Saturday, October 18, 2003

eight hours in a row

You know how when you stop dating someone, maybe you decide you need to start taking better care of yourself? Well, this time that is manifesting a few different ways for me. One is that I've started being more consistent about the gingko biloba, using facial cleanser instead of soap, eating vegetables, like that. The second is that I've started sitting meditation in the mornings--the thing E kept trying to get me to do, I finally see the point of; issues around the way I handle anger were raised in my last conversation with PRobot and sitting seems like a good way to approach understanding better what that's about. Not that sitting appears to be doing Anything yet, but I know that's quick-quick must-have-it-now thinking; just sitting quietly for ten minutes a day has to be having some positive effect even if I'm not aware of it.

What is definitely making a difference, though, is getting enough sleep. A project made easier, ironically, by my moving out of my workspace. The room I rent to sleep in is so tiny that I can only have what I absolutely need--bed, dresser, one plant. Which means I am not surrounded by all my art supplies and books and chaos; not even my oh-so-seductive computer. So when I'm home, I'm much more likely to go to bed at a reasonable hour (that meaning anything before 4 am.) Lately I've been getting to sleep by 1, which is astonishing, and getting at least seven hours, which is even more astonishing.

It's making me feel a lot less jagged, that's for sure. I also just read that deep or REM sleep is vital to memory function because otherwise short-term memory traces (engrams?) don't get reinforced into long-term memory. Considering how spotty my memory's felt lately, anything I can do to support it, I'll try. A writer who can't remember shit is missing a pretty important tool.

I have a whole bunch of classes left on my card at the main studio where I take dance lessons, and not enough days to use them at my usual pace, so I'm trying something new each day. Today it was Afro-Cuban Modern, which totally kicked my donkey; the teacher used a bunch of ballet terms, which always confuses me, and we seemed to do an awful lot of leaping up and down. I was laughing pretty much the entire time, even when I lept straight into a wall. Especially when I lept into the wall. I have always panicked in classes where we had to learn a sequence of moves; I'm always going the wrong way, smushing other people, cursing my math skills, whatever. But this morning I knew I wasn't going to get it right the first time or the second, I had no attachment to doing it 'perfectly' because I'm not planning to become a professional Afro-Cuban Modern dancer, and there were other people there who were also running into the walls. Maybe I'll go again next week and try to leap into the big front window, or the stereo, or the fan. But tomorrow: Beginning Hip-Hop, which I think entails crashing into the floor instead of the walls. And then belly dance, which should be a cakewalk by comparison. We don't move fast enough in bellydance to crash into anything.

Afterwards, I treated myself to a stroll through General Bead, where a condition of employment is that you must have bleached hair dyed some unusual shade and wear lots of clashing colors. All of the adding machines (no registers) are encrusted with rhinestones and shiny plastic cabochons, and Handsome Boy Scratchy, the world's greyest non-grey cat, hangs out on some crocheted acrylic thing on the middle counter all day supervising the transactions. Today for the first time I noticed that HB Scratchy had a brush laying on his shmata, so I brushed him while the nice lady painstakingly counted out my order and he nearly fell off the counter. I'm puzzled by his lack of jeweled collar--everyone else who works there bristles with beads--maybe he is the one surface upon which no gem is glued?