Revisiting the past, tasting the future

[x-posted in Livejournal]

I had a lot of deep thoughts flowing just half an hour ago, and now they seem to have drifted away. Ah well, they’ll return when they’re ready.

I’ve just been rereading my Livejournal; I was going through old entries and updating their tags (oh, the misery of tags. I started the journal well before LJ implemented tags — I believe — and though I’ve updated tags in random sessions here and there, I despair of ever completing the job. Moreover, I’m not at all certain that my family of tags makes sense… there must be more concise categories than the 27 I’ve got. Deep sigh.), and in so doing read a lot of the entries from 2001 to the present. I always find this a thoroughly absorbing and pleasurable task. I was reading Virginia Woolf’s diary earlier this year and to my delight she said the same thing: “one always does read one’s own writing with a kind of guilty intensity” (only I don’t feel guilty about it at all!). It pleases me and it surprises me, always, to find how early planted are the seeds of my current state of self… just now I was reading entries from 2003 and found the beginnings of my interest in yoga practice and yoga philosophy, and the very nascent stages of a regular exercise habit. We don’t always know, in the moment, which of the threads we now weave will someday come together into something greater. When I read back over my old soul-searchings, frustrated outbursts, and expansive self-expressions, I’m strangely inspired to grow more in the present. My journals are a gift that I keep giving myself day after day, year after year; and the more I add to them, the more precious the gift becomes.

Yesterday Erik and I went to our high school speech and debate team’s first-ever alumni reunion. We didn’t know what to expect at all. It turned out the evening was a rare opportunity to reconnect with some really old friends we never see in the normal course of things. Thanks to Facebook and mutual friends, these are people who are still on my radar in some way, but I hadn’t actually seen them since we graduated nearly 10 years ago. I was happy to see that everyone looks and behaves like themselves still, only a more mature and beautiful version of themselves; I didn’t really feel any more distant from them than I ever did when we were teenagers. It’s so exciting to now be old enough that we’re not all students; we’re developing our own lives in much more concrete ways than we could at 20 or even 25; everyone’s doing such interesting things! And yet we also discussed how we so often feel like pretend grown-ups, even amongst ourselves: people think Erik and I seem so adult because we’re married and settled, while I admire the others for traveling, getting their doctorates, and having real grown-up jobs like banking and teaching. It’s so friendly to see my peers both through the glory of their amazing achievements, and through their own humble and still-searching eyes — to know that even though we are all doing laudable things, we all remain pretty much wowed by everyone else and wondering what we could possibly have to offer that can compare. There is a lot of camaraderie there still.

I recently finished Stephen Cope’s wonderful book, The Wisdom of Yoga, and want to write about it but I think I may be out of deep-thoughts steam for tonight.

For the next couple of weeks I’m allowing myself to take whatever vacation I like. I intend to work when I can, but it’s the holidays, we’ll be seeing friends and family, and I need a break and some breathing and thinking space anyhow. I’ll resume regular clock-outs in early January.