

3-2-1-Contact!
So, yeah, gadgets can help us connect, but the original connection — that of humans with nature — it’s hard to come by. I’m of the mind that it takes effort to do so now more than ever. Similarly, we need it now more than ever.

I’d encourage you to take some time today, no matter how much, or where, or when and connect with nature. Doing so doesn’t mean you have to become a US Park Ranger.

Step into the woods and listen.
Stare at a houseplant and observe.
Hesitate before getting into the car and scurrying onto the next errand, close your eyes, breathe deep.

Nature’s there, waiting. Remember that, connect with it, and give it some love.

I picked up a little gem in Wuxtry Records $1 CD bin yesterday: Ill Communication by the Beastie Boys. For a crumpled dollar bill, it was a dealio of a deal.

But it turned into a two-fer. Hidden under Ill was my senior year of high school … on disc. No less than Check Your Head. Yes yes, y’all!

This one’s for you and you and YOU!” It was like that, but all for me and me and me!

BEastie two-fer

That’s wha cha, wha cha, wha I want.

1992, fall — Driving around in Phillip’s ’92 or ’91 Jeep Cherokee, playing it way too loud. Like Jimmy Walker, it was dy-no-mite!

Good times. Phil in the driver’s seat on his crash course to self-destruction or thereabouts, though we didn’t know it at the time. And Monik and I fighting for shotgun. Ah, sitting there boosted our egos like KITT boosted the turbo back in the day.

i-love-manischewitz

They say you never forget your first … hangover.

We’d meet up at Phil’s mansi…er, house, hang out for a while, maybe he and Monik would jam on drums and geetahr, respectively. Then head over to the Friday night Woodward football game.

As we made our way through the College Park suburbs the volume was still cranked, speakers distorting the already distorted vocals.

Back to Phil’s place after an obligatory stop at The Waffle House or the BBQ Kitchen and followed up with some Man-oh-man-oh-Manischewitz.

OK, that’s the end of it for tonight, folks ….

The 2375 Top 10 List

I’ve got 5 blog posts drafted and incomplete. I need to post something, so here’s one that’s been brewing for a while.

The Top 10 List of Things I’m Grateful for About Our New House at 2375 Hunting Valley

street view

The view from the street. G for scale.

  1. Neighbors and lack thereof. We have power lines to our left, which extend across the street, and nobody living underneath them. To our right lives a kind elderly couple.
  2. The friendly foot traffic. People on the street walk by, wave, and say hello. It’s our own personal Mayberry. We’ll take it.

    Bamboo

    Bamboo … with aspirations

  3. The green. In addition to the field underneath the power lines beside and across from us, we have bamboo – thick, 20-foot-tall bamboo. Behind our fence, there’s a long stretch of woods of hardwood and pine all the way back to the creek.

    Creek

    The Dam Builder

  4. The creek. I believe it’s South Fork Peachtree Creek, but regardless it’s a wide body of water with a noticeable current. Sure there’s some plastic flotsam and jetsam – working on cleaning that out – but there’re rocks and vines and trees in it and across it.
  5. The quiet. Our street is not a thoroughfare. Couple that with our dearth of immediate neighbors, and that equals something called semi-solitude. You can look up at night and almost see the lack of noise. It’s palpable. Evening baseball games from the nearby neighborhood park echo over the treetops, taking nothing away from the quiet, but somehow adding to it.
  6. The birds. I swear we’re living in a nature preserve or maybe a Disney movie. Perhaps not the latter but if all these songbirds burst into song and make Carmen a dress for the ball, I’ll reconsider. Hawks, songbirds, two different kinds of woodpeckers, plus an owl (sight unseen, but heard). One of the woodpeckers, a redheaded one that we’ve named Woody, pecked the crap out of one of the stumps by the fire ring.

    woodpecker

    Woody, I ain’t even mad at ya.

  7. The bunnies. Cute, fluffy, brown, real, not-stuffed, actual bunny rabbits. There are at least four different ones that we have seen. Related note: we planted carrots in our garden.

    Turkey

    Not a bunny, but I forgot to mention we have a neighborhood turkey.

  8. Our garden. Gabriel’s always been a good gardener thanks in large part to his grandma. And I’ve always enjoyed gardening, although my execution thereof leaves something to be desired. Regardless, before all boxes were unpacked at the new place we spent an entire Saturday and some of Sunday pulling up grass; tilling in compost; and planting cucumbers, tomatoes, corn, and them carrots.

    garden

    G, fixin’ to tear it up.

