Posted by: birdmaddgirl | 20 November 2013

my 6 poems

inspired by this Missouri Review article that a friend shared on fb, here’s my own list of 6 poems (written by women) that i want to share right now. of necessity, the limitation is that these are available online & i chose not to repeat poets listed in the MR. in no particular order:

Posted by: birdmaddgirl | 19 October 2013

world building

at my writing residency last summer, my poetry mentor said something that i’m still thinking about. to paraphrase: she once told a novelist friend, ‘i don’t know how you can write the same work every day.’ the novelist replied, ‘i don’t know how you can reinvent the world every day.’

woah. seems obvious now but it had never occurred to me. there’s a big truth in there: a poem is a world of its own, with its own center of gravity. and being able to think actively about my work as world building is like suddenly realizing i haven’t cleaned my glasses in weeks and everything is much brighter than i could see through the grit.

a guardian excerpt of a speech that neil gaiman recently gave, about libraries and reading, has been making the rounds. as gaiman is wont to do, he says loads of lovely and smart and funny and wry things. among them, he tells a story about talking with a state official at the first science fiction & fantasy conference held in china. the official said they were encouraging sff because they needed to innovate more, because they had sent a delegation to top american companies and “asked the people there who were inventing the future about themselves. And they found that all of them had read science fiction when they were boys or girls.”

i grew up an sff lover (mostly the f). fantasy reading is escapist, no question about it, and i tend not to think of it in very serious terms. but when i take a trip into sword-and-sorcery land now, i’m looking much more closely at how world building happens. at how the words on the page can give a reader access to an imagined place. and i’m thinking that perhaps the days i spent not leaving my bed with a box of capn crunch to munch on drowning in dragonsbane unintentionally gave me tools i need to be the poet i want to be.

every time my pen hovers over a blank page, i get to imagine a brand new place to share with anyone who stumbles into my words. every poem a dragon spell. it’s an incredible challenge and responsibility. a shivery thrill.

Posted by: birdmaddgirl | 8 September 2013

rediscovering my music geek

pat benatar/the doors: being home with my dad, building couch forts
miami base/power 96: driving to elementary/middle school
indigo girls/ani difranco: driving with kimmi in high school
toto/belle & sebastian: sophomore spring of college
weezer/tmbg: summer with my college boyfriend
mos def/busta rhymes: late nights just out of undergrad

a representative and random sampler of ways that music and memory fall out in my brain. this list would never end if it wasn’t cut off arbitrarily. i grew up with the sort of dad who quizzed me about the music he loved – i would be asked to name the artist, track, album (when i got older, sometimes also the year). my dad had a much-loved record collection (sadly decimated by hurricane andrew) and was a very early adopter of cds. remember those extra-long sleeves? whose idea were those? a trip to peaches was serious business. i can still remember buying my first cassette tape with “my” money at the spec’s that used to be on kendall drive. it was pouring rain as it does on summer afternoons in miami, i was graduating fifth grade, and i ran in to buy my own copy of a night at the opera (my dad had an original masters that he rarely busted out). all this to say that music has been important to me as long as i can remember. i was proud to be someone that my friends came to when they wanted a mixtape or a recommendation. i keep all my concert stubs (and still resent how i can’t get one for a boston club show usually). in college, i became quickly enamored of the small venues that were suddenly available to me for the first time. no one comes to miami except to play an arena show – and even then they have to be sure to sell that shit out. the fact that i could get on the subway and go to the middle east and see throwing muses play a reunion show just spazzed me out; a band i love, in a space that holds ~500 people, and i didn’t have to bug my mom to take me. my mom should rightly enter this story as a very generous soul who not only took me to my first concert – aerosmith on the get a grip tour – but sat around shows or parking lots(!) for hours ferrying my friends and me around. my dad may have shared his musical tastes with me more, but my mother was tolerant and giving of her time so that i could enjoy myself acting out on my music obsessions.

it’s hard to talk about music and memory without rambling; i’m not even trying. i think about music a lot lately because i ran very far away from it for a while. in a fit of what i should have recognized as untenable depression, i shut down my ears. no new music. no comforting junkmusic. no concerts. as i slowly built myself back to something resembling normalcy, the first things that i could listen to much were a handful of standby favorites. dance music, mostly. duran duran. a mod night mix. destiny’s child. within the past year and change, concerts have started creeping back in as a regular thing. although, hahhaha, as i write this i am skipping out on seeing sarah & matt play at a kickoff for tt’s 40th anniversary week. i’m giving myself a pass because i went to brooklyn for ~4.5 hours friday night to see depeche mode. and it was awesome.

