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March 16, 2011

desire

I stopped consuming chocolate and caffeine for two months. Originally this was an experiment to see how abstaining from these drugs affected my health. Six weeks in I didn't notice any affect on physical well being but realized how much more intimate I had become with desire. Cravings for this substance arose. I had three choices at this point: 1. To give in to my cravings, 2. To become frustrated because I wasn't giving in to my cravings, or 3. Just to be aware of this craving and sit with it. I repeatedly chose number three and became much more comfortable with this choice the more I exercised it. While I still did become frustrated too at times, I tried to just be aware of that as well.

It is disconcerting to see how spoiled I am in wanting what I want when I want it. This probably also explains the 10 pounds I've packed on in the past year.

March 11, 2011

Live performances - the show that keeps on giving

I've been blessed lately and too busy or too distracted to savor it. The Japan earthquake and Tsunami are yet another reminder of how fortunate I am to have a roof over my head, a good job, transportation to and from work, and the infrastructure that civilization and the city provide.

But lately I've gotten even more wealth in the form of art. One week apart I was able to see two performances on stage. The first, "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom" was a sometimes humorous and sometimes painful look at music and prejudice in the 1920's. The second was experiencing my first Opera, Verdi's "La Traviata", a heartrending story of a cortesan who experiences love and tries to give it up for the sake of her loved one's family.

Both of these performances were beyond words. But what I can say is that they were beautiful musically (in very different ways) and both were delightfully haunting. It's been so long since I've seen live performances I am still surprised at how it continues to sit with me long after the show is over.