Of Course, We Got Here

It Has Just Been So Damn Easy

Yes, I asked the boy out after stalking him in a very timid and innocent way.  And yes, he said that he would meet me for drinks on the twelfth day of the twelfth month of 2012.  Oh…and we met at 12 South Taproom on a whim.

He kissed me after walking me to my car.  A tiny sweet kiss with a quick squeeze of my knee.

He made a point to call instead of texting.  He tells me now that getting to know me was his most important goal.

He takes me to where he was a camp counselor for 9 years on date 3.  It was after taking me to dinner at Tin Angel.  I was so nervous, I barely ate anything.  Thankfully we had picked up a jar of pickled beets after discussing our admiration for this fork stabbing perfection and ate them in the parking lot of Percy Warner Park.  We then drove 20 minutes outside of Nashville to a desolate and dark camp sprinkled with fantastic old green cabins with screened in windows and a larger building where it feeds 600 plus children in the summer months.  We held hands for the first time as he lead me through a cave only lit by his cell phone and drank water from a natural spring.

I made him pot roast in my trusty crock pot for fourth date.  We had a moment.  While we tried to navigate the tight courters of a kitchen, I look over and see him looking at me with confusion and delight.  What?  I say.  “I feel like we have done this before a million other times”.  Yes, it felt so usual…so old hat but not tattered nor frayed but soft and well worn.

We recently went back to the same camp for one of his old friend’s wedding.  Oddly and telling, the groom was named Patrick and the bride was Sarah.  Tis True.

I send him small little love note cards in the mail.  We used to say things like how much we adored each other or how wonderful the other is.  Skating each time passed the dangerous and delicate “love” word until one morning he holds me and states in a very determined and steady voice, “Sarah.  I need to tell you something.  I need for you to listen and not say anything until I’ve finished.” (I honestly thought I was about to be instructed on how I was going to help him bury a body). “Sarah, I love you for the way you protect and care for your friends. I love you for the way you take care of your animals.  Most of all the way you protect and take care of me.”  There was pause from me…only because I just wanted to revel in this moment a few seconds longer.  He looks down at his fidgeting feet that move restlessly under the covers.  “You don’t have to say anything back.  It’s okay.”

I love him dearly.  I of course told him this on that morning…after 4 and half months of being together.  But I can honestly say that I believe I loved him the very first moment he talked to me.  This was 3 months prior to our first date.  I couldn’t breathe while he talked to me about plant root congestion.  I only saw flashes of myself reading a book while he worked in a garden and dogs ran a muck.  I then felt my face turn bright red as he asked me a question and I wasn’t listening to answer.

He is kind.  He is affectionate.  He is smart and educated.  He adores being outside as much as I do.  He eats healthy.  He can build furniture.  He gently kisses me on my forehead and this warmth will sometimes bring tears to my eyes.  He and I laugh together all the time.  He told me when he saw my Bye Bye Liver show that he liked me even more because I was so confident.  Whenever I’m being terribly inappropriate and silly, he will run over and pick me up, “Please never change!  This is my favorite thing about you.  Thank you thank you thank you for being funny!”  (hint on my inappropriateness?  Barely a month of us dating, I used to…well, wait, I still do this…make two sounds anytime he did anything that delighted me.  One would sound like an explosion.   This would be of my heart.  The other would be a the sound of a soft little door opening or of a baby Pterodactyl .  (so very hard explaining this sound).  That would be my vagina opening…anytime he would do anything like talk about what books he likes reading or the type of beer he is making or that he has made me dinner.  Actually both sounds often come firing out of my mouth with rapid silliness.  Why use words when you can just use sounds?

I am so blessed to have him in my life.

I am so DAMN excited to see where this goes.  To be on this path with him.  To be making decisions together as we lead and follow and walk beside each other in our upcoming stages.

It was so easy.

I’ve always heard…when it’s right…it’s easy.

Stripping Away the Norm

And This May be a Tad Revealing…

Strip? Revealing? And…what?  What could be the third word?  Exotic dancer?  Nope.  W-A-X.  But I’m sure these two often go hand in hand…but for me…only the wax.  (feathers make me sneeze and my feet hurt after 10 minutes of wearing high heals not to mention, not really my thing).

My sessions of getting a monthly wax is anything but traditional.

I truly go to someone who is like a ninja.  She can have me out the door in 7 minutes while the pain is at the bare minimum.  bare.