i have finally come far enough around to really want to dig back into knowing music. it’s harder than it used to be, there’s so much access and so much out there. and a lot of it is banging. and i have a lot of music that i already have but haven’t sunk my fists into sufficiently. getting a new ipod has helped. a blank slate to load up. i have been wanting a lot of texture and things that are really albums, so for the past few months, my listening has been heavy into electronic music: autechre, old boards of canada (haven’t heard the new album yet), new order (cause i saw them in july), chris clark,  tribe called red. today i started reading ?uestlove’s memoir – so good! – and it’s reminding me of stuff that i just haven’t touched in a long time. like that prefuse 73/mos def album urban renewal program. which i’m listening to right now – so good!

so i’m loosely giving myself a project to listen to an album straight through each week. to listen like dangling off a cliff. as much as i love a good single, i grew up with concept albums. i want a landscape that i can get lost in. i want big sonic risks. i want to find all the shit i never had a vocabulary to get into (my understanding of the blues is just pathetic). and i want to drown in remembering how much an album means to just me and no one else.

feel free to leave 1 album recommendation in the comments – but please only 1 so that i can actually check stuff out. it doesn’t have to be like a desert island favorite, it could just be something that speaks to you as a cohesive whole.

Posted by: birdmaddgirl | 26 July 2013

the audience for poetry

it seems like ever since the invention of the printing press, folks have been announcing the death of poetry. among the latest is mark edmundson’s article in july’s harper’s magazine (which i won’t link to, but it’s readily accessible if you care to read it online). the ever-delightful stephen burt has a thoughtful reply on boston review (that has added to my to-read list). my writer-friends and i talk about audience all the time – my poet-friends perhaps even more of the time. it seems, too, that we can’t talk about poets or poetry anymore without bringing up the mfa elephant. so there’s that. here’s a smattering of my thoughts:

re: edmundson – the most striking thing to me about his piece is that he relies on a handful of mid- to late-career very well-known poets. this is all fine and well, i suppose, but doesn’t indicate to me that he is particularly well-read in contemporary poetry. i would not profess to be myself, but i am at the very early learning-based stages of my own development as a poet and thinker, and i’m not writing an article for a national magazine. it seems irresponsible to me to say that contemporary poetry isn’t up to snuff by surveying such a small sample size (and selectively even then). there are all kinds of responses that could be made to this article, so i’m just going to leave it at that.

re: audience – i have gone through my poet despair troughs wherein i lament the paucity of readers and dearth of attention given by the teeming masses to the exertions and verbal acrobatics of good poetry. woe is we. i’ve struggled with this in a bunch of different ways, especially regarding how to submit for publication. print or online? it’s a fraught question for writers just starting out.

the print lit journals are much more established and continue to carry a cache that seems to still be necessary to be taken very seriously in a number of circles. their circulations, even the best and most-established of them, are not large. (and as a subscriber to and veteran intern of a handful of literary journals myself, i admit that rarely do i have enough time to read them cover to cover.) so even if you win the lottery, dear writer, and get that golden acceptance ticket, how many eyes will truly fall upon your words? precious few, but you get that extra zip in your bio.

online journals are a mixed and exciting grab bag. their circulation numbers (or hit rates, i guess) aren’t widely advertised – but in my experience, editors will usually share estimates if asked politely. there’s the possibility for a lot of instant-reader-gratification, though. social media makes it infinitely easier to nudge everyone you know into reading a piece published online. and if one or two of your friends like it and share it in turn, then you can readily gain a handful of new readers beyond your loved ones. and people can comment directly to you – this is the coolest thing ever. there are two buts, though: one is that online journals can vanish without a trace, taking your glorious work with them into the great internet void, which is sad-making; two, often these publications are not taken as seriously – although mileage varies and this is changing. i’m not sure that it’s possible at this point to truly build a career out of online-only publication credits. i am not even aware of anyone who is trying (but if there is, i would love to know about it!).

re: the mfa & audience – so who is the audience for poetry? what exactly does all the teeth-gnashing gnash about? what someone like edmundson argues is that there’s no mass audience for poetry because contemporary american poets don’t resonate, don’t write well enough. the mfa machine is a common scapegoat. for a spell, i took the mfa-as-sneetch-factory sneering to heart. while i don’t want to entirely dismiss the notion that the workshop model does have its dangers and issues, my attitude towards it has undergone a big turnaround (and i’m throwing my nonexistant money down the mfa well, so, like many others before and after me, i’ve thought about this deeply).

