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Showing posts from February, 2011

A Massage of two Minds

I had an experience the other day that reminded me how malleable reality is. Matt got me a special Ayurvedic Massage for Valentines day. I went into the little north-shore plantation cottage with an open mind. Beautiful solid-wood furniture, lavishly illustrated coffee table books about Hindu art and the basics of Ayurveda, heavy brain-softening incense smoking on burners in every corner. Two sundamaged white ladies showed me the massage table, the sauna box, the shower, then handed me a paper loin cloth with a hemp string and said, "meet us at the massage table, wearing only that." The table was like a butcher block: solid wood, slick with oil and fragrant, with a gutter all around. The need for the gutter became apparent.

The ladies had me lie on my back, and they did a little pre-massage yogic warm-up. And here is where I felt a mental switch get flipped. The inner cynic smirked. I squinted at these two aging hippies saluting the sun and bowing to each other. But then, sw…

Religion, ethnicity and ... homeschool?

My brilliant grandmother, the gifted crossword puzzler, rejoices in novel words-- never-before heard verbal oddities and anachronisms, junked slang and clique-ish codespeak--and the way new words travel in flocks. Hear a new word today? You'll see it three times tomorrow. Try it: skeeve! Ossify! Putrefaction!

I think sensitive topics run in packs, too. Some hot-button theme gets all stirred up in the ether, and all of my conversations get pulled towards its gravitational weight. That must mean that there's a mystery-- a missing puzzle piece, some ambiguity or anxiety-- some friction that I carry around with me, buzzing like a hive-- that forces itself into every interaction until the beast is appeased, the topic exhausted, the lines drawn.

The last couple of weeks it's been school. And religion. And race. And their mangled and unholy intersection. My kid is almost four and not in preschool. This comes out of my profound denial more than a particular choice in the pro-schoo…