On July 24, 2007 by Eden M. Kennedy

Hey, Internet, it’s been awhile, hasn’t it? Yeah, well, I don’t know, I’ve just been feeling sort of profoundly silent lately. We got back from New York and I looked at all my photos and the inevitable caption-heavy post that ought to come out of them and I said, Nope, can’t do it. Cannot serve up my personal life for your entertainment at the moment.

I think it may have something to do with the ever-collapsing tunnel of time that is grief I’ve been walking through. Sure, blame it on DEATH. (If you’re just joining us, my dad died two months ago now — you can read all the fun here.) But I think an inevitable part of the emotional aftermath, for me, has been finally to allow myself to turn inward and just be quiet. It feels really good to just let yourself be sad sometimes. It’s a surprisingly physical sadness, too. It’s like the time I had that bike accident and smashed up my face (will you please remind me to tell you that story some time) — I was all stitched up and swollen and my whole head hurt, but I didn’t mind all that much. I took a bunch of self-portraits. I don’t know if I felt like I deserved to hurt for being so stupid, but I know I didn’t want a bunch of drugs to numb me out. Or maybe I have a high tolerance for pain. I do think there’s something satisfying about feeling beat up and sore, but I couldn’t tell you what without sounding like the seventh grade toughie who was always behind the gym trying to get her friends to play bloody knuckles (and holy shit, don’t click on that link unless you want to read all about the official world bloody knuckles association and buy a t-shirt). (Maybe I should add that my junior high version of bloody knuckles was based on balancing a comb on your opponent’s fist — do kids still walk around with combs in their back pockets, or was that hopelessly seventies? — which she held out in front of her, and then fast as you could trying to snatch the comb and drag it down between her knuckles. Play and repeat until someone starts bleeding. AWESOME.)

I’m also sore because yesterday I went back to yoga class for the first time since January. Since we just got back from our family vacation and I have to turn around next week and go back to Denver to help take care of my mom for two weeks, I have to be skipping BlogHer this year, and I was sad enough about that to decide to take that weekend and go on a yoga retreat (led by my esteemed friend Steve) instead and try to jump start my yoga practice again. But I didn’t want to commit yoga suicide by walking cold into three days of bending and chanting and whatever else Steve is going to make me do. Eat vegetarian food! Breathe! So yesterday I went in to practice with Steve’s wife, Michele. She didn’t sweat me, she knows I have commitment issues with yoga and have disappeared for long periods of time before only to reappear and work that much harder. So yesterday I got on my mat and said to myself, You are going to do this and you are not going to care what you look like not being able to touch your fucking toes. You are going to be sensible and do only what you can do, not what your ego tells you to do. At the end of my practice I really do believe it was my heart and not my ego that told me I should lift up into the ugliest, most potentially crippling backbend you’ve ever seen in your life.

Walking back to my car was a little tricky.

Actually, I think a little ibuprofen might be a good idea right about now.



40 Responses to “Reorganizing”

  • Welcome back. Good for you for taking the time you need, and doing what feels right for you (as opposed to for us).

  • “You are going to be sensible and do only what you can do, not what your ego tells you to do.”

    I fail at this everytime I am on the treadmill and someone jumps on the one beside me… I always have to pretend I’m running the most important race in my life. It seems logical at the time, pushing and challenging myself… until my body craps out and I need CPR to make out of the gym. I’ll think of you next time, and I’ll tell my ego to go to hell.

  • Take good care of yourself.

  • “You are going to be sensible and do only what you can do, not what your ego tells you to do.”

    You have my Yoga Mind!!! I start/stop my practice due to budget constraints, and I just CANNOT mind my limits! I expect to start back where I was. My friends keep saying “stop comparing yourself to the others in class, you don’t have to compete” but I’m not competing with them. I think that because the last time, x-months ago, I was able to do a kick-ass Standing Bow that today I’ll also be able to pull my toes up over my head.

    Ugh, take a hot bath. And some Advil. and a shot of whiskey.

  • i realized that i ALSO have commitment ‘issues’ when i gave up smoking way back when (YESTERDAY).

    it’s hard to look at myself in the mirror anymore because NO ONE LIKES A QUITTER.

    i will never tire of that joke.

  • While I will desperately miss seeing you at BlogHer, I absolutely understand the other priorities in your mind and body. No need to entertain us while you still have healing to do.

    Take care of yourself.

  • Hang in there, kiddo.

  • Aw, I was hoping to see you at BlogHer again. I’ll still wear one of your shirts anyway. ;)

    Good luck getting back into your yoga practice.

  • The grieving process is different for everyone – yes there are “stages” but not everyone goes through them the same way and at the same time. A family member was appalled b/c I winked at someone at my dad’s funeral. It was a reflexive response (I also had ot go to the bathroom during the funeral – does that make me a bad person?). anyway, she doesn’t entirely realize the nights I spent sobbing a few months later. I think that in the immediacy of the moment I was in complete shock.
    Anyway, didn’t mean to pour out my stuff on you. Just trying to say “chin up young person” take care of yourself.

  • Yoga. It’ll cure what ails you. If it doesn’t kill you first!

