Sunday, February 14, 2010
Of bodies and booze: gonzo reporting
It's 2:03 in the morning (only for a little while) and I've started this blog five times in the first word. Then probably a dozen more times within the first ten words. I'm drunk.
Note that it's the type of day upon which I would play a drunk. Big show last night, two new players in band. Great show, lots of friends, good singing at Sons of Hermann (in Dallas). Did my job (woo-hoo I'm a musician), went to sleep, woke up, went to funeral of last member of my grandmother's generation, did Saturday, went to a Mardi Gras party at a high-price establishment, went looking for cheaper drinks during intermission, ended up staying at low-price establishment until 1:30am. Now drunk.
Back to blog at 10:48am. So, how does my body feel now? Very adult, I can tell you that. Practically moribund, except for the slight spinning sensation. And I feel very fluffy this morning.
Yes, gentle readers, alcohol is part of my life. Maybe one day I'll take the pledge; it wouldn't be my most difficult vice to give up. But in the meantime, it's one more way for me to get fat and sloppy.
I know that alcohol effects my blood for the worse. Maybe you're thinking, well duh, everybody knows about blood alcohol content ... yeah, duh. I'm the kind of person that has to find out everything first-hand (divination fans, take note: I'm first day Aries, Ox in the Road, zero Fool in the Tarot deck, too stubborn to take any fixed-attribute theories seriously, at least as they apply to me ...)
Once I dreamed about sludgy water running in gutters, slow-moving run-off from some industrial waste dump. Those were such strong images that, when I awoke, I poked around in the on-line literature about dream symbols, and found my resonating meaning: this was my blood I was dreaming about. I'd been drinking a lot in a rather short specific period, and my kidneys weren't happy about it.
Yoga is a practice designed to bring your mind, body and spirit together - that's what the sanskrit word "yoga" means. If you know me personally, or if you can already read it between the lines, you know that I'm a fairly scattered piece of humanity. My mind is always grasping at new ideas, my spirit is fed by dreams and devotions, my body has been like a gun to shoot my dreams into the universe. If the bullet is the mind-meaning of the gun, does it miss it's body once it's in motion? Some cast-iron piece of equipment, that's how I've treated my body through most of my life.
But like a faithful dog, or an angel, the body doesn't give up on the mind. And the spirit that mind can dimly grasp is celebrated by every breath of the body, every pulse, every new cell. God's own image. As Albert Camus said, "the body has it's own intelligence." Not a radical idea now, but a revelation from a mid-twentieth century existentialist philosopher. Those are the kinds of connections that I most easily grasp; the big-brain ones. Ideas are food for the mind; we all sit at different tables.
Practicing yoga, even a little while, gives you the idea that you can talk to your body and get answers. I mean specific body parts and specific answers. Like, "how are feeling today, kidneys?" "Uh, not so hot, Jenni. When are you going to give up booze bingeing?" "Uh, working on it ..."
So that sounds pretty fantastical, I guess. But it's a kind of meditation that is helping me come together: my mind, my body, my spirit, all of one will. The will to be healthy.
I have some unlearning to do. Some mis-education to contend with. I'm glad to be a robust person in body and mind - I may have some years left to enjoy the fruits of my present labor.
That is, when I get sober later today. I may get depressed - that would be my glandular complaint about last night's fun. "How are you feeling today, adrenal glands?" "Soooo sad, Jenni ..."
The truth will set you free, Jenni