However, our sessions haven’t been swift in a quite awhile because while I lay half exposed on a reclining chair we talk all things life enriching…and this is why I just love human beings and how beautifully different we all are to one another.

Talia is a body builder.  She is flying out at the end of the week to Texas to compete in the Texas Strongest Woman.  She hopes to place so she can then go to Nationals.  She is strikingly engaging with her vivid tattoos and partly shaved hair.  Her complexion is flawless and eyes sparkle as she tells me how she will be throwing a 200 pound boulder over a bar.  She will be judged on how many times this can be accomplished in 60 seconds.  I started to laugh and responded, “they would have to judge me on how many different model and dance poses I could do on it while I sat on top of it.” (and lightening fast, I came up with ten in while she pulled another strip)

I can compliment her on how big her legs look from the last time I was there.  She has this amazing figure and even though she falls into the heavy weight lifting category she is still such a feminine women.  Femininity isn’t size.  It’s grace.

We talk about meditation and visualization.  We talk about life coaches and even forgiving those who raised us.  We share about finding the path towards truly excepting ourselves and honoring our own path.  I tell her about a book that I treasure and that I think she too would enjoy: The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz.

The Four Agreements are:

1. Be Impeccable with your Word: Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the Word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your Word in the direction of truth and love.

2. Don’t Take Anything Personally
Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.

3. Don’t Make Assumptions
Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

4. Always Do Your Best
Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.

These are such simple gifts that I utilize in my own life.

All important but I place much integrity on the ability to never make assumptions.  Talia is an amazing person and her interests are not my own but they are quite relatable.  And I value what I learn from her…she goes against the norm and believes in the power of her own strength.

Yes.  May we all attain this.

Same Message, Different Daughter

The Words That Stand Still

Two days ago, I was on the phone with Kerry.  She was telling me about how her lovely little family have sunday morning meetings each week and no one can talk unless they are in possession of the “talking-stick”.  Her little boy is usually the first one who grabs hold of the gabbing gate keeper.  The meeting will also begin with the act of communicating what each appreciates about the other.  I love hearing all of this.

Kathryn beeps in and I let it go to voicemail.

I continue to talk to Kerry.  She is striving for a full year of consuming food without any sugar.  What about cake on b-days? Nope.  What about having to make snacks for classrooms? Nope.  Kerry cooks with Paleo theory in mind and so this goal could work.  Actually, she’s been helping Kathryn with the diet’s guidelines as well.

I get off the phone with Kerry and do a little housework.  I then remember that Kathryn had called and I go to listen to her message.

Two years ago, I had left her a very similar one to her own voicemail but mine was about my father.  In the very same quivering voice, “I don’t think they can revive him”.

I’m back in Memphis.  Tomorrow I drive to Winona, MS to be there for my dear friend as she was there for me.  She has lost her daddy to a massive heart attack.

She may be a wife and a mother of two little ones but she is still and foremost a daughter who feels broken and lost…who didn’t get to say goodbye to the man who was her father.

Reunited With My Big wheel

And a Bear Named Honey.

Our trip to Memphis also fell into the timing of my mom packing for her move to PA to live closer to my sister and her family.  The attic had been recently released to the floor of the garage where boxes of items filled with once adored childhood accouterment.  Either it was going to be taken by me or tossed.  It was quick sweep of what was going into the U-haul mini trailer and what was departing my life forever.  All cheerleader stuff was kept…both from high school and college.  I then begged my mom if I could keep the tree people and plastic tree house in which they lived.  (Next to the tree was a bush that popped open and it’s where the dog lived).  She said Elizabeth had received it for her bday when she was four.  I rebutted: “it’s not like she would keep it, she doesn’t believe in Plastic toys!”  I won.  It has a handle built into the tree…so it’s totally portable.  Retro play time, anyone?

The 25 pencils with fun toppers, a baby’s blanket, one of my dad’s footballs, his baseball bat, my rifle that I twirled in high school band, the poster my sister made me when I was 13…it was created with magazine word cut outs and pictures of me and my friends, a slew of Sorority crap from old pictures to a Kappa Delta crest blanket.  I did though toss this oversized odd wooden lap table thing.  It had a bear painted on it while it held a dagger.  Maybe those were our symbols?  Who the hell cares.  Oh, but did snag a pillow case that says AOT on it and will send to Kathryn as a joke.  AOT was short for something in Latin and had to with integrity.  I saw it, rolled my eyes and began to fill it up with dusty folders and books.

