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.

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