  9. My family. We change circumstances, the circumstances change us. And while I know that happiness comes from within, living within these walls makes us happy.

    family

    Staring out at the back yard, a worthwhile way to spend time

  10. My friends. We now have more space in which we can welcome even more of them. I can’t wait fill it up at our Warm The House (Party) later this month and share this wonderful space. They’ve been so supportive through this whole process, and I even had an old high school pal who, even though he can’t make the party, offered to help “move anything large/heavy or help with any dirty tasks between now and then.” That’s what got me started writing instead of just thinking about this list. Thanks, y’all.Friends

 

March was made of yarn

Scattered thoughts in my notebook and marginalia in the above were the only things I’d written of our visit to the coast until now.

In the summer of 2014, we visited Japan and stopped along the coast to see areas affected by the tsunami of 2011. Accompanying us were friends whom we’d thought we’d lost in that very tsunami. Ironic and reassuring at the same time.

What we saw, what we experienced, what we felt … it all made an impression. I can’t see someone sharing a space with such an occurrence — even separated by time — and not feel … well, something. I can only imagine what it was like to look up to see the ocean moving toward you, 125+ feet higher than normal at its peak.

Coming into focus
This is the first I’ve published anything I’ve written about the experience. A few years ago, I read March was Made of Yarn, a collection of literature (and even a manga) about the Great Tohoku Earthquake of 2011 and related events.

But recently I’ve had occasion to read articles on subject, some pieces coming from the fringe. Stuff like how taxi drivers along the coast report passengers who ask to be take to the coast and then disappear along the way. And others a bit more harrowing.

Another one — altogether grounded in this realm — was a report on tsunami stones, which were places along the coast to warn future generations of past tsunami catastrophes. This was the article that finally spurred me to attempt to share my experiences visiting the coast.

Ayukawa

Building, torn off concrete footings and set on its side, near Ayukawa

Not broken, just incomplete
This post … It’s short, incomplete, as I see it, but that’s fittingly one of the feelings impressed on me along the coast. Once complete, thriving, now … still many years afterward … incomplete, scattered.

To remedy things (at least from a literary angle), I’ll add more. Maybe more to this one, but likely additional posts of a more personal nature.


Aneyoshi’s stonemason

Tamashige’s calloused hands picked up the metal chisel and hammer again. Fresh dust, dry and coarse, blanketed the ground at his feet. Dust – so much dust. So much it formed a pale nimbus around the base of the short stone pillar that was his work today.

Japan 2014 slideshow (170).jpgHe looked at his tools and weary hands, but couldn’t stop. He had to continue. He loosely cradled the tools of his craft for a moment. Then glanced at the stone before looking beyond it, his eyes coming to rest on the ancient mountain laurel still clinging higher up the hillside.

A sigh.

He turned, back toward the resilient shrub, and looked down toward Aneyoshi Town. What was left of it. Its rubble now littered the ground at his feet – broken beams, ceramics, roof tiles, even a fabric doll.

These items didn’t belong here, not on the hillside above the town. They belonged near the bay, not pushed and crushed, scattered by the irresistible, adamant force of a rising sea.

These things didn’t belong here – didn’t deserve to be covered in stone dust. He did. That was his calling. But he couldn’t understand why he still … was. Perhaps it was because he, as the settlement’s stonemason, was the only one who could carve these warning stones, the only one who could ensure the fresh, rough-torn impressions of the tsunami would reach others decades after he was gone.

“Present melts into past,” he murmured to himself, turning back to his work, “and past — that becomes distant memory. Unless it’s carved in stone.”

Future generations would see the stones, and hopefully take heed of their recessed words, which implored readers not to build homes between stone and sea.

Perhaps that was the reason Tamashige, the Aneyoshi stonemason, still lived. Perhaps he could invest his hope in that.

Dig for your truth

I write. That’s nothing new. But I have a friend now who’s doing the same, trying to a put a story to paper. Her story. About herself and the struggle to get to where she is, and that entails the struggle to get through some caustic ka-ka. And perhaps that’s why it’s so hard to complete it.

On writing

This guy says to write about “anything you damn well want … as long as you tell the truth.”

I’m helping out — at her request, mind you. None of that unsolicited “Y’know <AHEM> I’m a professional writer, so you might consider blah-biddy-blah-blah”BS from me. No, I’ll save the unsolicited advice for subjects I don’t know anything about.

Writing truthfully about ourselves is, I’d say, one of the most difficult things to do.

