Poo-poo.

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By now I’m sure you know this… but I’m gonna tell you anyway.  In the beginning, there was the Word.  And the word was “poo-poo”.  If I had a golden Sacagawea dollar for every time I’ve coaxingly uttered those sacred syllables over the recent days….

I feel an urgency-gone-desperation to spew these words out before Serena wakes up, because lately I have had less than nothing for myself, due to her amplified demands on me, combined with the absence of community support.  My Cosmic Dad whisked us away to Costa Rica for the month of August… and everything is foreign and new and unpredictable.  Which basically means that she has taken up permanent residence on my boob.  Yes, I’m exaggerating.  Because I want to convey my feeeeeelings, which primarily consist of overwhelm, isolation, irritation, frustration and even some ferocious, white-hot rage… to name a few.

Actually, (and thank GOD),  those crucifying textures of my current inner-life have been broken up by sporadic expanses of peace, contentment, awe, fascination and other such palatable flavors.   I remember when I used to frequent Chucky Cheese’s as a kid… (In retrospect, what a creepy place!)  I remember this little crawl space under the stage where Mr. Cheese and his robotic band of freaky animals performed their “live show”… Inside was a button you could press, which would set off a strobe light.  I was rapt by the magic of this intense pulsation of light– the way it freeze-framed physical movements into rapid, flip-book successions.  This is how life has felt on our travel odyssey.  Extreme, pulsating vacillations between light and dark.

And now back to poo-poo.  Since we landed nine days ago, Serena has been a continuous, willful refusal to let it go.  With the help of gritty, watermelon flavored chewable kid’s laxatives, she pooped once, early on…. And then held on for six, anxiety-laden days.  Encouraging her bowels to move has become my neurotic raison d’être.  I gave her prunes, magnesium, probiotics… with no success… so I graduated to more saline laxative.  Getting her to eat them was the battle of the century.  Which I initially lost.  (She is cultivating a gorgeous will, at nearly twenty-one months earth side.)  But I made a triumphant KO in the second round, when I crushed them up and mixed them with watery orange juice.

God, sometimes I hate moving stories forward.  It can feel so restrictive.  Like, I have been living through copious amounts of miraculous, jagged experience that I long to share with you.  I wish I could write like one of those snakes that unhinges it’s jaw in order to swallow it’s massive prey.  I would unhinge my mind and my fingertips would explode with unobstructed, simultaneous worlds of imagery and feelings that at once harmonized and clashed in a highly compelling fashion, which transformed your consciousness in such a way that it trumped visions of a renowned Holy Virgin.

I’m not quite sure how to do that… so I’ll just keep plugging away at my story with as much honesty and creativity as I can muster.   But if my world WAS spilling simultaneously into your mind, you would see an impressive gaggle of young, hottie surfers (men and women) behind me, speaking myriad languages, waxing their boards with notable focus and a dash of passion.  It’s six fifteen am.  Oh, they just set out for the beach, which is a modest block down the gravel road from our “home” for a whopping ten days, “Casa Zen”.  I can hear Her mighty, crashing roar from my station on the patio downstairs.

Serena has never gone so long without pooping.  Oh, I guess I got derailed before I finished recounting the laundry list of laxatives and suppositories I imposed upon my poor little goddess.  Well, let’s just say it was a “butt load”.  Literally. (the list includes two rounds of glycerine suppositories).  Meanwhile, she refused to sit on the potty at all.  She’d stiffen and yell and put up an impressive fight.  Which of course stirred and stoked the hell fires inside me to unbearable degrees.

Do I have to do a play by play of this bone-crushing saga?

What I want you to know, is that I have felt extremely isolated on this trip… Riding a continuum of Unknown has increased Serena’s demands on me.  And here I am, attempting to hold MYSELF as I navigate the deep waters of losing *the illusion* of control… while constantly being required to hold Serena… through the intensity of crumbling nap schedules and bedtimes, restaurant food that doesn’t appeal to her, pooplessness… to name a few.  I have had too many moments where I want to hurt myself, in response to the excruciating internal pressure.  I keep asking myself why the fuck I was called to this journey to Costa Rica.  The truth is, it was a very clear calling.  The compass of my heart read an unmistakable YES when I tuned in.  Hence, I know I am straight-up dirty dancing with my Destiny.  I just don’t get it.  I thought Destiny was supposed to be laden with glitter and falling balloons and jet streams of happily-ever-after euphoria.