in many ways the mfa crowd – and it is a crowd, with more and more full- and low-residency programs popping up not just in the states but spreading around the world – is the audience. and now that i’ve drunk the kool-aid, i realize that there is no better news for poetry. yes, a small but dedicated audience for poetry exists outside of the writer coterie. and i suspect that those numbers have remained proportionally pretty steady over the centuries (how one would figure that out, i’ve no idea, but given that mass english literacy is still quite new in historical terms, it seems a reasonable enough broad assumption). and in addition to that stable core, there is this ever-expanding set of writers-who-are-readers. these are people who are fiercely dedicated. who read websites and journals. who buy books. who voraciously seek out words. people who want to be inspired and moved and thrilled by poetry and who have invested the time and energy in having the tools to read it on multiple levels.

when i came back from chile last year, i felt a little burrowing mole of sadness. poetry is so integrated into the culture there, held up in such esteem in a way that it has never been in the states in my lifetime (possibly ever, i’m suspicious of golden age thinking). i believe deeply than poetry can speak to anyone, but i understand that not everyone will want to drown their time in it. we all have to make those choices. there’s a real joy in sharing a poem with someone whom i know isn’t ‘really into poetry.’ but i feel that i had lost sight of the readers out in the open field. now that i am immersing myself in the learning of being a poet, now that i am working away the fear of being a poet, i feel that this beast i love is indeed pulsing and thriving and plush.

what better audience could i ever want for a poem than my fellow writers?

Posted by: birdmaddgirl | 10 July 2013

at the intersection of inspiring and creepifying

here i am – in the intimidating new land of dueling master’s programs. my first residency week for my MFA in creative writing was exciting and inspiring and lots of other very nice words. every day feels like a writergasmic festival of ideas. too many ideas. lack of material is never really an issue for me; knowing what to do with it and when, now there’s another matter.

last wednesday, i slammed on the brakes mid-day because i encountered a photo i couldn’t ignore. since discovering the boston public library’s flickr archives, i’ve been tooling around on flickr in general looking for more historical material. there: a photo from philadelphia, 1926, an advertisement for the then-popular US eugenics movement. the blood rushed out of my head, chased by a poem. a solid enough first draft.

it was clear to me that this is the sort of thing that one builds a series around. more research. more thinking. what kind of series? lots of paths. i twiddled around online a bit more on friday but without a clear direction. but yesterday i became aware of a story coming out of the center for investigative reporting on sterilization at two california prisons – sterilizations that took place between 2006 and 2010 affecting 148 women. it’s just a bit eerie and creepy, such an intersection of then and now. this is no longer digging into archives (like this amazing one); this is the intersection of history and journalism. and it leaves an incredible amount of space for artists to explore.

so i don’t really know yet what i’m writing about. but i have a wealth of ideas, and i’m working on figuring out what sources are vetted and trustworthy ones. i believe strongly in making poetry that doesn’t draw away from difficult and ugly truths. i believe in the opportunities of art to reflect  our collective inhumanities and to move us to empathy.

Posted by: birdmaddgirl | 13 June 2013

eternal student musings

i’ve been in school mostly for forever. i dual-majored in undergrad (BS & BA), got two graduate certificates, completed copyediting and TEFL certifications, did a 200-hour yoga teacher training. i’m nearing completion of my master’s and embarking on an MFA even as i attempt to write my thesis. the unavoidable question (accompanied by headshakes, horroreyes, and/or crinkledsmiles): why?

two things are undeniable: i love the classroom environment and am suited to the hoops of academia; i use it as a refuge and a crutch. do i genuinely adore learning? yes. am i avoiding making real decisions about my life by remaining in school? yes. knowing this, why indeed?

there’s another truth behind these truths. that a lot of the schooling i have done has been centered around giving myself lots of options and credentials. my family bit the education as uplift hook – at least, i did. i was talked out of following my heart. for years, i’ve talked myself out of trusting myself. it’s too scary, too much of a risk. there is no safety net if i fall. but i couldn’t get out of that orbit entirely, could never force myself to just settle into something for the sake of security.

so i am piling this MFA on because i need a push. because i am given only these days and i want to fill them and live them. because i am not quite brave enough to plunge but i think i am brave enough to soak. because all i ever wanted to be is a poet but not practical not photographable not probable not payable. because all i have ever been is a poet and it is tiresome this thrashing about on my own.

first day of poet school is next friday. i am using my privilege. i am taking a breath.

