3 Zen Life Lessons from a Global Crisis
"Are you sitting on your bench today?" It's one of the first things my therapist asks me when we start our phone session each week. I haven't seen him in person since March, and it looks like that's not an activity I'll be resuming any time soon.
- Second Place in Confession Corner Challenge
"Hello, my name is Not Real."
My first poetry open-mic was as a literal breath of fresh air. After years of working as a musician, the experience of entering a well-lit bookstore stood in comforting contrast to the suffocation of cigarette smoke, liquor, and sexual advances from inappropriately older men. Still, I felt over-exposed without the soft buzz of bar chit-chat to hide behind. The thought of performing for a seated and attentive audience was to me as exciting as it was nerve-wracking.
The Ultimate Learning Hack
I love learning— it's such a glorious process of discovering new ways to express and experience life. The world is so delightfully complex, it feels like there's never enough hours in a day to dig to the bottom of every rabbit hole that I come across. How long would it take me to count to a thousand on both hands using binary digits? Will we ever know with certainty whether or not the universe is infinite? Why do we park on driveways and drive on parkways? The world may never know.
I Just Want My Sex Parties Back
I was a bit late to the game in figuring out just how serious this pandemic stuff was. The cancellation of SXSW and shuttering of college campuses should've tipped me off, but I wasn't phased. My final romp through civilization involved a road trip through west Texas, 4 shows in dirty bars, a BDSM photoshoot and, most gloriously, an orgy with my favorite play group.
On Quasars, Childhood Trauma, and You
Humans have spent thousands of years staring up at the heavens to make sense of the equally infinite depths of our own minds. Science and our expanding knowledge of the universe can seem to dwarf the grandiosity of our humble existence inside of it, but our expanding knowledge of the cosmos also has the power to make our own lives more expansive and fulfilling, too. I'm going to show you how exploring the universe can teach you how to navigate the depths of our emotional landscapes: how looking up can help you look within.
The Zen Art of Making Dumplings
Mindfulness practice is all the rage these days. You've probably heard of the benefits of seated meditation, yoga, and Qigong. But have you tried making dumplings? Nowhere to be, nothing to do— just delicious filling, doughy wrappers, and you.
Letting My Anger Take the Stage
In two weeks, my band will play our first show since the cancellation of SXSW. A once ordinary experience will be an event as strange and surreal as my new quarantine life felt when it first began. I'll get to rouge my lips and wing my eye-liner out to absurd heights that would make Amy Winehouse proud. I'll get to trade in my oversized sweatshirt for a hot pink vinyl dress and shake what my momma gave me. I'll get to create real music, with real people, in real-time, for the first time in months.
Dear Mom... It's Complicated
As I'm writing this, tomorrow is Mother's Day. I'm fully prepared to give my mother the sanguine "Norman Rockwell" style holiday that every mother dreams of. We'll walk to her favorite restaurant, grab takeout, and have a picnic in the park. I'll hand her the crochet doll I've been delicately crafting since December. Her grandmother taught her to crochet, and then my mother taught me to crochet, and now she holds in her hands a hand-crafted effigy of this deep maternal bond.