Thursday, July 8, 2010


The Queen has left the desert kingdom forever. She boarded the chariot; she took the iron horse. Now her final ride on the great eagle awaits to whisk her off to the great city. Far, far away she is going. Leaving behind old memories, a battlefield of dead demons, and a dry climate that leaves her coif with very bad hair days.

She said good-bye to Prince Pepe, left with King Albert the Good until she can send for him. She spent her last days saying I love you to so many friends and family, before finally paying a visit her court body worker to wring the stresses of her last visit to the desert kingdom from her body.

As she watched the flat, brown prairie roll by her chariot, she remembered the golden swan that helped her make it to this point. Despite the time away from her new home in the kingdom far, far away, she made it though with the help of the golden swan and voice of the King.

For Independence Day, The Queen of Bohemia will be in New York City.

I sat at the gate waiting for my flight to NYC. I awoke this morning with anticipation, realizing it was fourth of July weekend and it would be very busy at the airport. My friend, Wendy dropped me off at us air with my luggage packed for my teaching and training at Kripalu and the Omega Institute. I was ready to leave Colorado, where I have spent 36 of my 43 years of life.

I learned from my earliest travel abroad experiences in college that you have to carry your own stuff. I had it down with one large suitcase containing my Storytime Yoga bag and clothes, and two carry ons of my business and laptop, cameras and IPad. When I arrived at the vacant counter of US Air, the airline promptly alerted me that the flight was actually with United. I had to lug my heavy bags to the other side of the airport at the east, not west terminal. I was determined to leave Colorado for the fourth time! Nothing could keep me here!

United’s counter was crazy bad with a line six lanes deep. I had missed a plane four years ago spring break getting through the process of my children set up in Texas while I go to the gathering of the Joseph Campbell Foundation at Esalen. But it was so crazy I missed my plane before I could get my kids off. And I never heard from the Foundation again.

I felt panic, seven years of panic and rush swell up in me. I remembered that I am sustained by the grace of Lord Shiva. I chanted the Maha Mritunjaya mantra. I called the King. He said he would send some sailing magic my way, and that this final obstacle would not prevent me from leaving or reaching my goal.

I asked the attendant who was directing people why it took so long. Just
heavy fourth of July traffic, she said of her automated, meaningless job clothed in her drab, uncomfortable uniform. The price you pay for independence, I thought as I waited, breathing in and breathing out and observing the present.

Just then, an announcement blared over the airwaves that curbside check in was now available. Saved! I wasted no time undoing the tethers of the cattle ropes hear they use on the public at airports and lurched my way outside again to the curb. Short line! Hallelujah! Big exhale. Squat, too. Thank you King! But, oh, no. Oh, god. The man behind the counter says that my big check bag is too heavy. 62 pounds $100 fee. “Oh I'll pay it! I don’t care! Just get me on a plane out of here!” “Sorry, can't do overweight baggage at curbside.”

I said I will never fly United again as I lugged my suitcases back to the long line. I had lost my place and it had added an extra line! Doom! I thought. Just then, I received a flash of insight. A lot of the weight is my Storytime Yoga bag filled worth my mysterious objects to entertain little children with during yoga and storytelling class. It’s a heavy leather bag that was my late husband’s. We bought it in Florence in 1996 on a trip to Europe. It was one of the best times of our relationship;

After his death, I used it. I liked the weight of it and the fact that his hands held it during business trips. I kept its little lock of which I do not know the code and I kept the United Red Carpet Club red tag with his name Frank Q. Solis III scripted on it.

I stopped in the middle of the airport, unzipped the giant bag, and took out the Florence bag. Zipped up again. Bolted for the curbside check in once again. Saved! Both under weight! And the attendant checked me in all the way to New York City. I thought I had to have another step at the self-serve kiosk from there. I was so happy I could have kissed him. I smiled and thanked him so much and proclaimed loudly,” I wish you a very wonderful day, sir!” And he looked happy that he could find meaning in his automated, meaningless job he performed from his drab, uncomfortable uniform.

I made it through security no problem. A woman and her son were ahead of me She said, cute skirt and shoes, where did you get them?"

The man behind us laughed as I proudly announced that the skirt I bought from a thrift store in Boulder, a triumph of in my Bohemianesque fashion.
I said the shoes were from my friend Wendy who I stayed with before I left Colorado. She gave them to me at the last minute because I was going to the Yale Club of New York City as the Queen of Bohemia and the dress code required closed-toe shoes and covered shoulders. “You will be watched,” the Yale Club website said. I thought I’d give them something to watch!