Posted by: birdmaddgirl | 24 May 2013

experience and authority

how have we as a culture and society gone so far off the rails with regard to the authority of experience? i keep noticing all sorts of ways that (intentionally or un-) there is massive denigration of the value of experiential understanding.

to give a pretty mundane example of what i mean, there have been several hurricanes that have reached into the new england area over the past few years. irene came through in august of 2011 and someone i know who lives out in the western part of the state was asking questions about how worried to be. i replied with my take on the situation (if you’re near a river or in a low-lying area that floods easily, you may have trouble. if you’ve had downed trees locally with the wet summer, then that may continue to cause problems. otherwise, don’t sweat it.), and the response i got felt like an attack. the validity of my assessment was called into question and the poster wanted to know what news source i was getting this from. i said that i didn’t have a particular meteorologist to cite, that this was my assessment based on a lifetime of experience with hurricanes and that the pattern of behavior indicates that there’s not much to fret about from an inland northeast perspective aside from the aforementioned issues. i was then told that without some sort of more authoritative source, my input was useless.

it’s true that i don’t have a science background. what i do have is a long history of living in the path of major storms and personal experience of everything from the teeniest of tropical depressions to category 5 devastation. and although i’m pretty far north of most serious storm activity now, my family and friends are not, so i continue to keep a close eye on NOAA every year. i know what general storm trajectories look like. i know what different categories mean. and i know enough to know that the numerical data doesn’t tell you as much about what to expect as a solid understanding of local conditions does (Katrina is the best instance of a not-so-powerful storm causing massive damage based on factors beyond the actual force of the storm itself).

i’m still baffled (and, i admit, wounded in the pride department) that someone i know solicited information and advice and flat out rejected what i had to contribute. it’s prodded me over the past couple of years to wonder about how we devalue experience as a source of authority.

i see it most damagingly in women’s issues. it’s a way to silence people whose stories we collectively don’t want to acknowledge. maybe if we give experience the same authority we give to statistics (which can be manipulated pretty easily and can be misleading as all hell based on a multiplicity of factors, as a simple exploration of the subject will readily reveal), then we need to admit that things are not so rosy and change should happen. a statistic like 1 in 3 native american women will be the victim of sexual violence horrifies me. do we as a nation hide behind the impersonal nature of those numbers and lose sight of the people who are suffering as a result? if we privileged the voices of those who have experienced such crimes, would we do more, be more compassionate? would there have been even more outcry about congress dragging its feet with the violence against women act – specifically in regards to provisions to protect native, lgbt, and immigrant populations – if instead of being confronted with numbers, we were confronted with faces and stories?

on a more serious personal note, i recently had an experience that was very scary and could have ended in some serious territory. i was fortunate and ended up safe. but in the handful of times that i’ve recounted my experience to close and trusted people in my life, i find myself hesitating to talk about it and apologizing for the fact that i can’t factually verify anything. there’s no hard evidence. only my own testimony and the observations that a couple of other people who were present can add. my experience doesn’t seem valid enough as a platform. i’ve imbibed this standard as much as anyone else, and i’m confronting head on ways in which this makes it difficult for me to assess my own life. how much worse for someone who isn’t as lucky as i was?

some languages – Hopi is somewhat famous for this – make distinctions within a verb that describe the speaker’s relationship to what is being related. in other words, if it is an eyewitness experience, the verb includes that information. there’s a value placed on experience right there in the language, it’s important enough to state right up front all the time. what if we were constantly doing this in english? would we think about the world differently if we had to differentiate between a “fact” that we experienced vs a “fact” that someone else told us about vs a “fact” that we read about? would we change our minds about what a “fact” even is? could the division between objective and subjective be an arbitrary one?

we have a sense culturally that we know what a fact is. but do we? is feeling, in fact, fact? what could it mean for our legal system, for journalism, for education, for health care, for conflict resolution, to take apart our current idea of what makes a fact? i can’t help but thinking that for all the cult of the individual that is, in certain ways, very real in the US, we don’t privilege the individual at all in some aspects. as someone who cares about living in a community, i want to recognize how i’m not living up to my own ideals. maybe one of the ways to do better is to validate the authority of the personal wherever possible.

