Yoga sans sangha; sangha sans yoga

Primary only today was lovely. I practiced at home, in front of the fire, in the late afternoon. Practice in the late afternoon rocks. It’s a special treat. Can’t have it too often. But it’s delicious when I do.

I’m in a particularly joyful mood for some reason this evening. Went to synagogue this evening, mainly to fulfill our six-times-a-year requirement that goes along with having a bar mitvah age kid and because one of my new friends up here was doing the pre-service greeting and hosting the Oneg Shabbat (each of us has a chance to greet and host at some point in this community-minded congregation). But I realized something as I sat and listened to the singing of the songs and the chanting of the Torah portion and looked around at my fellow congregants: in a community where the houses are acres apart, and the kids get picked up and dropped off by the school bus rather than being walked to school with their moms/dads/caregivers, you need something or some place to come back to time and again, to see familiar faces, to see any faces at all, really. Had I not gone to temple tonight, I would have seen no one today outside of my immediate family.

Not that that is such a bad thing. I quite like nesting here. I’ve learned to get a really good fire going, with about four pieces of kindling and two logs, and if I stir and poke and use the bellows here and there at just the right time, I can keep it going for hours and hours with just a few more logs. This is no small feat: when I first got going with making fires here, it was disasterous. Black smoke billowed out of the fireplace into the house instead of up the chimney, and when I finally figured out that I needed to OPEN the flue, my efforts yielded fires that consumed themselves in a matter of minutes, leaving half-burned logs and piles of newspaper ashes. Learning from my mistakes, I’ve become quite the pro. Or pyro, as it were.

I’m loving the challenges of winter in the country. Of staying active and occupied despite being housebound. Without going to malls. I’ve turned to crafts, like sewing, as I’ve written. And this week, I’ve been framing some old art projects, both mine and the kids’, to add a folksy feel to the kitchen. Growing up, I used to spend time at my grandparents’ house, my mother’s parents, and my grandma was an artist. Her work was all over her house. So, I guess it’s in my subconscious to like the look of homemade art. But to do it right, to really give it that homemade feel, the framing can’t be done by some expensive frames store. The framing has to be homemade too. And so, it is. Needless to say, I have discovered Michael’s Arts & Crafts, a phenomenon which does not exist in Manhattan.

Maybe I’m just on a Young Coconut high. I swear, that fruit has magical properties. Whenever I include a coconut a day in my food repertoire, I notice an uptick in my quality of life. Things just feel better on coconut.

Also, I just finished a delightful book: Anita Shreve’s Light on Snow. It was on my bookshelf, although I didn’t know how it got there. Probably my mother gave it to me, although she claims to not like Anita Shreve. So, I’m left wondering who gave it to me. Doesn’t matter though. It couldn’t have been a more perfect book to read in winter in Northern Westchester.

Speaking of Northern Westchester, and of my compatriot in Northern Westchesterness, I am very very sad that Hilary Clinton lost in Iowa. Maybe I’m just a rube, but I really have been of the belief that if Hilary doesn’t get the Dem Nom, there will not be a democrat in the White House for another four years minimum. I just don’t see Obama or Edwards pulling it together to win against whomever the Republicans put forth. Seems like the Democrats have a real split going on, and it suddenly occurs to me that although I have been gender blind up til now, perhaps the country is not really ready for a female president. Will it be any more ready for a black president? Or a president with a wife with Stage IV breast cancer? I’m not so sure. If it were a re-election year, we’d be completely screwed. As it is, we are probably completely screwed anyway. Maybe if Bloomberg decideds to run as an Independent, he’ll pull Republican votes from Huckabee or whomever (probably Huckabee, right?).

And that, is likely to be the last political semi-rant you ever hear from me.



One Response to Yoga sans sangha; sangha sans yoga

  1. andrea says:

    hey ~ i just ran across your blog and wanted to tell you i dig it. i’ve added you to my reader!

    happy new year 🙂


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