There was also a heart picture frame of my boyfriend in high school, Buck.  It used to sit on top of my dresser.  I laughed and then tossed it into a keep box.

Patrick just patiently waited and helped where he could as I moved throughout this memory induced space.  My mom and I laughed when we came across a terrible picture of Elizabeth and I. She was wearing a large silk scarf around her shoulders and I had on a lace collar with pearls.  We were barely in our teens but looked like we worked in a bank and just celebrated our 40th birthdays.  She wasn’t there to defend herself but karma came back in full force as a large sketch was found of me in my senior photo…and I was wearing a cowboy hat.  And…I was resting my chin on my wrist.  T.E.R.R.I.B.L.E.

I had at one point came across a cluster of holy cards.  This box also had crosses and crucifixes and all things catholic.  I was on a mission to relinquish and so without much thought I began dumping into a reachable trash bag.  Patrick tells me on the drive back to Nashville that my mom took in a tiny gasp and then reached out and grabbed his arm for emotional support.  I think of this and it will always make me giggle.

I had three loves as a little girl: climbing trees, collecting teddy bears, and skidding around in my black and green BOYS big wheel.  No pink and white anything was going to make me look twice.  And even better, my big wheel once had a lion roar function.  The button has been long removed but my small frame can still sit in it and peddle it with one side of my left foot.

What soothed me as I slept was always a well chosen teddy bear.  To this day, I still recall all of their names: Lucas, Spencer, Honey, Theodore, Baily, Sebastian, and Rutherford.  Sweet Honey Bear was loved the most.  His head had once popped off and my dad ran around the house pulling a wagon while making an ambulance sound prior to fixing him in the garage.  Honey was once left in a church pew and I couldn’t sleep until the next day when we went to retrieve him.  To this day, I look at him and can instantly feel the love I had for him again when I was five.

We load everything in.  We say goodbye to my mom.  As we drive away from Front St in Memphis, I begin to cry.  I tell Patrick how my dad would clean up litter all around downtown.  My daddy died in that house.  Seeing so much of my past all shoved into boxes…and all items that he once contributed to…it was just so numbing.  Patrick held my hand and said we can come back any time.

In a U-haul I carry back my past but I sit next to my future.  I take a deep breath and squeeze his hand.

Add New Post

Ok…now?

Within the Admin section of this WordPress blog land there lies a section called Posts.  There is then a subcategory titled, “Add New”.  Hmmmm, so demanding.  But then again how supportive, ya know?  My Admin Editor believes in my ability to add something new because life is always bringing in new.

We often transfix change with bad or difficult but anything new is also simply the act of change.

There’s plenty I could write about…my new job working at Sanctuary for Yoga, how the connections I made in four months at a random job have become such amazing and dear people in my life and how much my world has expanded because of them, how my friendship with Melissa has given me such strength in so many different areas, my communication with my sister has begun to expand, beautiful Becky has again extended an invitation for my seeing her in Thailand, and the boy and I will be driving to Memphis tomorrow so he can meet my mom.

We are taught to brace ourselves for change but too, we must be ready to leap when all that change is rolling in goodness.  We, lovely individuals that we all are…are worthy of blessings that can fall into our laps without much effort.

Ok…when…will this all happen?

It may be now.  It may be within the year.  But just be ready for the change and the ability to add with complete abandon.

Equilibrium on Hiatus

And Wind Sock Blew Away Too

hi there.  (a tiny wave from a disappointed hand appears behind a cracked door).  And then I come out from hiding.

Okay, even though it’s only been three days that I haven’t written and I’m derailed off my course doesn’t mean I shouldn’t pick up and begin again.  However, I’m only one day off the upside-down-head-to-the-ground position.

I’d like to blame this all on pink food coloring.  On a trip to Target on Monday, I found myself stockpiling my cart with terrible “food” choices.  I’m now the proud owner of 20 cotton candy sherbet flavored push up ice cream pops.  Ya know the ones with primary polka dots on their cardboard coats and wax paper removable hats?  The thick box wasn’t able to fit in it’s entirety into freezer so now, when I open the door, I’m reminded 18 (I ate two) times in random stuck places that I had lost my way.  And then there was the purchase of a large package of pink wafer cookies.  Maybe they were attempting to be strawberry flavored but regardless, just pure sugar heaven.  Light and crispy sticks of joy.  At this very moment, I stare at residual pink cookies crumbs on my bedside table and earlier this week, I even had to dust them out of Delilah’s fur.  I could see it in her eyes, she too was disappointed. Then there was the Fruity Pebbles…

All of the above, I totally blame on hormones.  You’d think as much as I have gotten my period that my exhaustion and random snack consumption would plug me into my reality but each time, I completely forget what’s coming for a visit.  I will wine, “Why am I so tired? and whyyyyyyyyyy does the look of your face make me want to scream?”  Now, I never get surely surely but emotional? Oh, yes!  My compassion will tend to shine light onto inanimate objects.  “Oh, rock…why are you alone…let’s join the others near the fence”.

