Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Hotness with a Side of Empty Space, Sprinkled with Burning Dan

I have a thing for hotness. Literally. As I write this, I'm sitting with a cup of boiling hot tea next to my space heater, which is on full blast, despite it being a pleasantly warm day. When it comes to food, beverages, and the temperature of my surrounding space, I am like a moth to the flame. When I ordered tea at a café, I will be very upset if it isn't served scalding. And we're not just talking lukewarm. It may be the perfect temperature for drinking, but I have to have it so hot that the first sip would burn my tongue. (When I kindly I the counter worker to heat it up more, I quickly follow the request with "I promise I won't sue you!") I remember being at a sci-fi Friday where Jonathan was making grilled cheese sandwiches. Burning Dan was there (it was the only time I've ever seen him at a sci-fi Friday) and he had made this totally crazy grilled cheese sandwich with macaroni and cheese inside. Or maybe Thom Thumb was the one who actually made it (must give credit where credit is due). Apparently it was awesome enough for me to photograph so here it is, pictured at the top of this blog. In any case, I remember us all admiring the sandwich and Dan's saying, "We can't eat it yet. It's too hot." I thought to myself, "Is there really such a thing?"

My thing for hotness is INVERSELY proportionate to my feelings about empty space. It's not that I don't like it. In fact, when I actually allow myself to have it, it's the best thing in the world. But those times feel few and far between, at least compared to how often I cram as much as possible into the smallest window of time and space. Anybody who knows me will know that I am both an over achiever and a bit of a slob. I try to clean, I really do, but I have so many things going on all at once that the messes get made faster than they get straightened. The inside of my head, too, feels like a massive clutter. I have about a million creative projects going all at once, not to mention the whole Hollywood hustle on top of the search for actual paying work. And if that weren't enough, I've got this whole vision board thing, which feels kind of like my curse and my masterpiece all at the same time. It keeps getting things added on, and it is perpetually in a state of "almost complete". I have so many amazing things on there, as I have amazing things in my life, but I keep frantically putting more on, trying to fill the empty places with awesomeness to match the rest of the board. But now it is full. Very full. Not too full, but getting there. The empty space looks asymmetrical, out of place, but I know if I tried to fill it, it would just feel cluttered. Exactly like the rest of my room, exactly like my head in its less fine moments. So for now, I leave it be.

On the same token, I know that Dan had a thing for empty space. We never actually talked about it, but it was a tidbit I gleaned from the galaxy. Let me explain.

At the end of Flow Temple Parties, he would lead us in a "galaxy swirl", where we all gather in a tight circle with our bodies facing the same direction and one arm in the middle. It's sort of like a "Go Team" formation, except that we are pointed to one side instead of the center and palms are perpendicular to the ground, rather than facing downward. It would be easy to squish our fingers tight against each other, since we all love each other and touching is fun. But Dan would say, "Leave a circle inside for the energy." I really like that idea. Truthfully, it it's a bit more challenging, but it makes everyone aware of the surrounding space, which increases our mindfulness. Also, it leaves room for the spirits to plop some surprise down the middle, maybe even sneak in themselves. (Now, when we do our galaxy swirls without Dan's physical self, he probably takes the liberty of wriggling his way into that very space.)

That said, I am making a sincere effort to leave some space in my life "for the energy." The empty spot toward the bottom left side of my vision board -- it's gonna stay empty. Maybe it will stay empty forever, or maybe something will show up and say to me, "Put ME there -- I'm juuuuust right!" As for the space heater, I've turned it off. And the tea, which is three quarters consumed, is now lukewarm. Not to say that I don't mind a good dose of hotness, but sometimes it's good to let things cool.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Ease off the Manifest!!!

This is one of the images that will be featured on my 2011 vision board. Lately, it's been more Carpe and less Awesome, but I'm changing that as we speak...

I haven't blogged in forever. I have a huge backlog of ideas, but none have felt inspired. Several Buffy songs are in the works; none of them complete. I have been working like a dog on remodeling my room. Some of it is cleaner and nicer; the rest messier than before. I have poured hours, dollars, and endless energy into my vision board, which is just now starting to look beautiful, but the intent with which I've pushed to get it done feels like it defeats the whole purpose of the thing. I'm out of money and need to look for a job, but I need to take care of the mess in my room before I can feel ready to crack open that can of worms. When my friend Jonathan asked me on New Year's Eve what knowledge or intentions I wanted to take into the new year, I honestly didn't know. And I still don't. I've come up with a lot of fables/phrases/lessons learned, but none of them really feel right. Everything feels disconnected. Sure, I've had wonderful moments of revelation, relaxation, and connection with friends, but I spend most hours of the day myopic, bleary-eyed, and tunnel-visioned all at the same time. Like the song says, something's gotta give.

Obviously, I don't feel this way right now. I wouldn't be blogging if I did. So what changed? For one thing, a lot of the projects I've been slaving away at are finally coming together. My new Buffy flyer, complete with swank logo, is almost finished. The last of my vision board photos -- including several spectacular ones by Carl Mahoney -- are ready to print. (For those of you who are unfamiliar with the concept, a vision board is a giant poster-like thing with pictures, quotes, and phrases that inspire you, along with images of you next to the people you want to work with. The idea is that if you imagine it, build it, and see it every day, it will come true. And it does.) Last night, after hours of fiddling around on Photoshop, I successfully crafted my own Hollywood star. And just before hitting the sack, I felt compelled to sit at my keyboard and chip away at the Anya song.

So yes, I accomplished a lot and that felt good. But I've been accomplishing stuff all along. We accomplish metric boatloads of stuff on a small-to-grand scale every day, and sometimes even the biggest stuff doesn't gratify us upon completion. Furthermore, the more contingent our happiness is on causes and conditions, the crappier we will feel on the whole, even if those causes and conditions are met. The accomplishment-high hit me at the end of the day and was the symptom, not the cause. Here's the story behind the REAL feel-good moment.

I was having a session with my amazing therapist, who I hadn't seen in a while and who always helps me make sense of things that seem like a jumble on my own. Usually, it's all figurative. This time, it was literal too. I described how I was feeling overwhelmed by everything I was trying to do; how it felt like a bunch of voices were screaming all at once and I couldn't keep my head on straight with all the noise, much less hear what any of them were trying to say. She handed me a pile of rocks and shells and said, "Let's do an exercise." We sat on the floor like little kids. "Pretend these rocks and shells are your obligations. Now, they're all in a huge clump. You need to figure out which one to choose first. Right?" I nodded. "So how do you do it?"

My hands instantly spread them out. My brain caught up a few seconds later. "Oh!" I exclaimed. It all made sense! Spread them out. Spread them out spread them out spread them out. These creatures I had created that felt like they were encroaching on me -- all they needed was room to breathe. (I guess you could say the same for me.)

So I took a little trip down to Hollywood. Window shopped. Randomly ran into my friend Adam Bronstein. Photographed some of the stars to collage into my own (in case you are curious, the little "camera" icon is Fred Astaire's). Drove back up to my neighborhood. Took a swim. Ate some food. Got back to work. And by the end of the day, I felt back on track.

So now I feel a little more ready to face the world, but I also know that I need to give it a rest, especially with the manifesting. Now that I've practiced my donuts, it's time to let the engine cool. Speaking of which, it's a beautiful day and I'm going to go out and enjoy it for a bit. Carpe carpe carpe. AWESOME!!!