So yesterday, awash with mild jewish neurosis, I opted to take Serena to a clinic down the road, in hopes they’d be able to coax the poop out of her.  The hella young, moderately handsome medic consulted his iPhone, listened to her heartbeat, took her pulse and stuck his white, latex-gloved, pinky finger up her butt to see if there was any obstruction.  Nope.  She was a heart-crushingly willing patient.  I held her and chanted Ganesha’s mantra close to her ear as he performed the invasive procedure.  I shattered when she feebly repeated it, “Om gam ganapatayai namaha”.  OMG.  I love her.

Then, to my disgust, Doctor Boy gave her a watermelon lollipop.  I didn’t know what the fuck to do.  She’s twenty months old for god’s sake.  That’s the last thing she needs, is to curdle her blood chemistry and rot out her teeth.  I let her hold it.  She didn’t know what to make of it, thank God.  (Later, after she’d had as much innocent amusement as one possibly can have with a colorful, crinkly, plastic-adorned ball on a stick, I covertly tossed it in the trash.)  Doctor Boy said I should nurse her less and give her more fruits and watery, fibrous foods, including jars of Gerber mush.  Ummm yeah… no thanks Dude.  I cried out of helplessness and guilt that Ken had to pay fifty bucks for that nonsense.  Serena kissed my heart.

And now for the ending that indeed reads like a sweet, red cherry.

Yesterday, on our late afternoon wander (to a bookstore, where a book on how to create a compelling, widely read and lucrative blog leapt off the shelf a tackled me, insisting to be mine), when the outrageous thunder, lightening and deluge struck.  We ducked into a charming burger shack and ate a delicious meal, after which Serena began to fuss.  I had a sense that she needed to poop.  She hadn’t peed for hours either.  So I took her to a gravel area at the edge of the restaurant, and encouraged her to squat and pee.  She resisted, but finally succumbed, and proceeded to produce a soft-serve pile of poop… which she sat in and smeared all over her little butt.  This horrified her.  She cried and writhed and got it all over her dress.  I did my best to remain cucumber calm, totally approving and celebratory, as I undressed her, placed her poopy dress in a wad on the wet gravel and procured a clump of wet paper towels to clean her off.  Then, with more paper towels, I picked up the warm, stinky pile of poop and chucked it in some jungly underbrush nearby.

Ken scrambled to pay the check and we made our way back to our room, me carrying naked, stinky Serena on my back, and holding her poopified dress between my thumb and forefinger.

And now for the all-too-obvious and corny punchline:

The story is just as Genesis doth spake…. In the beginning there was the Word.  And the Word was “poo-poo”…………..(insert the creation of the World here)………… And on the sixth day—-

She pooped.

EPILOGUE:

So I successfully banged out the first draft of this blog while she slept this morning.  (A measurable accomplishment which flushed me with grounded euphoria…)  When she woke, she was unusually fussy.  I felt her body shudder, as I held her close.  I asked her if she wanted to sit on the “pot-pot”, to which she slung a bold, stubborn, “NO.”  But her body disagreed.  More firm, soft-serve poop leaked out onto my tank top.  Again I endeavored to remain calm as I carried her to the bathroom and straddled the toilet with her in my arms in the poop position.  I encouraged her to drop Bunny, but she refused and he got smeared with feces.  At this point, her body was hopelessly in charge, to the dismay of her *impressive* will.  Multiverses of poop spewed from her tiny, helpless body.  In multiple rounds.  I couldn’t believe she had THAT MUCH to poop out.  HOLY SHIT indeed.  At a certain point, as I held her on the potty, I noticed her eyes were closed, and her awareness was completely internalized.  Something I’ve never witnessed.  Afterward, I could tell that she was deeply impacted by the experience.  A layer of her innocence seemed to have sloughed off.  For quite some time, she was quiet and just wanted to be held.  Talk about INTENSE.  Now, hours later, she is back to her curious, vivacious self.  And I am soooooo relieved.

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Bowing To My Twenties

Epiphanies at six am?  Unthinkable?  That’s what YOU thought.  But think again, because I just had one!  Clambering around in the kitchen, putting on water for tea and I realized that I have been zealously telling this story called, “I HATED MY TWENTIES!” as though it was the gospel truth.  But guess what?  It’s actually not.  Sure, my twenties were not a drunken collegiate joy ride down a ten year long slip and slide… They were arduous and confusing as fuck.  But… This morning I was appreciating how blessed I was to have studied yoga all through my twenties.  And not just asana, but many facets of yoga.  Philosophy, ayurveda and nutrition, meditation, karma yoga (selfless service)… I love that now I can roll out my mat anywhere and guide myself through a deep, nourishing practice any day of the rainbow, any place under the sky.  I spent so much quality time sucking up spiritual sustenance through an impressively wide straw in my twenties.

