November 13, 2013

I Don’t Believe in Beatles.

Warning: Grown-up Naught Language!

There’s a whole lotta crap out there. What to believe?

Psychics. Alien-generated crop circles. Prehistoric sea monsters. I doubt the Titanic sank because of the curse of the unlucky mummy Priestess of Amun-Ra, and I really don’t know if Jamie Lee Curtis is a hermaphrodite. And water reversing the direction of flow in Australia?

Yeah, I call bullshit. (I did, however, honestly believe until recently Jackalopes were a real thing.)

What is this, Fantasy Island? I’m a city girl. You gotta try harder than all that.

For some of us, it’s our nature to doubt stuff. Maybe it’s all those horror movies and “scripted reality” shows I’ve seen (I know—I’m so L.A.), not to mention religious zealots on the corner of Hollywood and Vine, prophetising over megaphones about how we’re all running out of time before doomsday. Pa-lease.

Get back, Jojo. If there is a god, he doesn’t need a barefoot, scabby pimp.

We scoffers could definitely use something more to believe in, to feed our wretched souls and keep us from pulling our hair out in frustration over the apparent non-fate of humankind.

When I was growing up, we had a vacation home on Balboa Island. The island is the closest place to where heaven meets earth, a bewitching vortex of mossy green ocean, crisp, salty air and insanely gorgeous people. I’ve spent what feels like a lifetime sitting on the sea wall, thinking about the absolute best and worst parts of life, and my place in the universe…

One thing for sure, positive energy goes for miles. Ever hear of the theory about water crystals? The idea is thoughts and feelings affect the molecular structure of water; positive or negative words and emotions make for beautiful, intricate shapes, or hideous, ugly ones.

Just to be on the safe side, you might want to think about not losing your temper like a mad raccoon around your Evian; you don’t want to vibe it out. And did you know they sell bottled water that’s been blessed by priests, monks and Wiccans? Why not just go to the source? You could easily walk into a church and take a little sip of the holy water when no one’s watching.

It could work out nicely, unless you’re a minion of the Antichrist, or otherwise evil in nature.

Yeah, I’m more than a little bit wary about the whole Supreme Being thing. Also Tarot cards, yucky love potions and rabbit’s feet. Friends, if you’re into false idolatry, maybe choose something funner, like Disneyland. Or Dave Grohl.

Of course, this all begs the question: Annie, if you don’t believe, why do you have an altar to Ganesh in your living room, complete with mala beads and offerings? And all those books on yoga? And I can’t help but notice the money candle burning away in the proper feng shui corner…

Trust me, Blackbird, I have a thousand and one reasons to be afraid of the same outcome as those nasty, twisted water crystals. My parents both aged very poorly before they died. There’s toxic plastics in my house, and a kitchen cupboard full of stuff with questionable ingredients that I can’t pronounce. There’s negativity and anger, illness and wars in the world, all around. We should all burn some sage, like, now.

After my father passed away, we sold the house on the island. It was easily the saddest day of my life. My inner sense of self began to dissolve. I didn’t need a psychic to tell me I could’ve used some inspiration from somewhere, something to believe in besides getting tattoo’d and cruising down Sunset Blvd, all the way to the beach, in the middle of the night in my 280ZX with the t-tops off.

And that’s when I went to my first yoga class. Not a moment too soon.

Yoga saved my soul. Picture a somewhat dark, depressed, confused chick who would wear black eyeliner at 8:00 in the morning and eat Oreos for breakfast. I wore fur. I never recycled.

Once, in a certain Hollywood club where I was bartending, we had an Exorcist party and we papered the walls in upside-down Bible pages. I’d say I was pretty fucked.

They say the answers are inside, that what you come looking for, you come looking with.

When George Harrison died, I had one of those fleeting glimpses, one that took me simultaneously inside and across the universe, one that told me there’s more to life than stalking rock stars and sleeping ’til noon. I got serious about my practice. Yoga made me stronger, more open, more vulnerable and much less bitchy when that new, raw energy flooded in, like a brilliant ocean of liquid light.

It’s dusk right now. I’m thinking of the island, where I first fell in love, where I first got my heart broken and where I would sneak onto private piers and sit on the end, just to get a better view of the setting sun. If ever there was something for me to worship, it would be that moment; across the bay, behind the lit-up ferris wheel, beyond the beach and the ocean, the horizon would be there, every night to cradle the radiant sun in a lofty sleep chamber. It’s a dazzling sight.

After 16 years of yoga, I can tell you this: I know myself. I know what’s good for me. I’m not insecure, and I don’t need a cult figure or big daddy in the sky to tell me what’s up… but something has shifted. I know I can be sloppy, and lazy, and snarky about certain things that other people hold sacred.

But I’m not afraid. I know there’s no homicidal maniac upstairs hacking away at sleeping kids. (I checked the children, and they’re fine.)

For now, I can tell you this: I just believe in me. And in you, in the here and now, in the never ending mystery of life and the sweet, rapturous beauty of light and love.

“And we all shine on, like the moon, and the stars, and the sun.”

~ John Lennon




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Ed: Bryonie Wise

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