I am back in Austin and counting my blessings. It’s amazing how easy it is for a place to fade from your present to your past, but Austin has come back in full color and I’ve returned to it stronger and in a better place. My new approach, which is a safe approach, is to stay focused on my project and keep slightly lowered expectations for everything else in Austin. This might sound overly practical or even bordering on pessimistic, but it makes for a lot of pleasant surprises and bonuses with less possibility for disappointment.
Along those lines, all of the little things seem to be going right. I decided that it was time to pick up my own scooter gear, and a housemate generously lent me her car to run the errand. On my first day back, I didn’t have any fresh produce when two tomatoes and a grapefruit materialized on the house shelf – providing me with a nutritious core for breakfast and lunch. And there have been plenty of improvements to the co-op itself including cool new paintings and a dance / exercise pole in the front room. Things seem to be going really well for my housemates, too, one of whom will appear hooping and dancing in a PBS documentary that airs this Thursday!
Two days after landing in Austin, I hopped on a plane to Michigan where I was to be presenting Faces of Israel. I had a room of 120 teens, and the program couldn’t have gone better. It was such a boost to do something that I was really, really good at and offer an impactful and educational program to the Jewish youth of Ann Arbor. My reward? I was put up at a fancy hotel on Sunday night with a king-sized bed with more pillows than I knew what to do with! Though I was due to depart the hotel on a 5 am shuttle for the airport, I was magically able to get myself on a later shuttle and a later flight (free of charge) and so hit the gym in the morning, followed by a swim and jacuzzi dip. No complaints.
I crashed on the plane ride home and woke up just as we began our descent, but in time to be mesmerized by the full and puffy layers of white clouds that we were flying over. Hovering in the air, waking up surrounded by shamayim (the heavens) was a beautiful and perhaps even spiritual experience.
I’ve been dedicating my days to working hard on Jewrotica, but sanctifying my evenings for play. On my first night back, I volunteered at the Birthday Wagon as I always do, offering entertainment at the Salvation Army’s youth shelter. It’s so fulfilling to make the kids happy, to ease the burden of the parents for one evening and I always try to engage the shy kids in the corner or the bigger teens who think that they are too heavy to fly. Equally rewarding, I nailed hand-to-hand for the first time ever! This means that I held a handstand upside-down in someone else’s hands for 5-10 seconds multiple times. Rockin’!
I signed up for one month of unlimited classes at Austin’s acrobatic and aerial studio, which starts today. I am registered for fifteen evening classes over the next ten days, including aerial silks, arm inversions and “advanced flexibility”, which is basically contortion.
Wish me luck! Is any of our readers a masseuse? :-)
posted by ayo