Posted by: birdmaddgirl | 8 May 2013

gut reactions: ender’s game of thrones

reader, you may or may not be aware of my abiding love for fantasy and science fiction. it’s true that i’m not as up on either genre as i’d like to be; i’ve got some major gaps. but i grew up on this stuff and frequently turn to it when my brain just cannot handle any more academia – or because i just love to be immersed in it. i want to talk absolute gut reactions to a couple of high profile projects. these are not researched thoughts, but they do have the weight of decades of genre reading behind them, so while they are off-the-cuff, they are not ignorant opinions.

ender’s game: the first trailer launched yesterday for the film adaptation of orson scott card’s award-winning novel. (side note: card is very public about opinions that i find offensive and distasteful, if not downright inhuman at times. there’s a lot of controversy swirling around about boycotting. i have lots of thoughts about the separation of art from the artist that i won’t delve into here. suffice to say that although there’s obvious conservative thinking going on in ender’s game, the book does not incorporate any of card’s controversial perspectives. focus!) ok. so there’s an award-winning cast – which the trailer absolutely beats you over the head with. (side note 2: ben kingsley is fabulous, but my disappointment in the failure to case a Maori actor as mazer rackham is major. what about that guy from blow? or anybody else. plus, the face tattoo seems like a bad case of racial othering to me, but i’m willing to reserve judgement for the moment.)

focus! yes. so this trailer gives very little in terms of the broader storyline and psychological drama that underpin the novel and lift it above the mass of space shoot-em-ups. i suppose that it’s aimed at people  unfamiliar with the book. but who is really supposed to be excited about this film based on these two minutes of footage? i mean, everything looks gorgeous (this may turn out to be one of the best visual adaptations of a novel to date). but everything about is so vaguely, generically sci-fi. aside from the title, this could be the trailer for just about any old sf story. the music, the font, the editing choices – bland, bland, bland, bland. if i knew nothing about the book, what i would take away from this is: oh a bunch of famous actors got paid a lot of money to be in a slick but probably substance-less aliens vs. humans war film. yawn. as someone who knows the book decently well (i’ve probably read it 5 times or so over the last 20 years), i’m not convinced by this trailer that the film is going to live up to the hype. maybe the next trailer will be the one that convinces me one way or the other. based solely on what i see here, meh. there’s not enough there there to push me to want to see a big screen adaptation of something that lives so vividly in my head.

game of thrones: hbo can seemingly do no wrong and their fantasy series is an undoubted cultural hit. i don’t watch a lot of tv – full time work plus grad school will do that to a person – and for quite a while i was debating whether to try the show or the books first, so i was in no hurry to get to this. in february, i  finally decided that i’d give the tv series a go. oh man. this is surprisingly difficult for me to write about. i’ve talked about it with several sff-minded friends who are fans of martin and of hbo. i desperately want to like this. but. well, frankly, i’m rather ashamed that this is many people’s only significant reference point for fantasy, aside from tolkien.

i watched the first episode. i can’t decide now whether i’m willing to spend any more of my time on this or not. let me start out by saying that the production values and cast are great overall. and although i can’t compare to the books, my impression is that hbo does a pretty good job of creating the world. what falls apart for me is martin’s story. it strikes me as outdated, bigoted, and just plain lazy.

i desperately want to like this. but sex and gore appear to be used mainly pruriently. i’m not opposed to sex and gore, but i’m uninterested in it as window-dressing.

i desperately want to like this. but that dothraki wedding scene is some straight up 19th century imperialist colonialist racist atrocity. i am so powerfully disgusted that this is probably a real deal-breaker for me with the series. i’ve asked if there is something that will happen down the line that would complicate this set up, that would make me say that martin is exploring tropes and doing something interesting with them. not a single person has been able to reassure me on this point. the most common response is “maybe this series isn’t for you…”

this episode gives me the sexist heebie-jeebies, too. i’ve been told that daenerys’s character evolves in interesting ways. i’ve not been told that there’s a strong female character who doesn’t have to go through sexual abuse to be part of the “strong female character” contingent. (no, i’m actually not referring to the post-wedding sex scene per se – her brother’s sexual abuse and commodification is extremely problematic for me.) a bullshit, lazy way to write a strong female character. (side note 3: so people want to boycott ender’s game because card vocally gay-bashes – although this is not at all part of the work – but apparently no one wants to boycott game of thrones, which incorporates problematic racial and gender depictions as part of the storyline? i don’t get it.)

