Like Words Together Reflections from the deep end of Practice.


It’s the Grief

I felt overcome with grief this morning, set off by a thoughtful gesture. As I blinked through a moment of tears, I was struck at how much grief I’ve felt this week. The heaviness and sadness I’ve felt are not depression, but grief cycling through.

I made a couple of videos over at the club I still work for. It was pretty tiring to go out to do that. I also stopped to pick up some medication, I had intended to go to the post office as well, but forgot!

I found myself wishing I could just drive off to the beach. Then I remembered that it’s still closed.

Grief came back then.

There’s so much to grieve right now. Even in our good fortune there’s so much we’re missing out on this year, including an event with friends & family to mark CK’s 40th next month. I miss my students.

My errand included some spectacular roses, I’m really grateful for all these moments if beauty.

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Unstable Days

Having a day where there isn’t much to say. Despite feeling sad, I managed to get quite a few tasks done for the house and make us a pretty tasty dinner all from scratch, aside from dry pasta.

Dinner #67

Perhaps I’ll do something special Saturday for dinner 70.

I’m sad about the pandemic and despairing for the state of my country. I’m daily enraged by accounts of white people refusing to wear masks for the greater good and of cops assaulting people of color who don’t wear one while giving them out with smiles to whites people. I’m feel increasingly fearful and it isn’t misplaced.


Ninety Thousand

How is it that we're at the number and the protests are for people to be served?

I say that and I know the answer. The racism that has only seemed subtle because I am a white woman living in a state that had exclusion laws to make sure it stayed as white as possible for as long as possible. It isn't subtle anymore.

White people clamoring for life to "go back to normal" when what they really mean it's for them to go back to being served. Refusing to wear masks because the disease disproportionately affects black and brown people, and affects them in more ways, more seriously.

I'm so sick of American Exceptionalism.

There's no greater good. There's only my good for me and mine and those people who look and act like I do.

I feel so exhausted today, even after napping. Grateful that CK dropped our ballots off, that dinner was easy, and that I talked with friends today over Zoom and just texting. I'm grateful for our beloved companion animals even if they can be really tedious at times.



Same calendula today. Taken during a break in the rain.

A friend is dealing with complex rental issues and asked about moving and school districts online. They're from another country and were surprised at the way a move disrupts schooling and how you have to plan moves around it.

Well, that's why summer parents think about it.

My Mother was never satisfied. Once she got to something she wanted she'd immediately start in on all the things that were not living up to her expectations. She also burned bridges often. Usually all of this would result in us moving to a new place that would fix everything.

Between first grade, age 6, and graduation, age 17, of attend 17 schools. There's a couple middle-to-high-school transitions in there, but even with that it represents 15 moves. We also moved repeatedly before age 6 and experienced a period of homelessness when we sheltered with my Mother's sister.

Another friend shared thier high count. We comiserated over being asked if we're from a military family and having to respond with, essentially, "No I had a terrible childhood."

The original friend noted they were sorry I'd gone through that, it sounded exhausting.

"Yes!", I thought. Life with my Mother was exhausting. She was an energy vampire. Years after her death I’m still remembering new, terrible things and still resting to recover all the energy she stole from me.

All this is so heavy, when you layer on the pandemic it explains why I have days like today where my body feels like I’m made of rocks.



The work of feeding us is my chore. It is a task that really brings CK a lot of stress and is one that it makes sense for me to take on. I usually enjoy this task, but I’m finding many times I’m so apathetic about food that it’s been challenging. This on top of the food fatigue CK experiences has made feeding us an adventure.

We stopped eating out. It has been deemed relatively safe to get take out, but we feel that's a point of potential exposure we’d rather not have. CK helps by being pretty accepting of whatever meal I manage. Sometimes we’re coaxing each other to eat.

Today I had 2 different types of Clif Bars because I couldn’t manage anything else for myself. CK did moderately better and by dinner I was up to cooking.

Many household tasks are my realm of influence. I’m the keeper of the hearth, a role that not only makes sense as I don’t have a “regular” job. I’m also teaching and finding ways to do my work, but housewife has become my rule more and more.

I’m surprised and pleased to discover this is a good role for me.



