staring contests with my cat in downward dog

I can’t speak for anyone but myself here obviously, but this is my take on a particular issue:


Oh yes. Wonderful yoga that turns its adherents from clumsy ducklings to ethereal swans.

If that’s what it’s supposed to do I’ve certainly missed the memo.

There’s days… as in days I’m not following a video where it goes ok, I manage to do dancers pose (the wimpy kind, thank you) without teetering and knocking something over.

Then there’s those other days when I’m *trying* to follow along with a video.

“Okay now breathe into (insert crazy pose I’ve never heard of)” says the instructor on the screen, while I lose my balance, fall on my ass, and watch her go from one contortion to another effortlessly. I purse my lips and say “yeah, you go girl” as I watch stunned and annoyed wondering now how the hell? Still having not gotten back up from my thirteenth fall.

I know. Big time first world problem.

Says a lot though, doesn’t it?

Meaning everyone, provided you’re not living in some blissful black hole that cloisters you from society (I dream of that some days) is probably being bombarded with a variety of messages about what you should be. It differs from person to person, either way they are ideals that represent where we’d like to be but are no where near. On the one hand that can be a great thing! A wonderful little fire to place under your rear when you’re in dire need of motivation. On the other? Discouraging, especially if you’ve been trying a lot to make things better. Why? You’re. Fucking. Exhausted. You want to not try, throw in the towel, and sleep.

Me and my mom talk a lot on the phone. She’s one of those people whom I can’t fully understand, nor can she fully understand me, but we’re there for each other as much as we can be. And she’s awesome. This lady has gone through so. much. shit. But you’d never know it by her smile or her personality, things that would devastate most she’s gotten through and though she’s shed her share of tears she’s glad to be alive. After years of fighting foreclosure on the family home, job loss upon job loss, and a great many other struggles she’s finally in a good place. She’s got a home she loves and a job where people love her and what she does (yes I’m proud). On the phone she’s telling me “yeah, I’m happy, but I’m so damn lazy, it’s frustrating”.

All I could say to that was this; “Mom. I think you need to get used to peace.” She thought about it a little and in her cute, cheerful way nodded.

We’re always told to work hard, hustle, if you don’t like where you’re at then get to work! Yes, there’s some truth to that.

Yet again, maybe where the real struggle lies is the addiction to chaos; if we aren’t running our asses off for something we feel like we aren’t doing enough when really? All we have to do is pour ourselves a cup of coffee and watch the sun rise, take in the fact that maybe we aren’t where we want to be but we’re a lot better off than we might have been in the past. If you aren’t the day will come, but still, it’s okay to breathe.

And breathe I shall, after I shut the yoga instructor up by closing out the tab and just settle for downward dog. šŸ˜›

the nature of home


by Hannah Kemp
Photographer Hannah Kemp, check her tumblr out here…

I’ve never took a step past my front door without the intention of looking for something.

Twice I’ve been out West, the first experience was for all intents and purposes solitary, most of that trip was spent walking unfamiliar streets and enjoying being a stranger. It was bittersweet, some things were going on in my life that were hard to process. One moment I’d be stealing away to a hiding spot to cry my eyes out, the next I’d wipe my tears and wear a genuine smile as I interacted with people or saw something beautiful that I suspected most people living there had grown to take for granted. The luscious red rose that had wrapped itself aroundĀ telephone pole in a derelict part of town, the wild gardens that seemed to spring up in the oddest places, crossing the river on a huge bridge taking in the expanse of the Colombian, or walking in downtown Portland after the fall of day (that got to be a little creepy).

The second time was to spend time with a friend. I’d missed him so much and the moment I saw him it wouldn’t have mattered where we were, but we were in a beautiful part of the country. That time, thanks to him I got to see a lot more of the place. Waterfalls, the ocean (it was stormy, cold, and fucking glorious thank you very much) after driving miles through mountains and trees, and the bits and pieces of a city which the natives, as I’ve mentioned before, learn to take for granted. Both times I enjoyed, and both times I fell in love a little more.

Today I sit in my crazy mess of a house in the midwest, missing the West terribly. What’s odd though is this sense that I’m looking for something I don’t have. The West is beautiful beyond doubt, and where I sit things are finally thawing out, it’sĀ flat and white. There isn’t much going on really. Like I said, every time I’ve left it was because I was looking for something, and now I realize it’s a sense of home. Here’s the kicker, whether I was in Portland, Duluth, Minneapolis, or stranded in the middle of downtown Fargo due to a storm with a friend’s apartment as the only place to go to, I carried a sense of home with me. I felt comfortable everywhere I went, and sometimes when you’re looking for something all you have to do is sit still long enough to realize you have it.

I hope to go out there again and see far more, other places too, I’ll leave this place for a week, or maybe months or years and it won’t matter. Home at the end of the day is something we carry, a sense of ourselves that is not affected by exterior factors. This is what I hope to remember wherever life may take me.