Tuesday, November 28, 2006

It's Oh So Quiet

Whilst activity on this blog has been quiet as of late, rest assured that life in the Bo world is ticking along at a most rapid pace. There have been potates mashed, pumkins pied, babies played with, friends kissed, and merriment all around.

Quiet for me usually equates to "Bo is trying to get her life into a bit of order". The new job has been wonderful but also filled with quiet a bit of travel, stress, and lots of learning. I've been trying to streamline my life. Gave up teaching my regular Saturday morning yoga classes for a spell. Also cutting away some of my less value-adding extracurriculars. It's all about making space in my mind and my body to explore that which is most important to me.

Even before I ever discovered yoga, it was always important for me to have a lot of "nothing time" - time when I can go into my head and my body and play in that space. I grew up with a very large family in a very small apartment. Between the 7 of us (my parents, my grandmother, my three sisters, and myself) we shared an 800 square foot one bedroom apartment in Flushing, Queens until I was 11 years old. We had one large walk-in coat closet in the very front of the apartment. I would climb into the closet almost daily, dig my way through all the layers of coats one would expect from a family of 7 and sit in the furthest corner behind my mother's very old and antique fur coat from Korea - one of the few luxury items she didn't sell off when we moved to America. I would sit there, one cheek pressed against the cold plaster wall of the back closet, the other brushing against the fur coat and breathe in the comforting smell of old clothing, mold, and moth balls. Even in the summer the temperature in the closet never rose much above a slight chill. It was as though the closet was impervious to the external world. In this space, I'd sit for hours, doing nothing more than breathe. No thoughts ever really raced through my head. I just found immense comfort in sitting and breathing. Sometimes I'd close my eyes, other times I'd stare out, focusing on nothing in particular. I would sit in the closet for hours on the weekends. Sometimes I would sing songs to myself. Nonsense songs for the most part with words that didn't make sense and melodies that changed with every verse.

It's no wonder that I naturally gravitated towards long distance running and yoga as an adult. It's not really socially exceptable for a fairly well adjusted woman in her early 30s to sit in the back of a closet for long stretches of time. It's during my long runs and yoga practices that I most readily find the lovely rich emptiness and solitude that I indulged in as a child.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Milton Friedman 1912-2006

The legendary economist Milton Friedman passed away yesterday. He was 93. With all due respect for the dead, I hadn't realized he was still alive. Friedman was one of those guys who I thought of within the context of Adam Smith (laissez faire) and John Maynard Keyes.

Friedman is legend in the world of academic economics and due to all my businessy education I've studied his theories pretty steadily throughout my academic career. Friedman is the man who came up with the theory of stagflation (rising unemployment rates coupled with rising inflation), one of the most important economics theories to arise after WWII.

It's always weird to have something that you imagine is dusty and old to pop up in your current events.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Sad story

The murder of actress Adrienne Shelley is just a sad story about how quickly life can change. Of course people get murdered in much more horrific ways (ex: Iraq) but sometimes stories come along that really punctuate how simple events can lead to extrodinary tragedy.

For those unaware of who Adrienne Shelley is, go rent yourself some of Hal Hartley's early films (Trust and Unbelievable Truth are highly recommended). She was a pixey of a woman who's acting chops contradicted her physical prescence.

She was murdered by a 19 year old construction worker last week because she had complained about the noise he was making in an apartment being renovated in her building. Apparently they had gotten into a fight, she slapped him, and he hit her and rendered her unconscious...it's not clear if he actually killed her at this point. To cover up what he had done, he dragged her back to her apartment, and strung her up on her bathroom shower rod with an old bed sheet to make it look like suicide. Sad Sad Sad.

Life changes quickly. One minute you're a successful independent film actress with a film about to come out, the next you're murdered by someone who isn't even half your age.

I can't help but think back to Malaysia. Had one thing gone differently in Malaysia I could have also been murdered. What if I had a panic attack and started freaking out? What if my bank account didn't have any money in it and they weren't satisfied with the loot they'd scored? So many what ifs? All of which mean nothing at this point. I'm alive. I'm back in NY. I've since hugged my mom and dad and had dinner with them on multiple occassions.

I saw Martin Scorses' film 'The Departed' a few weeks back. It was amusing. There is a scene very early in the film where two people are murdered by some thugs along a desolate lake. That shot, for whatever reason, just wigged me out. Possibly because in my minds eye that's pretty much how I imagined I was going to be murdered back in Malaysia. It was almost the exact set up that I imagined in my head. On my knees, hands tied behind my back, shot in the head, at point blank. Wiggy. Wiggy. Sometimes I still think about this image. Sometimes it still wigs me out. I should see a therapist.

What made me so lucky and Adrienne Shelley so unlucky?

Life can change quickly. Embrace what you have. Enjoy what you have. Tell people you love them. Life can change quickly.

Live with passion. Don't be afriad of failure. Nothing is failure except the missed opportunity to live. All those cheesy inspirational statements on greetings cards are true. Who would have thunk it? If you wanna run a marathon go and sign up for one and start training. Grad school...start studying, take your GREs and apply. Wanna take up photography...sign up for a class, buy yourself a camera, go and shoot lots of film. Wanna have a baby...well, that's more complicated depending if you're single or married...but consider your options and do what you have to do (freeze those eggs, visit a sperm bank, make lots of whoopy with your hubby or wifey). Be like Nike...Just do it.

Don't hold grudges. Arguments mean nothing. Tell someone you are sorry. It's okay to say sorry and that you've made a mistake.

When you think you're going to die, you don't think about the times you fought with someone, you'll only think about how much you wish you could hug them and kiss them and tell them you love them one more time. I can actually guarantee this first hand. All you want is one last moment.

Hugs, kisses, caresses...things we give so freely and casually. They mean the world.

Life is beautiful...it's all beautiful. Let's not forget that and let's not forget to share that.


Okay, soapboxing over...I'll step down now.