And while I’m at it, I might as well tell you of my enchanted yoga mat.  Someone gave it to me (used) back in ’02 or ’03.  It’s particularly long and light blue, stained brown where my dirty bare feet have over eight years impressed all the dirt they wandered through.  My mat has traveled with me all over this earth.  It saved my life in Cuba.  I remember doing asana amidst billowing laundry hanging to dry in the warm breath of evening on the concrete in the back yard of the modest casa where Eric and I stayed for a few days.  A tiny home that contained FOUR generations of women, from age 9 to age eighty-something.  (Never in my life had I experienced tight knit family like that!)  The mother (as opposed to the grandma or the great grandma) was very curious as she watched me practice… so I showed her some things and when we left their home, we offered her the sivananda yoga book we had been traveling with.  She was delighted.  I wonder if she is practicing now…

My yoga mat has made love with much playa dust on the Nevada desert floor at Burning Man over the years.  (I was mostly the dorky anomaly who went to bed early and woke up early, zealously threading my way to center camp before sunrise to drink coffee, write and then dive into a long, slow, nourishing asana practice.  My yoga mat, which come to think of it, is more like a magic carpet, has flown me to the beloved city of lights, Paris, twice!  I have ritualistically unwound myself in the green grass beneath the Eiffel Tour many times.  And in the south of France, I have rolled it out along the wide sidewalks stretching on, parallel to the turquoise sea, as well as next to ornate, gushing fountains in elaborate jardins.  (Yoga is not a very common place phenomenon in France.  At least it wasn’t when I was there in ’05 and ’06… So mostly I got strange looks and inquisitive queries as I practiced.)  Throughout all my travels, yoga was my portable home.  A resting place that returns me to the infinite space inside where I ever belong.

My yoga mat has been my sanity on otherwise stressful visits with the ex-in-laws in New York and Colorado.  My yoga mat went to Taos, New Mexico to study with Natalie Goldberg once upon a blessed time.  Camping at Lake Tahoe and Mount Shasta.  Not to mention all the times it’s been rolled out and stepped on in mundane old San Francisco, Berkeley and Oakland.  Even last night in my “Temple”, (my sacred, beautiful massage and yoga and meditation room) I rolled out my mat and drank deep, sweet sips of a practice that delivered me back safely on the doorstep of the mansion of All Pervading Peace!  Yoga saved my life last night, as my “house” (my life, my sense of self) was burning down.  It still is… but when I come back to yoga, I don’t even mind.  Let me burn!  Purify me once and for all, you Holy All Pervading Fire Breather!!!

Also in my twenties, I spent five beautiful years with Eric.  Yes, it’s true, I was pacing my cage and stringing my days into a longer than sin garland of existential crisis… but still… Eric and I shared so much joy.  SO MUCH LAUGHTER.  We played like blissed out, dissolved children and lived like Life yearns for all Her children to live.  Try to make the world black or white and you will miss all the twisty, prismatic refractions playfully slapping your face and pulling your tangly mane.

In my twenties I immersed myself in the culture of transformational courses.  I did inner work.  I witnessed others bounce between the walls of cultish dogma and true revelation.  (Grin.)  I circled with women, searching thirstily for the woman buried inside of me.  Learning and drinking from so many sacred wells.  I forged friendships that I imagine will stretch on for the rest of this life and beyond (backwards and forward).

My twenties were certainly an uphill climb.  But that’s par for the course for a quadruple Capricorn.  (Sun, moon, rising and mercury… at least according to western astrology…)  I will be climbing mountains for the rest of my God given life.  I’m pretty sure of that.  But just because climbing mountains is strenuous, doesn’t mean you oughtn’t keep trudging upward with your eyes on the prize~ that feeling of expansive mastery, of weighty accomplishment as you let the expansive, lucid view inundate you, your chest heaving and suckling on precious sips of decadent breath.  People climb mountains just for fun all the time.

So did I “hate” my twenties?  No, that is impossible, because hatred is in the eye of the beholder, and this beholder has abolished hatred from her sacred mansion.  This beholder is cleansing her memories with the holy water of gratitude and peace.

Amen.