Monthly Archives: July 2010


When you google “afraid of crying,” pretty much all that comes up are bad song lyrics.

Like this one: she’s afraid of crying/And she can look at me with tears stuck in her eye.

So many questions pop into my mind:

  • How come she’s got tears if she’s afraid of crying? Generally don’t we try to avoid the things we are afraid of?
  • Is “stuck” really the best word here? Doesn’t it connote a solid texture that water doesn’t really have? Like she can look at me with carrots stuck in her eye makes sense, but tears? Was “shimmering” not available? And if it’s really a question of keeping the rhythm, why not with teardrops in her eye?
  • What’s up with the other eye? No tears stuck there?
  • This is Jason Robert Brown, the voice behind these lyrics.

    According to his Wikipedia, this is his wife Georgia, also a composer, and possibly a woman who cries blocks of ice.

    Anyway. No point here–just that together they are adorable.

    Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche

    Been busy.

    Got to attend a 3-day meditation workshop with Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, which is yet another example of my life moving in these complete circles, because it was his Joyful Wisdom that I listened to in my car as I drove to Minnesota last year with all of my belongings, taking deep breaths the whole way and promising myself it was a good move.

    Oh, it was.

    And so it was really an honor to get to sit with Rinpoche, who is hilarious and silly and awake. I’ve been meditating for a long time, and I’ve read countless books and attended retreats and workshops in a variety of traditions, but his instructions really unlocked something inside me.

    He put a flower behind his head and asked us to look at the flower for a few moments. Then, he said, “Close your eyes but hold the image of the flower in front of you.”

    We did.

    He said, “That is seeing with your mind, but without your eyes.

    “Now,” he continued, “Open your eyes. Look at the flower. But think about something that is bothering you–something that will distract your mind easily.”

    We did.

    He said, “That is seeing with your eyes, but without your mind.

    “Meditation is seeing with both your eyes and your mind.”

    And just like that, this wonderful teacher whose English is still fairly spotty was able to sum up the condition of the meditative act in a way that I’ve never heard before. Other teachers will say: “As you take a breath in, think to yourself ‘I am taking a breath in.'” Etc. Which is the same idea, but that instruction has always encouraged my inner narrator to cling to language as a way of being aware of my experience.

    But all you have to do is see. Such loveliness all around.

    *Those pictures are not from this retreat. They are from a seminar in 2009; I stole them from the Rinpoche’s facebook fan page.


    Hubbeda hubbeda hubbeda. A Watchful Facebook Friend alerted me to the fact that my dear Liz Phair has a new album, Funstyle, to download HERE.

    It’s $5.99. I bought it. I listened to it. It’s weird. “Bang! Bang!” kind of reminds me of the slow, haunting quality of “Shallow Opportunity” (she hit a fucking homerun with the comeandgetit EP seven years ago). And “You Should Know Me” is a nice, stripped-down track that highlights those lovely warbly vocals that I love so much. But there are some songs that sound like she got her hands on a demo version of Pro Tools and can’t stop playing with the slow tempo button.

    The last time I saw Liz Phair was exactly two years ago when she played Exile live for its fifteenth anniversary. She told the audience then that her new album was just about ready and she would be touring very soon.

    And I waited, waited, waited…

    Anyway. In other news! My lady friend and I are doing a no sugar/alcohol/red meat cleanse right now, and I have been riding my bike so much I actually have a tan for the first summer in years. Also: loved Wise Blood, can’t wait to see Eclipse, learning to play tennis.

    Also swimming with the pup: