I like the pace of blogging on a weekly basis, and so much has happened in just the past week alone. Our dear friends Matt and Bree from TallyHo and the 2012 New Years Scavenger Hunt are in town, and it was a treat to get together with them again – this time with Bree’s mom and baby Sienna in tow.
Some of you may recall the obsession that I had this past summer with a song called “Wobble, Baby” when I would break out my dance moves in national forests, parks… and outside Walmarts each morning. Well, thanks to a straight-from-the-movies Greek life tradition at UT Austin last weekend, I was able to live the fraternity experience that I always shied away from and attend Round-up where I got to dance and Wobble with V.I.C. himself. What what!
Going home for the Passover seders was the best. It was wonderful to spend quality time with family and, during my visit home, we were able to take a lovely trip to the shore. Walking along the sand by the ocean reminded me how much I crave nature. I spent a lot of the past two and a half years in national forests and parks, yet have spent most of the past six months locked into city life. I hope to venture off to Enchanted Rock or some other nature-esque site in the coming month to just “be” in the great outdoors.
My time in the northeast left me happy, though also with my first cold in a long time, so I eagerly await the day when I can comfortably breathe through my nose again. (What a concept.)
This weekend was a prayer-filled interfaith extravaganza. One of the local rabbis asked me to lead some niggunim (melodies) and tefillah (prayers) at the monthly Shabbat services in downtown Austin. I was a bit nervous to sing in front of the whole room, but I did it “my way” – sitting on the floor, mindfully, sans microphone. The feedback was good, and I may lead again next month.
After services on Friday evening, I ventured back into the acrojam community and it felt like coming home. To see, catch up and play with longtime friends (longtime for a nomad = 1+ year) was incredible and there was so much loving touch. I thought that I would kick a** since I have been intensively training at the Sky Candy aerial arts studio in town. I have definitely gotten stronger, but acro uses different muscles than aerials and my longtime acro buddy Grant decided to throw some crazy moves at me, so I am now mega sore.
Returning to the acrojam also underscored for me that I have been spreading myself a bit too thin and between too many groups. In light of that, I hope to focus my energy on a handful of friendships and just a few communities in the coming months. Separately, it’s interesting and a bit nostalgic to realize that Yair and I first arrived in Austin over a year ago. It doesn’t feel like that much time should have passed and it’s a bit strange to be going back to all my favorite activities – SXSW, Honk Marching Band, Texas VegFest (coming up) – but this time without Yair by my side. Mah la’asot? (What can ya do?)
On Saturday, I met up with a handful of friends at the monthly community soup party courtesy of Katie Visco extraordinaire and then brought a group to experience Holi, the festival of colors, at the largest Hindu temple in North America. Hindus and visitors from all across North America make a pilgrimage to this particular temple in the hills of Austin, and the afternoon was a joyous site to behold.
Sunday rounded out the interfaith celebration as I brought in my first Easter the only way I know how to do anything in life – intensely. My choir sang at the 6 am (!) sunrise service at a local church, and then again for the 10 am service in our own community. I joined my friend Daniel in visiting his (part-Dominican, mostly Catholic) family for Easter festivities in San Antonio and proudly participated in my first-ever Easter egg hunt. Before leaving San Antonio, we met up with my longtime friend Kayak Dov who is studying to be a park ranger and we ended up staying in the neighborhood for Yom Tov (Passover) dinner at the local Orthodox rabbi’s house. Quite a weekend!
In other news, the international press is still excited about Jewrotica and Der Spiegel sent a photographer to the co-op on Friday to do a photoshoot for an upcoming article. Cool. And, even cooler, our chicken coop at the co-op is finally ready, and our pets have arrived! We’ll see how quickly owning chickens becomes tiresome, but for now everyone is very excited.
I will be scaling back my general and Jewrotica-related work schedule for much of the next four months to enjoy Austin, spend time outdoors, volunteer with the local Boys & Girls Club (I put in a call to the volunteer coordinator today) and read some good books. I’m curious to see where these next weeks take me. Sometimes it feels tiresome to always think about the decisions that await me, but I am focusing more and more on just being. Being present, feeling and trying to relegate the “thinking/analyzing my life” mode to just a few times a week.
In the uncharacteristically hippie words of my Dad this week, why not view every decision as an opportunity to be happy? Amen to that, and Happy Monday, y’all.
posted by ayo