This is a day when we would like to take a minute and thank you for a year of creation and procreation like no other. Not that it has been the most creative; indeed there were other years like it. Not that this could have been procreative if others before it had not. Yet this year was different, the challenges were great and the souls were preoccupied, perhaps even weak, and the flesh was not willing or not ready for toil. We started the year not ready to bring forth the things to come. We needed preparation and this was a year when you felt the time was right to make us see within ourselves and bring out the strength we did not know we possessed, so you signed us up for Yoga – actually it was Suma’s idea – but one has to bend the truth to make a story.
We learned to find our sit-bones – which regular people call the ass – and consciously sit uncomfortably on them, using paper thin mats instead of chairs. We learned to breathe into our left lung, which is what everyone does – but scant few can breathe into one lung only. We also learned how to breathe into our right lung. We could raise energies from the floor using our hands. We could bend from the waist with a straight back groping for our toes, our hamstrings and calf muscles screaming for relief, becoming stronger thinking that we were getting all this pain for only thirty five dollars a month. We became aware of our bodies. We could lift our legs off our feet, our hips off our legs, our necks out of our shoulders. We could grow five inches taller. We found great restoration in child’s pose, having learned the secret of making an ‘L’ with our thumb and forefinger as we pressed our hands forward on the mat. We felt the stretch come to our lower back and transitioned to down-dog where we waited for minutes for the instructor to regain her memory. We raised one leg, and put it down. We raised the other and put it down – everything that comes up in Yoga must come down. We brought a knee to an elbow and then to the opposite elbow and back, and forward in ‘pidgom’ pose, which I still cannot do correctly but my tree pose has improved. I can do a Vinyasah which I could not do at first. I can hold a chair pose for a few seconds more. I am still a humiliation to Yoga; likely to remain so for a long time to come, but I believe that if I continue to try I might improve. The evidence to the contrary is everywhere. I cannot do a Crow pose, I cannot stand on my head, however I no longer rupture a disk when I grab my hands behind a knee and my back and lean ‘fowad’. While there is a video on YouTube showing a ninety three year old lady floating a lotus, I can’t and I am just about half her age. I like to think that she succeeded the day the film was taken, after trying for seventy six years. For every embarrassment there is a glimmer of hope. I push away the thoughts that she might have been doing it successfully for seventy six years. I follow your example and focus on positive thoughts. I cannot carry a tune during ‘Ohm’ so I sit in the back, fighting silently with Chinese ladies over territory under the air vent. Holding my own against a nation one hundred timed bigger than us builds fortitude. I can maintain a straight back while sitting cross legged – at least as cross legged as I can. I am about forty five degrees away from perfection which means that if my arteries were like my hips blood would not flow through my body. I am the worst in the family at sitting cross legged, you can put your knees on the floor; mine are closer to my ears, and my ears do not droop. You watched all this, saw the progress through the flaws, and you believed that I was ready, that we were all ready, and one day you took us out to the deck, spread our Yoga mats and led us in prayer.
With our abilities to look into our metaphysical inner-self, we exhumed the physical energies needed to bring Dafna over to build the long awaited roof over the deck. Now we had a place of worship and our wishes could be heard further. It was not until Amatzia called that we knew what we wished for the barren wasteland which was the left side of our back yard to become a thing of value and beauty. Amatzia asked for only two movers and in return offered a hot tub, a gazebo and threw in a treadmill as a sign of good will (riddance). And the movers came and helped disassemble the gazebo and load it on the truck, and then put the hot tub in front of it, a packing order which would put us through great tests of will and staying power. And the movers drove to our house and unloaded the hot tub and put it close to the vegetable patch. And the movers unloaded the gazebo and assembled it in front of the hot tub, exactly where it was not meant to be. And Dave came and planted a slab of concrete where no plant had succeeded in before. And Dave laid conduits for electricity to drive the motor of the hot tub. And Dave promised that Paul would come to pull wires from the breaker box, under the concrete path, under the remaining patch of lawn to the control panel of the hot tub, and that John would mend the sprinkler system once the concrete was dry and the scaffolding was removed. And all this was good, but hot tubs cannot jump over gazebos. Dave colored the concrete to look like clay and carved a grid to make it appear as if the slab was tiled, which was good but gazebos cannot jump and neither can hot tubs. The children of Israel would have to work hard to enjoy the promised tub.