I did not want to leave Buenos Aires and return to Boulder. Once back, it was like I had been in a dream. My hair wilted under the dry air, leaving it flat and choppy. Oh, no! I thought. I must get back to a humid climate just to have good hair! I returned to Colorado to tie up lose ends. Primarily to finish moving but also to do the third annual Mythic Yoga Story in the Body retreat at Blue Window Arts in Rollinsville, Colorado, which Wendy owns.

This year we made staffs and wands. The prior years were masks and shields. I told the myths of ancient India and contemplated them in our bodies as we did yoga and meditation. We listened to our bodies to find a symbol or myth that it was speaking. What was coming up or needed to be heard or told or dealt with. I coached them individually in the fine art of oral storytelling against the backdrop of beautiful nature around Boulder, Colorado and Wendy’s place.

One participant's story had an old man. Something about that image of the old man stirred me. A wise old man, the father, the hermit, masculine. During yoga practice this came up, as I listened to my body and asked questions.

Wendy led us on a hike in the forest. I found several sticks. I ended up with three. A first the father - a heavy, tall one that felt good in the left hand, which I painted Aboriginal with my left. The second the mother - a tall, slender one which I wrapped with rigid rap and still remains unfinished, but I thickened up the core, symbolic of that are I need to strengthen and move from more, rather then my shoulders and upper body. The third was a small one, the child. I painted it and turned it into the magic wand, wrapped with an I-Ching coin leftover from a candle as well as two wire bands, honoring a dream I had of them recently. I sculpted a little golden swan from clay to perch on a short branch that came from the stick, a memory of the faith I felt in myself in Buenos Aires.

I realized that the masculine, the transcendent, the father, Shiva, Krishna presence was always with me. A masculine support system I had never felt that everything will be OK. I don't have to carry the whole world myself. The father will provide. The Father and I are One. Always making me feel secure and sustaining me. The fear was gone. My faith complete. Holding the big staff made me feel secure. The wand manifests my unconscious desires. A wonderful retreat indeed.

I tied up lose ends moving. I no longer have to worry about Speer. My assistant runs the business end of things and I get to create. I sold my car to Wendy’s husband and am so relieved of not owning a car. Also, my ex decided to declare bankruptcy and get out of the $30k he owed me, half of which was my pre-marital Toyota Sienna Mini van that he drives around searching for real estate business in a bow tie I bought him. I saw him twice before I left. Once while I was riding a bike. And it was such a great bike and such a beautiful day, when I saw him I just couldn’t be angry. I was so happy that I was leaving for New York City, so I just gave him a big, sloppy wave and a smile. Nothing can disrupt her peace inside. Or so I have Shiva and Krishna to remind me otherwise.

I did have to hire a bankruptcy lawyer because of it and I didn’t have the money to pay my final month’s rent so I used my big deposit, clearly outlining to the landlady what repairs it should go toward.

She flipped out, threatened to evict me while in Argentina. She posted a three-day demand for rent, telling the boy across the street who was my son’s neighbor friend that he shouldn’t come around anymore because we were being evicted. I went to Argentina. Nothing was going to keep me from there. And I didn’t want to engage in that emotional pit with her either. I wished her well. Sent her calm letters in the face of uncertainty. At some point I suggested she carefully reread my original letter and she calmed down after that. Her tone changed and I figure she misunderstood something or maybe she read my blog. I don’t know.

I didn’t clean the house, or the carpets. I was too exhausted moving. I left my late husband's heavy desk that I used as an art table. I let it all go. I locked the keys in the house, and drove down the hill. So excited to reunite with my children down the road, to find the healing before the wounding. I visited Jeff Pontillo, body-worker extraordinaire, for his amazing session and helping me understand my uddiyana bandha and open my heart. It has been a return and now I am back again.

I will be with my children and do our yoga and education while traveling the world. I visited my sister at the Denver Krishna temple. They are now running the restaurant, Govinda’s. We talked about family, children, service. How mom didn’t do anything with us. She read books, wrote poetry. But she didn’t show us any basics, like cooking or how to clean something.

We both love doing those things. She said that service of children is everything. That feminism is about family. We were told in the 70s and 80s to be the super woman, when all we really wanted was a choice. We were forced to be mothers. And our mothers didn’t want to be mothers. Our mother wanted to be a journalist, not a stenographer, and our grandfather had her taken off for shock treatments to break her of her desire. But the big mistake was embracing the market economy. Motherhood, education, health, art, science. Those things have value beyond a buck. Children, life, home, good food, music, art, making love, laughing, teaching, cooking. Life is really simple and so beautiful. You just have to stop everything else and make it a priority. You have to stop the machine. And then you will learn to live and then life is just one awe-struck moment to the next.

1 comment:

  1. I miss you Syd. And have the feeling I will find myself missing you even more. Namaste and safe travels.