Kentucky Cruisin’

I taught two classes today and this could turn out to be harder than I thought.  Tomorrow I teach three.  And it’s not the teaching that I find hard, but the space in between.

Somewhere beneath the surface is inspiration, hiding and dodging my searching gaze.  As if saying, “Stop looking so hard.  I’m only right in front of you.”

Northern Kentucky is not the prettiest place you ever did see.  I wandered around during my break in search of a picnic bench, a table or any ol’ place where I could enjoy the Indian Summer sunshine.  What I settled for was a small patch of scratchy grass that I think had just been sprayed with chemical fertilizer.  From my grassy knoll, I watched the traffic ebb and flow with the ever-changing stop-lights and felt the rumble of a train squealing beneath me.

In every direction I am surrounded by strip malls, shopping plazas and chain stores.

And yet, despite the expanse of traffic and cement, there is a lot of heart here.  Blame it on Southern hospitality, but I think, perhaps, it is something more.  A different quality or definition of kindness and community.  A place where beef stew is still brought to the house of a sick neighbor.  A place where strangers pull over on the side of the road to ask if you need a ride because she noticed you shopping at the local pharmacy.  A place where favors are given freely because reciprocity is a way of life.

I sleep a lot here.  I go to bed early and wake up late and in between teaching I read yoga books and I go jogging and I eat healthy and I started knitting.  And when I wake up “late” (according to the time-clock of whom???) I bolt out of bed, feeling guilty and lazy, even though all there is to do is teach, read, jog, eat, knit a head-scarf.  Rinse and repeat.

And as I notice that I am starting to get fidgety with the routine, antsy with the excess leisure time, it got me thinking:  why is it so difficult to allow our lives to be simple??  To slow down?  To not only embrace the highs and the lows, but also the plateaus?  Surely there will be times in my life when I rise before the dawn and my head won’t hit the pillow until well after Cinderella is sitting in her tattered gown,  demi-slippered and surrounded by squeaking mice and a spinning pumpkin with the lingering tendrils of newfound love hanging from her heartstrings.  So why the guilt when my body wants rest?  It seems sensible to stock up now, no?

I took my knitting to the local yarn store, where I joined four Southern belles in an old-fashioned stitch-and-bitch.  Four old friends gather around a table every Wednesday to weave strands of yarn, life, tales and experience into the loops and knots that drape their shawl-covered shoulders.  They told me their stories, and amidst the clacking of needles, I told them mine.

And even though I am surrounded by kindness, by yoga, by generosity beyond measure, I am unsatisfied.  Feeling uninspired.  And yet, deep down this is what I tell myself:

“You will see fluctuations between passions, creativity in spurts, but all with the underlying knowledge that they will all, one day, feed each other.  You will become bigger, fuller and pay your respects to creativity, you will create worlds and your worlds will create you.  You will form symbiotic relationships with beauty and you will see beauty everywhere.”

And so I quietly acquiesce to the routine, to the simplicity of it all.

Because there is beauty, even here.



2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Angela
    Dec 11, 2011 @ 08:20:44

    mmmm…love your musings and love watching you grow as a teacher
    i miss you jenn


  2. Dwinelva
    Dec 11, 2011 @ 12:20:30

    How thoughtful and insightful. We were so fortunate to have you with us in NKY…can’t wait until you return. Namaste’, Jenn


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