    I’m also facing getting back on the mat after a year long break. Damn that was a long pregnancy. (The pre-natal yoga? Not so much.)
    And if I recall correctly, that over-done-it sore is a good pain yes? Like getting tattoos – totally addictive. We’ll both be bendy again in no time!

  • You know, Episode 3 of “Yoga Action Squad” us up on their web site … *innocent whistle*

  • I arrived here via Matthew at Defective Yeti, and then was sunk deeply into your various writing for 10 minutes before I took a breath.

    Marvelous, marvelous stuff. Your boy sounds exactly like what I hope my two grow up into (oldest is 3, and will likely say he’s fond of mythical creatures by age 6, too).

  • My mother always used to say that sadness has a season, and should be embraced and accepted during that time. Welcome back to the mat. Steve is my teacher too… but I only get to practice with him once a month since I live 2 hrs north. I wanted to go to that workshop SO badly, but I just got back from two weeks in Encinitas with Tim Miller, so I gotta pinch some pennies for a while.

    I can only imagine the relaxing and introspective weekend you will have. Enjoy it, and continue to honor yourself!

  • Jenna, e-mail me, I want to hear about Tim Miller!

  • ice ice and epsom salts!

  • Grief is like a a sharp ache in the bones. I ached for my dad for two years. This is the third year after his death, and the pain is less sharp.

    It is OK to treat yourself gingerly now.

  • i’ve been thinking about you, eden, and sending you and yours good thoughts. xx

  • The heart and the ego aren’t in cahoots nearly enough. Adding ibuprofen only delays that which is inevitable and by then you won’t be able to touch your toes without snapping something in the middle. Stretch well, my dear.

  • What the g***dam f***ing sh*tty f***ing sh*t?? Not going to BlogHer? Is there no justice in the universe? This is wrong, just wrong.

    In other words, I will miss you. Can we have coffee sometime? We can chat about our grief process. Should be a riot.

  • Ah that yoga pride. It’s a hazard. I cannot touch my toes either, and it’s like being a wannabe writer who can’t tell the difference between your you’re and yore.

  • yes namaste

    You might try working up to it. My kids have a great double set of silly yoga workouts that are kicking my ass right now.. it’s been years since ive updogged.

  • quiet is good, too.

  • i bought a yoga book but haven’t looked at it since. i think it’s something i want to do but it would be something i do alone at home and i feel dorky doing that sort of thing, which means i probably won’t ever do it. oh well. i’ll live through you and the yogabeans.

    also, perhaps this will get you to write a bit more

  • “You are going to be sensible and do only what you can do, not what your ego tells you to do.”

    I gotta remember that

  • combs? Bloody knuckles? Kids these days have new versions of the same thing. I discovered seven kids in my class with the exact same bloody scratch on their hands and called the principal asap. Ew.

  • here’s to some spiritual bendiness amd healing coming your way. if i were you, i’d probably be ranting and crying to the internet through my grief so i commend you for taking the high road and not having a virtual nervous breakdown. kudos!

  • That was your version of bloody knuckles, huh? Ours was some made-up card game with ever changing rules and if you lost or violated or whatever your punisher would have you make a fist then take the entire deck (or 4, depending) and smack your knuckles for a certain amound of smacks as hard as they could. Or until you were bleeding for real.

    Good times.

  • I did the same thing with a back-bend yesterday. Ugh.

  • Grief is work. Take Care.

  • You’re so right. It’s ok to be silent and just be sad. It helps in the process. I lost my mom a couple years ago and I still have my moments.

    Yoga is good therapy. Even those wonky backbends they make us do end up doing us good. :)

    Take care of yourself. :)

  • one of my favorite yoga instructors always tells us to “settle into your own good company.” i like that. my other favorite plays bob marley songs at the end and we all sing along “every little thing, is gonna be alright. . .”

    will miss you HUGE this year

  • So sad I won’t see you. Hope to schlepp books next to you next year. Take care of you.


  • I wish you were here in Chicago. I keep hoping that if I keep wishing hard enough, you’ll appear like magic.

  • that was beautifully written, and a good reminder of why i keep reading your blog everyday. thanks for it!

  • wearing your t-shirt happily but miss meeting you in person at Blogher. Hope you’re doing well.
    -Jeannine H.

  • glad to hear you got back to the mat. it’s a struggle sometimes to truly own that sticky slab of real estate. i too am a little sad to be missing blogher…

  • Digression.

    I had a bike accident at twelve years old. My handlebars and front wheel, um…disconnected. And my face connected with the pavement.

    Black eyes. Teeth, two of them…gone (they’re back now). Countless scars. And an outrageous concussion that caused my dentist much grief.

    Tell me your story, mama.

  • Thank you for the collapsing tunnel metaphor. I lost my dad last fall and that’s EXACTLY how it feels. Thanks for putting words to the feeling and hope you feel better soon.

    Nice to see you back – you always make me laugh!

  • My Dad had a massive stroke on Fathers’ Day and died on July 2. My Mom died 9 years ago, so I guess that makes me an orphan–a r-e-a-l grown-up! The movers came to Dad’s apartment on Tuesday. I now have tons of stuff that I don’t know where to put. The estate sale will be Saturday. Then we will finish cleaning the apartment and I will sit down and cry.