But this month, I became too topsy turvy.  Yes, there was the eating.  There were pink pop tarts too but let’s move on.  And then my writing stopped with an abrupt stance.  I even thought at one moment…”I have nothing to write about, I’ll never write again”.  (yeaaah, a little dramatic now, aren’t we?).  But all of this compares quite little to this…oh. to. this.

So, my sweet Patrick and I have been dating a little over two months.  Such a short time.  We have such a strong and growing relationship.  I am so thankful that we finally met even though it was by my doing.  Meaning, I savor that I asked him out but I am DONE doing the first of firsts…I decided quickly after that…I am bowing out and he’s the man, he gets the reigns from now on.

Clippity clop clop. Clippity clop clop. Clippity clop clop clop clippity clop clop. clip clop.

Somehow I lost control of my pony and took back the reigns…by total mistake.  Utter mistake.

It maybe was due to my sugar high or maybe my uterus was zapping my brain but two days ago it happened.

We both were being silly as we often are while we prepare to get him out the door.  We talk about what is on the other’s docket for the day.  We include Delilah and Coraline into the conversation seamlessly.  We share random stories while we kiss and hug each other goodbye.

My moment before was saying that I needed to go take some Advil for my terrible cramps.  He had his hand on the door.  I began to walk towards bathroom.  Without thinking…without acknowledging that this has never been shared between us…I say…slightly even yell…

“I love you!”

Everything went silent.

I then do a less than audible, “fuck!” and continue into the bathroom

I did not look back.  Oh, and he heard me.  I noticed that the door didn’t shut right away.  I surmise that he stood there for a moment in utter shock while I buried my head into my heads inside the bathroom walls.  I was silently laughing while it was coated in mortification.   He then shut the door behind me.

Ok.  It seems as though the storm has passed.  MC was sure that he would bring it up.  I’m sure that he won’t and he hasn’t yet.  He’s the man that I believe places a lot of weight into those words and they mean forever.  We saw each other that night while we had dinner with his parents and brother and nothing had fazed him.

I’m back.  I’m standing up straight until when I need to be inverted for three minutes.  The gust of upheaval has finally subsided.

I lick my finger and raise it above my head.  Yep, I still have no idea why it matters which direction the wind is coming from…I’m just happy that’s it’s no longer knocking me off my feet.

My Own Pointing Scarecrow

Hopefully, We All Have Them

How people meet or how introduced has always peeked my interest.  I often ask how married couples first encountered the other…what was that moment that lead their two bubbles bouncing off the other?  Maybe there are no coincidences?  There is something to trusting that exploration.

And friendships are fascinating as well…especially for me as I have lived in a handful of states now in my adult life and each time I have left with such deep connections that occurred due to bizarre circumstances.

And meeting my new friend, Raquel was no different.  She is a beautiful yoga instructor filled with energetic grace.  However, I’ve only taken one class from her…and even though I try to further my personal yogic relationship…the studio is not where she became to influence my life.

For the past four months or so, we began running into each other all over Nashville.  In so many different random corners of this big little city.  We began to know each other from all of our encounters vs the many places she was teaching…for that would have made much more sense.  Around four weeks ago, I ran into her in Hillsboro Village and as if someone else pushed the words right out of me, I found myself saying, “I’m supposed to learn from you in some capacity.”

My dear friend CiCi began to read my blog a few months back and asked if I’d like to join her writing group.  I had never felt so blessed.  I was just so honored she’d ask me…beautiful CiCi is a published writer, you see.  I asked who was else in the group.  “Oh, a wonderful woman named Raquel.  She’s a yoga teacher, do you know her?”

We meet on Mondays.  We met today actually.

Writing is of course about the words one puts together but also…Also, very much so,  it is about the connection.  We must connect with each other so we can KNOW how to string those letters together, one by one to form coherent and meaningful written moments.