So like Moses before you, you shed off despair and summoned the community of guests who happened to be around to lift the gazebo and hold it up (what are friends for), while Dave and his party rolled the hot tub to the slab using the same technique that the Egyptians used when they asked the children of Israel to build a few pyramids for them. Saint Paul pulled the wires and hooked up the power, and Osmo’s and Tinitin’s basketball team lifted the gazebo and brought it to its final resting place over the hot tub. We filled the hot tub, thinking that finally we were pouring water over the slab for a good reason. Still it was not to be for there was no light in the shrine, and we would wallow in the dark, for in our haste Saint Paul connected a cable which could carry enough juice to burn down the house, but not a cord that could power a light bulb. Yet you had shown us the promise of the land. We have been through enough; sowing concrete instead of grass, moving gazebos in the wake of hot tubs, this we believed we would solve – and solve it we did, with a little solar panel which sometimes works and sometimes it doesn’t, but every now and then there is light in the gazebo even at night.
And the barren land which would bear no fruits or vegetables or grass or weeds, gave birth to a beautiful slab of concrete, and hot tub and gazebo and solar panel and hot water, and Saint John mended the water pipes and put in sprinklers so the remaining lawn would grow under the clovers, and the fig tree blossomed with CDs, and the vegetable garden bore kale and tomatoes and more kale. You bought a juicer powerful enough to blend concrete, to squeeze juice from kale, and celery, and asparagus, and tomatoes, and carrots, and beats, and apples, and strawberries, so we get all our vitamins and antioxidants and essential dosage of sodium, sugars, fiber, protein, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantheistic acid, calcium, iron, potassium and even zinc which – according to urban legend – makes you taller, but who gives a shit, as long as the hot tub is chemically balanced and the next generation can wallow and procreate.
There are no words to thank you enough. We love you dearly. Happy Birthday.
Continued from the dialog in the left…
As luck would have it – when the cabin lights went off so that people like myself, who had nothing to do could go to sleep – the avid reader to my right (I mentioned left, but it was my right – the sandwich was on my left), who had the window seat and no one seated in front of her, she reaches up to her headlight and it does not turn on. From the side of my kind right eye, which has gotten used to looking sideways from ‘Trikonasana’ poses, I see her turning off her kindle, so what do I do? I turn on my light, which shines my inner goodness all over her left side, because these lights always shine too wide. Of course I mention explicitly that she can use my light, so that she can offer explicitly to change seats and let me have the window with no one in front of me. So she says that I really don’t have too, turns on her kindle and starts to read. So now I have an overhead light, nothing to do, and lesser chance of sleeping, but we all know that being able to sleep has little to do with that little light. So I turn to see how the sandwich on my left (used to be right – but I had my sides wrong) is doing. He’s sipping his Starbucks ice coffee and I wish him the he would swallow an ice cube whole. I wish for the ice cube to be just big enough to go down slowly and painfully, and I will not help him. Why should I? He never helped me with anything. Perhaps if he offered me some coffee – not that I wanted it – I could have pointed out that he should be careful with the ice cubes because they were small enough to swallow. How did I get myself on a flight without headphones, without my kindle, without a charged battery on my computer (which has kindle) and without a book – well I forgot that one at home – I did have some intent to have it with me. Apparently he’s doing fine with his coffee, and I took care of her reading problems, so having taken care of them to the best of my ability I try to watch a mute episode of ‘The Office’ on the ceiling TV screen which looks like a 3D movie without 3D glasses, which makes it even harder to try to understand what they are saying, not to mention that they have a tendency to mumble behind each other’s back, so I don’t understand what’s going on. Sandwich puts the coffee cup away, and stewardess pushes a cart offering drinks. Kindle asks for coffee with sugar – she doesn’t need the sugar. I could have laid sideways across her ass and would have melted into it just like Osmo’ blue whale cushion. I’m not saying this to be mean. I just making the point that I turned on my light for her out of pure kindness, I was not hitting on her, not with an ass like that, and the chubby fingers and double chin and watery blue eyes and pink skin, and