The joy of movement. Words. Food & memory.

Archive for the ‘Margins Fade’ Category

Trial by Fire (Act Two)

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I keep writing drafts about my second act – but it’s still so new.  Maybe this time next year, I’ll have enough to look back and reflect upon.

In the meantime, I give you a brave second act. An engineer who’s become a playwright – someone whom I’ve watched transform into her most comfortable self over the past ten years.  I didn’t know until recently how much she’d gone through to experience her own transformation.

Written by marginfades

May 17, 2012 at 4:28 pm

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The Mouse Daughter (First Act)

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There’s a fable I have heard often in my childhood about a childless holy man who takes home a mouse to his wife – and with their powers, they transform her into a perfect little girl, the one they’ longed for and never had.  She’s all things beautiful and wonderful, and brings joy to their lives.

When their daughter is of age, the holy man tries to interest her in marrying: first the grandest suitor, the Sun (she won’t have him because she’ll be burnt to a crisp).  The Sun then suggests the next mightiest suitor, the Cloud (she won’t have him because she’s daunted by his thunder), who in turn recommends Wind (who’s always on the move, and what good is an absent husband?), who thinks of Mountain (so cold, made of stone!).  Mountain in jest mentions the mere mouse, who’s not really worthy of consideration at all.

In exasperation, the holy man suggest that his daughter might as well marry the mouse – and she promptly agrees.

“I see myself in him – and he sees me.”

Which just goes to show you – like calls to like, no matter how it’s been transformed.


Written by marginfades

May 16, 2012 at 11:06 pm

Despair, Deliberation

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There’s too much noise of my own choosing – as in, I am choosing distraction in all its forms.  Deliberately.













What I need is quiet for my mind and soul, and activity for my body.  I choose exactly the opposite – safe, and easy.












By Jinho.Jung

Finding and holding my threshold of courage takes continual practice – daily, every moment – to repeatedly overcome, and gaining the momentum of deliberation.

Written by marginfades

May 15, 2012 at 9:17 am

Watering Hole

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Going to the public pool with my family was the beginning of my weekend, rain or shine, snow or sun.  It was socialization with built-in barriers: whether floating on my back or diving deep, my family was close by, and I was left to my thoughts in the depths.

Friday evening swims came to an end when Dad noticed the families dwindling, and the number of unattended teenagers showing up.  They were mostly good kids, but he couldn’t help but notice the boys’ horseplay, and the girls dry as a bone, draped over their towels without any other modest covering.

We never went swimming once I came of age, and I always thought it was because I had too much school work.  I never did enjoy a pool or beach party, after those Fridays.  Pool games, burgers and beer, and basking on a towel or in the water was fun – but what I really needed were compatriots who enjoyed the quiet gurgle of the underwater view, or the blue of the sky, endless as I watched from my float.

Written by marginfades

May 14, 2012 at 8:56 pm

Ultimate Peace

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If only I could recover that serenity, experienced as an infant in your arms.  I dreamed it was you, the other night…and woke up to find someone else, running fingers gently through my hair in concern.

How I wish we’d known one another.

In her mother’s arms by Luke Redmond

Written by marginfades

May 13, 2012 at 10:03 pm

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“The Luxury of Slowness”

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I have watched Tishani Doshi‘s TEDxPalermo talk at least once every day ever since my dance guru shared it with me – and each time, I’ve watched it two to three times in succession. (This has been going on for about a week now.)

Every time I review it, different elements of the speech move me (to emotion – and there’s very little in art or thought that does so). I wonder:

Is slowness the last real luxury we have left, as Doshi states?
Is touching time even possible?
(Would touching time be full Realization, or perhaps just the beginning of Release?)

One particular idea Doshi emphasizes is the idea of exploration during the slower tempo of classical Indian music: the vilambit, during which no lyrics are sung, only sounds of a raga‘s particular ascendance and descendance of sounds.

Which reminds me of a time during my childhood when I learned and practiced such music. With repetition came an eventual flow of practice, especially during alaap (introduction to the raga). Singing an introduction to the classical key signature was a time that I grew to relish: unbound by a beat (which I paradoxically loved, reverberating as it did from a tabla), my mind and heart connected, soared. I sang with abandon and feeling, which are their own ornaments.

Doshi concludes with the thought that if we learn to inhabit slowness, we can make the most of our own crescendos. Early morning practice sessions and weekend lessons with a well-sung alaap formed many a connection between random bits of information floating around mind, and brought clarity and purpose to replace any bit of doubt.

The mornings I that I awakened just a bit earlier than my alarm for an extra-long practice session before school, I went even deeper within myself with those connections and clarity. The day to follow was always like honey: a slow, measured pour, accelerating into smooth certainties.

Written by marginfades

May 10, 2012 at 4:24 pm


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In a recent essay titled “The Joy of Quiet” travel writer Pico Iyer finds contentment through focus – some might call it (self)absorption:

Nothing makes me feel better — calmer, clearer and happier — than being in one place, absorbed in a book, a conversation, a piece of music. It’s actually something deeper than mere happiness: it’s joy, which the monk David Steindl-Rast describes as “that kind of happiness that doesn’t depend on what happens.”

…it’s only by having some distance from the world that you can see it whole, and understand what you should be doing with it.

Written by marginfades

May 9, 2012 at 11:26 pm

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