I didn’t know I was being guided until it was apparent that I was.  There are signs everywhere.  Open your heart and see what is in your life.

Running Off Stage

To Another Light Source

Parvati and I had an interesting afternoon as we intensely caught up on each other’s lives between the three sets of very compelling interpretive dance at the Nashville Ballet.  Even though our lives intersect only so often, we never fall into the disconnect.  We share such adoration for the other, that our communication may stop in real time but it feels as though it forever continues.  So, as to why picking up where we left off is effortless.

It is truly amazing these dancers that I was able to view.  Their physiques are stunning.  Everything is one within a body and it was so very apparent today.  Not only the muscles but the intent behind each movement.  The heart was just as strong as the vulnerable gestures.

There was so much to see!  There was so much to take in: lifts and leaps and brilliant turns.  The story with no words was being created with such ease.

However, one motion seemed to freeze before me.  I became transfixed to their exiting into the wings.  Still much of a dancer as their shoulders were back and arms open and controlled as if holding the sides of a cape below their alternating hips.  There was electric light shining on their faces and torsos many of the times and within seconds they would be swiftly gone.

I was very much in the moment of the performance but too so very interested in who these individuals are as they let go of their perfected frames and then casually run to a possible costume change or drink from a bottled water being that they will not be returning until later.

Is their best version of themselves that of the performer?  Is this something they have ever wondered?

I know, I feel most alive on a stage and I’m ready to feel that in other places.  I’m ready for the transfer.  Maybe as to why…and I’m figuring this out this very moment while I write…as to why the exists made such an impact on me.

Their spotlight wasn’t seen by all but it doesn’t mean it wasn’t there.

Teetering Toes

Where I am now

After Winston’s class at Steadfast and True on Friday, I got a few pointers on my head stand.  He said that I needed to stop practicing so close to the wall.  Melissa also suggested to tighten in my elbows on the floor so that my center of gravity could be more defined.  And yes, this really helped.  Winston said that I need to break it down into stages and not worry about the final product until I have the control in place.  I need to be able to bring legs up slowly vs using such momentum of kicking one up followed by the second.  All stabilization is in the hips.  I should stop both legs in a bent fashion hovering over my downward facing frame.

I have been doing this for the past few days.  My bent legs have my toes facing the wall that is still behind me but not as close.  My feet will lightly catch me when I begin to sway to the back and with quickness, I’ll try to come back to center.  This dance continues for the entire three minutes.

I know, I need to pull away even further from that wall.

I know, I need to just BE in this place right now where my legs are not extended.

Ya know…I do know that it’s not about the perfected position.  It’s about the process.  I will trust that it will figure itself out in time…of course it will…I’m doing what I can each day to meet myself halfway.

Where I am now is not where I’ll be…but where I am now…is really delicious and good.

It Was Time, I Needed The Intervention

My Mask Was Losing it’s Elastic

Hello, my name is Sarah Durden and I write this blog.

I’ve written this sucker for almost three years now and I was doing everything I could to keep my privacy intact.  However, as Melissa pointed out that my twitter account had my name on it…doubtless durden…it wasn’t a complete mystery.  Mind you, the name wasn’t chosen in haste.  I went back and forth on that a year ago.  Psychologically and emotionally, I decided to use the art of alliteration.  I had been feeling that the title in my blog may be working against me as I tried with all my might in effort to figure out my direction.  Dammit, I was tired of being filled with doubt!  I wanted to counteract my meandering direction that I had written in the stars.  Yes, it may have only been the internet stars but it was still getting circulated out there and it was time to show my destination that I was back in charge.

A goal I had created this year was to add 500 more subscribers to my already 900.  Melissa looked at me sternly from across our gluten free dried out lemon muffins and said in more or less words, Sugar, how do you think that number is to grow if you have your thumb up your butt.

And then she opened her laptop.  Googled my name plus blog and there I was for the the first 5 headings.  I had had that article from Smith magazine that had written about my blog…so that cat’s dead decaying body has been laying outside it’s bag for quite awhile now.

I knew this all as truth waaaayyyyy back in my mind but still never wanted to connect my facebook world to this world.  I wanted to compartmentalize my growing and exploring self from those who know me somewhat now or knew me when I was sixteen and a cheerleader.

Maybe the mask has been slipping off due to standing on my head each day.  All that blood rushing to my thinker is expelling the vulnerability.  Orrrr….it’s just time to see where this will take me as I truly embrace it, exposure and all.