The Things That Matter.

Good morning, sweet bluebirds, dandelions, and daffodils!

It’s snowing here. And sunny. And windy. And everything.


Right now I am making quinoa/agave/cinnamon for breakfast (as per requirements of the Crazy Sexy Adventure–more on that later). And I am trying to write an essay on The Book of Laughter and Forgetting by Milan Kundera. It’s a great book, but I am having trouble writing right now.

I normally try not to use The Lyon’s Roar as a dumping ground for emotions. But today I really need to.

I am exhausted, tired, spent, lonely, stressed, overwhelmed, over it, and ready to start hotshotting again simply for the emotional escape of it. I feel used up and like I have no energy to do the things I love doing right now. I didn’t sleep three out of seven nights this week simply because I didn’t have time to. I’ve written 200 academic pages of analysis this semester, plus everything I write for this and elephantjournal, and right now the wheels aren’t turning. Even holding a conversation with my friend while we grabbed a bite to eat last night was challenging.

Simply put, I ran myself into the ground this semester and these past few weeks in particular. And it is my own fault. Playing a really mediocre coffee shop show last night made me realize that I have too much on my plate; consequently, the things I love (i.e. playing and singing) have been put on the backburner and are suffering. I haven’t had time to paint. My hip is hurt, so I can’t run for hours right now. My deep relationships with others are mostly nonexistent because I have to read and write and hike and lift all day long.

The highlight of my day yesterday was doing yoga with my friend Heather for an hour and reading The Perfection of Wisdom in Eight Thousand Lines for a brief interlude in the morning.

I guess we all go through times that are tough. But sometimes, don’t you feel as if you can’t catch a break? The past few months have been stressful, emotional, busy, and none of it is really serving me or those around me.

So what is there to do? I guess there is nothing to do. There is no work to be done. Though this may not seem true at times–like every little thing needs to be accomplished–what REALLY matters? And all this unwanted stress in my life is also coming from the devotion of time and energy to people who do not offer it back. There are a number of older people in my life right now who have had profound influence on the way I view the world. Some of them are TRULY grounded and authentic in what they want, what they practice, and what they believe to be true in terms of love and doing the right thing always. I’ve always been surrounded by older people, and I’ve never truly identified with people my own age. In some ways, I think this is good. In some ways, I think it has led to a lot of heartbreak and feelings of insecurity within my own heart. That’s hard…to have to break outside a shell that everyone else thinks you live inside.

So what does all of this MEAN? How is this going to make me have a better day today?

Well, I guess it is only mature to approach this one step at a time. The quinoa has to be eaten first. Otherwise, I won’t have energy to write or run or go to yoga later. The coffee must be sipped simply because that’s my favorite part of the day. The essay on The Book of Laughter and Forgetting must be written because I won’t graduate if I don’t do it. I have to sit and meditate today; otherwise, I won’t be able to think about things (or, conversely, not think about them). I have to go for a run or hike today because if I don’t, I won’t be strong enough to do my job in May. I have to work because if I don’t, then I won’t have money.

But then there are other things–things that most adults don’t do because they “don’t have time”:

I have to paint, because if I don’t, the paint and the canvas sits. I have to go take pictures, because if I don’t, hundreds of other people don’t get to see the places I get to go. I have to pray, because if I don’t, nobody will hear what I have to say. I have to love others because if I don’t, I will never feel it come back. I have to dance and do yoga because if I don’t, my spirit can’t breathe.

Everything will be okay. I’m going to graduate. My family will [hopefully!] be happy and healthy. People will live and people will die. I’m going to travel and work and play and live and love. Someday, someone will appreciate you for the things you can do and the capacity you have to love and to be happy; and when they do, you’ll feel it in your heart and your soul and your fingertips and your voice and your eyes. You’ll feel it in every breath, and it won’t go away, and that’s how you’ll know it is real, tangible, visceral–honest, fragile, beautiful, reciprocal.

In the meantime, ride your bike and drink good coffee. Go wander, because my only home is the place I wait for your wanderings to be still.


J. Bird

Listening to this:


I’ll go out on a limb and say that Seven Years in Tibet is one of the most terrible movies I’ve seen in a really long time. There are several reasons for this, and I’ll take the time to write them for you because I’m waiting for French press coffee to brew and quinoa to cook:

1. Brad Pitt’s fake blonde hair color is horrifying.

2. His friend looks like one of my friends (Levi) in it.

3. Levi is a great climber. The people in the movie, however, fail to be competent climbers in a variety of ways.

4. The David Bowie song called “Seven Years in Tibet” is also terrible.

5. Brad Pitt isn’t very hot in the movie.

6. I didn’t finish the movie, so I don’t know if he made some sort of miraculous transformation, but for the most part, he was really egotistical and mean. I guess I have to watch Ocean’s Eleven tonight to make up for it.


2 thoughts on “The Things That Matter.

  1. Just wondering – do you still read The Perfection of Wisdom in 8000 Lines? The reason I ask is that I made a recording of it last year on retreat, and thought you might like it to listen to. With all good wishes from San Francisco.

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