I tried reblogging it again - didn’t publish the whole thing the first time around. THANKS for following!!
“We are made of starstuff.”
A fellow nerd friend came over Friday night and we had one of those hours long, meandering conversations that used to happen all the time really late at night sitting in the hallway of my college dorm trying to figure out everything in the world while avoiding studying for mid-terms or writing a 15-page paper. I miss what seemed like an endless amount of time to have those kinds of conversations and I miss that everyone around me was a sponge for knowledge and wanted to understand how the world worked and they experimented and tried to figure out who they were and what they believed and why.
Nerdy friend and I talked about the connection between science and art, the dark side of empathy, and how scary and crucial it is to fuck shit up in your life every once in a while when everything seems to be smoothly humming along but you feel like you might die from the monotony and from knowing what to expect every single day of your life and you start to realize you’ll never evolve if you don’t set your hair on fire.
We also talked about how we are all stardust and that we are all connected to each other by the same basic elements that formed the universe. Reminded me of this video:
Every Saturday morning, I go to hot yoga class led by Derek who kicks my ass. He gives specific instructions on how to perform and intensify each pose.
“Lower your butt five more inches.”
“Twist until you can see the back wall.”
“And now for our 9th wheel, up!”
Sweat streams down my arms and legs like a small waterfall onto the thin towel atop the yoga mat that can no longer absorb any additional moisture. Sweat pools between the mats and mingles with my neighbor’s salty drippings. Sweat creates a thick, musty steam in a room crowded with Lululemon and perky ponytails. You can’t be too squeamish when you do hot yoga with Derek.
I used to poo poo yoga until I found Derek. The physical rigor of his class keeps me coming back every week. But what really blows me away are all the things he seems to be saying about yoga, but are really about how to live and seem always directed specifically at me, like this recent gem:
“You can’t evolve unless you make yourself uncomfortable. Walk through the fire and see what happens.”
On the first day of spring last week, my friend Sara sent me this:
Inspired by Chahārshanbe-Sūri, the Persian Fire Jumping Festival - “The celebration usually starts in the evening, with people making bonfires in the streets and jumping over them singing zardi-ye man az toh, sorkhi-ye toh az man. The literal translation is, my yellow is yours, your red is mine. Loosely translated, this means you want the fire to take your paleness, sickness, and problems and in turn give you redness, warmth and energy.”
She learned about this Iranian tradition from a co-worker while riding in the elevator to work. We decided we needed to jump over a fire that very night. I posted our plan on Facebook and an oddball group of people assembled on my terrace to jump over a bonfire we’d built of candles. We each silently thought of something negative we wanted to leave behind and something positive we wanted to jump toward and we held sparklers in our hands and leaped toward renewal.
A meteor streaked through the night sky two nights later:
And the most beautiful thing I have ever seen is a billion stars in the dark desert sky, hundreds of miles away from the nearest man-made lights that pollute the sky. I felt small and at the same time I felt that all the possibilities of my life were contained within the stars.
…many people feel small but I feel big, because my atoms came from those stars. It is a level of connectivity. It is really what you want from life, you want to feel connected, you want feel relevant, wanna feel you like you are a participant…