Narcissists aside, if we really strip it down … throw varnish on our ego and are truthful when we write about ourselves — what we feel, experience, believe, are — we find that committing to that honest expression of yourself gives you pause.

Seeing yourself on the page
For me, writing honestly about myself is like a quick dip in hot vinegar. What the hell kinda simile was that? An honest one, but it sucked. Trying again … writing honestly about myself is scary. Yeah, that’s it. Scary.

Stephen King wrote “Good writing is often about letting go of fear and affectation.” Because I don’t journal nor keep a diary, everything I write is open to others’ eyes. Even this very blog, which I tell myself I write for me, is available to others. Even here, where I assure myself it’s safe, I’ve a tendency to be measured in my meter.

Do I really want to admit to this?
What are they going to think if I end it that way? 
How does this word affect their perception about me?

I guess that’s what’s so self-damning about being in marketing: You’re trained to see your work, and I’d argue yourself, from another’s perspective before your own. Hell, you’re paid to forgo your truth.

The truth we don’t know
So enough of me (did somebody say “narcissist”?) and back to this friend’s writing. It’s bringing to light something more than just the question of being truthful.

okinawa-cape-manzamoThat’s because the facts are all there … from the solace of girlhood conversations with God through the trials of a distanced home life across the harsh reality and veneered independence of adolescence up through young adulthood’s discoveries to the resolution of her present reality and positive future. It’s there, and it’s good.

But she’s at the point — we are, I suppose, since we’re at this crossroad of tackling this draft together — of looking at the story and going deeper.

Asking the why behind the what.
Seeking the motives behind the motions.
And the soul-level drivers behind destiny-changing decisions.

To me that’s seeking the truth we don’t know.

BedrockI can’t do that for her any more than anyone could do it for me. It’s a sojourn that we gotta take; I can only consider the directions before her, talk through those, maybe weigh each one, but it’s she who heads down that path.

That truth we don’t know, too, can be scary, because you might just discover something you didn’t want to admit.

But then, and there’s always a “but then,” if you can dig deep enough, just like hitting bedrock, there’s a certainty to your truth that’s immovable.

 

 

“Now, there is yoga.”

That title’s apparently the first statement in the Yoga Sutras. I know that not from personal experience, at least not beyond the personal experience of hearing our instructor quote the author Patañjali during yesterday’s awesome class at FORM{yoga}. And trust me, the title is about as Zen as this post gets, y’all.

 

FORMhdl

“Yeah, no … I’m not about to attempt this.”

Stretch. Now repeat 75x.
I’ve got fitness goals this year, one of which is to hit up 75 yoga classes. Now I was absent the day they taught math in school, but I figure to hit that target I gotta knock out 3 classes every 2 weeks. Doable. Or so I thought.

 

Yesterday’s class was the 6th or 7th attempt this year. But I made it, finally, to a class. That class’s name: Hips Don’t Lie. I kid you not. Hell, my hips don’t even stretch the truth hardly.

Polka-powered prana
The class was chill, so very chill … almost glacial as it turned out. At first though, I had my doubts. We were up in the (noticeably warmer) loft part of the studio, so I was thinking we’d be sweating buckets as we flexed our hips in ways that would bring shame to my puritanical ancestors.

Harmonium

This is a harmonium, as seen through the hazy, chilly-chill post-class ambiance. (Foot for scale.)

And then there was the accordion.

Well, make that a harmonium. I had no clue what the squeezebox-lookin’ thing was there on the floor at the front of the class, my teacher sitting on the business end.

I couldn’t help thinking, “If she thinks I’m starting my Monday with a polka, I’m outta here.”

But nah … a couple chords and a few Ommms  later and it was back to being an intruguing conversation piece.

Hans and Franz and Patañjali
This was the first class I’ve even done with my eyes closed. It wasn’t volitional; we were instructed. And I liked it! Sure, as close in as we all were to each other, we ran the risk of bumping body parts.

Did I mention I was the only dude there? Hellooooo, ladies. I see by your bumper sticker you too have a child on the honor roll … Ah, my game ain’t what it used to be, and it wasn’t much to begin with. I hardly passed Go, and rarely collected $200.

But, said bumping didn’t occur. And neither did any the Hans and Franz-era pumping up of the gluteal region. No complaints there, though today I definitely feel some soreness in my maximus, medius, and minimus, which happens when you get it kicked, even slowly.

And that’s never a bad thing.

Check out a class at FORM{yoga}. You’ll be glad you did … and your ass will thank you.

 

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