these are some pretty damning criticisms right out of the gate. i could comprehend if not excuse a bit of this in older works. but the thing is, martin is writing this series right now. this isn’t throwback 70s fantasy (although even then, it’s pretty lame). it’s 2013 and this is what we’re being fed as fantasy worthy of adaptation by hbo.

the saddest thing is, there is a wealth of thoughtful, exciting fantasy out there. great fantasy and sci fi have the ability to push the boundaries of the possible, to help us to question the reality we live with everyday, to encourage us to imagine a different and better future for ourselves.

after watching just the one episode of game of thrones, i have a hard time seeing martin’s story surprising me. it looks like a lazy writer taking advantage of character and setting as cloaking devices to hide a lack of real intellectual engagement. are there even any real plot twists that i can’t see coming? i keep begging people to tell me i’m wrong. this is one of a handful of cultural doors that is open to the people who otherwise don’t consider fantasy as something they are interested in. i want it to be all of the amazing things that i see in the works of luminaries like butler, gaiman, bradley, pratchett, mccaffrey, kay, mieville, lackey, le guin, asimov… i’m mostly pulling names out of the way-back machine, which just underscores for me how martin is not moving the genre or culture forward. no one has really tried to convince me i’m wrong.

Posted by: birdmaddgirl | 30 April 2013

spring cleanse wind down

i hate to say it, but i’m not wallowing in that fresh and so clean clean feeling post-spring cleanse. maybe it’s the being sick (i still have a lot of congestion to deal with. ugh). maybe it’s the fact that this april is The Worst. maybe when i look back on this in a month i’ll feel totally awesome about it.

in any case, i’m still glad that i went through the process, modified though it was. i reintegrated faster than i’d like, but at least this time around took a little longer. and it does feel a little easier to make smarter food choices – let’s see how long that lasts in the face of my french fry addiction. and making any small amount of mental and emotional space is a good thing. it doesn’t feel like enough, but something is better than nothing as i attempt to juggle two master’s programs at two separate universities and fulltime work. 

as of now, i intend to revisit the fall cleanse. depending on timing of the group and my own life, i may end up skipping out. but if i do, i know that i have some of the ayurvedic principles of this process in my toolbox now. i can make my own mini-version up if need be. no holy-wow feeling, but piece by piece, i am doing the work.

Posted by: birdmaddgirl | 25 April 2013

from the cleansing trenches

today is day 3 (of 4) for the main phase of my ayurvedic spring cleanse. i’ve let most of my intentions for how to spend my time on this cleanse go. initially i wanted this to be a deeply reflective period. one of the reasons i decided to shift my cleanse to this week is that i have very little by way of obligations or plans (red sox tickets tonight, but otherwise nothing). so i intended to read and journal and think and all that good stuff.

instead i’ve let the bout of whatever nasty chest cold i picked up last week take over. this has meant mostly sleeping. tuesday i went to bed before the sun was even down, which is kind of freaky for someone who is far more likely to be still up at sunrise. but it justified skipping my weekly ashtanga class (i’m still hoping to make it up via a home practice over the weekend, energy levels pending).

mostly what i can say at this point is that cravings are pretty easy to manage with a cold – i can’t smell anything anyway and my throat has felt like it was lined with broken glass until this morning. i feel like i’m missing out on a level of awareness because i’m just not feeling well. i know my body is pouring all of its reserves into healing, there’s not much left in the tank for anything else. yesterday i had some serious mood swings, which have continued somewhat less violently into today. i’ve been pretty energetic in the mornings, a little droopy in the afternoons, and wiped in the evenings. i’ve had to dial the protocol back to adjust for being sick. it feels good to be sticking with this anyway, but i’m also weirdly ashamed to take it down a notch. not sure what the post-cleanse phase will be like this time – i’m going to ease more gently through the reintegration phase than i did the first time.

once again, i’m not necessarily thinking that major diet changes will come out of this cleanse (although i can see how in the future that may happen). for now, i’m treating it as a respite and a rare time to carve out space for myself. i think this is true for most of the women i know, but it’s certainly true in my life, that i was never given a good template for how to make myself a priority in a positive sense. it’s wrecked some havoc to not have this skill. all i can do is work to do my best.

one more day of kitchari and then a really low key kanjee saturday, followed by a 4-6 day reintegration. good times.

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