After ending yesterday feeling so frustrated by these times, tonight I'm trying to focus on gratitude. Here are things that brought me happiness today: the connection with students this morning, playing games with my wife, talking with friends online together, and making dinner number 63.

A dear friend bringing us fresh fruit and sweets, which was especially lovely.

When I guide people in exploring the Self of Bliss in yoga (anandamaya kosha) I'll have them reflect on connections they have with other living beings. Specifically the connections where were feel seen and appreciated, just as we are.

That's how fruit and sweets delivery felt today, dwelling in the Body of Bliss.

There were also these roses today.



Just had a moment of realizing something I ordered wasn’t the right thing, which wouldn’t have happened if I’d been looking at packaging in person instead of on a website. Nothing in the order seems quite right.

I might just be tired. I’ll look at things again in the morning. The one thing, a replacement phone case, is wrong.

I didn’t make a list and I forgot fresh fruit.

I found out something I use for maintaining my pain is going to be in short supply, necessitating extra errands this weekend.

I was up late again, my brain kicks back to insomnia after therapy sometimes, and then had unsettled dreams. Puck woke us at 4:10 this morning by enthusiastic scratching that knocked his cardboard toy onto the floor. I was up and down the hall quickly because my dreams.

It is all so frustrating. I’m mindful of the urge to minimize my irritation by saying to myself, “not that I’ve got anything to complain about...”

Yes, I have it relatively easy and still I feel ground down but all the inconvenience, actual or feared shortages, and by the overwhelming sense that the world isn’t safe.

Tomorrow we’ll eat fresh Sugar Snap Peas from our garden with dinner. We’ll play games, and I’ll be grateful and frustrated at once.

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Both And

I’m finding that many of my students are welcoming learning more yoga philosophy, more yoga during these times. I realized how I could teach concepts of non-dual awareness based right in the emotions people are having.

Someone shared feeling guilty for feeling bad about missing things and the anxiety they had. They have so much to be grateful for, they shouldn’t feel bad. They could be so more worse, they are being selfish when others are experiencing much more danger.

I reminded them it doesn’t work like that. Feeling anxious about the pandemic doesn’t cancel out your gratitude. Likewise, your gratitude doesn’t make you unable to hold compassion for others.

It isn’t either gratitude or anxiety. Nor is it compassion or gratitude. We don’t have to buy into this binary, dualistic model. The world doesn’t work that way, even if many philosophies have tried to push for this.

Yoga reminds us that life isn’t a series of either/or scenarios, it is both/and. Gratitude, compassion, anxiety, and everything else.

We’re back to Whitman again, “Do I contradict myself?”



For most people the word mother has pleasant associations. Mothering is a special kind of nurturing, "a mother's touch" confers special care.

Unless it didn't.

I realize that my Mother was good at what I've taken to calling "Performative Mothering". When they're was an audience to see how good she was, she left there impression of being a good mother. She'd terrorize me where no one would see and when they were watching she'd shine.

I said to my therapist it feels like she was setting me up to be gaslight by everyone. "Your Mom's great!" I so often heard from friends.

If CK finally hadn't witnessed the mental/emotional abuse going on I'm not sure I'd be able to articulate it. It feels like that was there key to unlocking the secrecy.

Day 60 of sheltering-in place.


Eighty Thousand

While the rate seems to be slowing, the ever rising number leaves me breathless with despair.

The rest of this is about therapy and alludes heavily to child abuse.


Therapy was hard. I brought up how I'd thought of the Childhood Logic that last year I'd found lurking within me last year around this time. The lie I'd told myself because the truth that I was terrified of my Mother was too awful.

The closer I get to integrating this memory, the easier it is to notice when I’m searching for proof that something was wrong with me, that it was my fault. I was a terrible child with a good Mother. This is the false logic that hides the awful truth; she was cruel.

The drive to make my Mother good is so strong. My therapist brought it to my attention again today when I said my Mother was "out of control" in the memory I'm integrating.

While it absolutely felt that way to my four year old self, my therapist pointed out how in control my Mother really was. How she had a pattern of getting me alone so she could abuse me without any witnesses. It only felt out of control because she wanted me to feel that way.