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Manic Monday: poetry, podcasts and more

It’s Monday again, and you know what that means? Time to check in on what’s going down at the Poust House during this week of pandemic. The weather has improved, so sitting on the deck is back in rotation, sometimes with a cup of coffee in hand; other times with a glass of wine. Always in view of my birdfeeder. The finches, sparrows, cardinals and occasional woodpeckers are still around, along with the bunnies, chipmunks and squirrels. Best entertainment of the pandemic, as far as I’m concerned. Here’s the rest of what’s on tap…

Bookshelf: So this weekend I thought I’d thin out my book collection. It didn’t take long for me to remember that there’s a very good reason my book collection is out of control: I love them all!!! Even the ones I never finished, or haven’t yet picked up. Almost all of my books have some sort of story or connection attached. It was a favorite book during college, it was the book that got me to expand my writing, it was the novel that sucked me in and changed me forever, it was the spiritual book that introduced me to new places in my soul. Bottom line: No books were harmed during this exercise. In fact, I had two more books arrive via Sunday USPS delivery: Rewilding: Meditations, Practices, and Skills for Awakening Nature, which may have been an overreach on my part since it looks very outdoorsy and challenging, and One Degree Revolution: How the Wisdom of Yoga Inspires Small Shifts that Lead to Big Changes,” which looks like the perfect complement to my yoga teacher training and life in general during this time of isolation. I’ll let you know if I tackle any of the fire-stoking, shelter-building and trail-blazing in Rewilding. If you don’t hear from me for a while, send a search party. I’m lost and completely ill-equipped to forage for food (another activity in this book).

Now Playing: This isn’t really playing now, because I’ve already seen it, although it’s free for viewing during the pandemic, so I might watch it again, and I highly recommend it for anyone who loves silence or wants to learn to love silence: In Pursuit of Silence, a meditative exploration of our relationship with silence, sound and the impact of noise on our lives. You can watch it free HERE. I loved this so much that I then purchased Notes on Silence by Cassidy Hall and Patrick Shen. It’s so marked up with neon pink post-it notes, the pages are more marked than unmarked. Check it out, and let me know what you think. And if you try these and want more, go check out the podcast Encountering Silence, which is what I used to listen to as I drove to and from work — back when I used to have to leave the house to work.

Soundtrack: Although music is a staple here in the Poust House, this week I have to share with you the Audible book I am devouring: What to Remember When Waking: The Disciplines of an Everyday Life, by poet David Whyte. I ended up with this book because Audible recommended it for me. I had never heard of it before and clicked the “purchase” button because I figured, Why not? It sounded pretty good. Oh, it is SO much better than good. It is beautiful, astounding, heartbreaking, soul-filling, mind-stretching… I could go on. I plan to buy the print book, because see above adjectives, but if you are going to give this book a try, by all means, go with Audible. His reading of this book is as good as the writing of this book. I actually found myself weeping at one point when the author read one of his poems about his daughter and the slant of light on her palm as he carried her. It is a gorgeous book that I believe I’ll come back to again and again whenever I need a dose of beauty, peace, inspiration, and perhaps a nudge toward transformation. Go buy it. You won’t be disappointed.

Viewfinder: My camera is usually pointed at something we’re serving up for dinner or something spotted in my yard. It’s that kind of pandemic. Maybe that will change in the not-too-distant future. Let’s hope. But here’s a quick glimpse of what I’ve been seeing and snapping this week:

Flowers picked from my backyard
Olivia reading in the backyard

Menu: Lots of good food happening over here, but this was definitely one of the highlights: a nutella-strawberry crepe whipped up for me by Olivia. It was unbelievably delicious, and I am unbelievably spoiled.

GPS: I have not left the premises since the April 29 outing I posted about here last week. How crazy is that?!? Still locked down. Although I have to admit that I am pretty content living within the confines of my house and yard and slowing down long enough to soak up the everyday beauty all around me. Not that there aren’t also everyday annoyances, but, overall, I’m pretty lucky to be locked down in such a beautiful, comfortable spot with my whole family at home. #grateful

Datebook: Coming up on May 23 is my 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training midterm. I have not taken a midterm since I graduated from college in 1984. The struggle is real, especially when anatomy is involved. But, I’m chugging along, taking practice tests, reading and re-reading and trying to remember where the heck the “h” goes in every Sanskrit word. Is it after the “b” and “v” but not after the “d.” I’m working on it folks, getting closer every day. I am so excited to be shifting back into forward motion on this training and to know that maybe certification and registration as a yoga teacher is not that far away. This goal has been a long time in the making.

See you next week. Stay safe, stay happy, stay true to you.

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