all this through my trained-to-look-sideways right eye – to which looks are no longer deceiving. As I was saying – I hate it when they have to pass coffee over me. Stewardess forgot the sugar and kindle asked again, and got what she wanted over my empty table. In Kindle’s favor I have to say that she pushed my napkin (they give you napkins to make you think you’ll get pretzels) back over my table when stewardess laid it sloppily over the tip. Sandwich takes good care of himself and asks for sparkling water. I hate people like that. There is no sparkling water on an airplane of a bankrupt airline. It’s ‘soda can’ – it even says ‘soda’ on the can. So he gets a soda can and I decide to show him what health is and ask for cranberry juice which I drink only when Imma can see – which in those occasions is actually pomegranate. Feeling good about myself I look at the can – when they hand out the cans it’s a sign that there’s nothing else to eat – the can says it’s made of ‘concentrate’. I don’t understand how you can make juice from a verb, so I brush the bad news aside and read on. ‘Made from three juices, Apple and Cranberry’ – it says. I count two, and turn the can to the opposite side to look for the third – ‘220 calories’. Just like a can of coke, damn, but it all fits in, no sleep, middle seat, fast food, coke and diet shit, hamburgers and fries, no exercise and no vegetables – at least I turned on my reading light for Kindle. ‘Men with Kids’ replace ‘The Office’ on the 3D screen and I check on Sandwich. He’s reading a book about sales – I can tell because that’s what it says at the top of the page, and I like him less for no particular reason other than a stigma I have for car-sales people – even though he probably works for a more sophisticated company, or he wouldn’t be reading. The book has charts and graphs and nothing worth reading from the side of my eye, so I try to close my eyes and lean back but the head rest in not adjustable and so my neck is too far back so I lean forward and make sure that Kindle is not asleep. I can’t really tell but I give her the benefit of the doubt that she’s enjoying my light. I look out the window, and see nothing which means that we are over Nevada. Texas is a lot of little clumps of lights – a universe of small republican communities, Nevada is empty, so is the corridor leading to LA, but we’re not there yet. I have no idea what the time is, and speculate that three mute 3D shown puts us about half way. Sandwich pulls out a laptop and begins to work on a spread sheet which tells me that he is an annoying manager. You really don’t need spreadsheets if you know your stuff. I have nothing better to do so I read the spreadsheet. It has a column called ‘Country’ which has ‘United States’ going all the way down the screen. Next to it there is a column called ‘Country Code’ which has ‘US’ filling up the column and next to that there is a column whose name I cannot make out but it has ‘USA’ all the way down – so now I know that he is anal and takes good care of his hair. I finish the cranberry Juice and stewardess comes to collect the empty cups (I wish I could say glasses but those are from my business class day which is long gone by now). Stewardess takes her time, but everyone has their cups in the air anxious not to keep stewardess waiting. Kindle is no exception and I don’t like coffee cups over me so I signal for her to drop her narrower Styrofoam cup into my wider plastic one. She doesn’t hesitate, thanks me and goes back to reading without offering to change seats. Stewardess takes my cup, relieves sandwich of his, and I go back to killing time making room for a sharp finger nail tip cut to close which is hurting my flesh. Another half program goes by and sandwich pulls out the cross word puzzle in the in-flight magazine ‘located in the seat pocket in front of you/us/me/him’. He doesn’t seem to do so well so I pull open my copy of the magazine and flip to the cross word puzzle. Fortunately the person flying before me did better than sandwich and the bankrupt airline did not replace the magazine. I hide my hands so sandwich cannot tell whether I have a pen or not, and let him get a general impression of the larger number of filled spaces on my puzzle but I don’t let him copy, I keep shifting the magazine getting even for the coffee, and food and his computer battery, and good hair and his anal character. Sandwich gives up pretty easily (much better than I could have done on my own but I don’t dwell on that), pulls out his iPhone and starts shooting down space ships and farm animals. He’s is a world of bliss as we descend towards LA. I watch the glitter of lights; LA is much prettier at night from the air. Kindle reads until the very last minute.
When the plane stopped Sandwich had to move back to get his bag and disappeared from my life. Kindle, who has thanked me enough, got on with hers, and I was left with fond memories of myself.
And USC’s response