Saturday XXXXV: Chaos on the Lockdown • 15 March 2008

I listened to Elvis on Friday on the drive through Veteran’s territory. The 405/Wilshire intersection slices the VA into squares like four corners in the desert: Federal Building/ Hospital/ Residences/ Cemetery. The passage through it each morning is slow: we sit in our cars checking each other out. So much makeup being applied, texts being typed, and me in silence with my bottle of hemp protein and third series fix.

I usually don’t get verbal until at least 10 am, but this week I’ve been trying to turn the words on earlier for dissertationly purposes. I despise the telephone, but even rang up a parent or a friend a couple of these past mornings to prime the system. Friday was a slow news day and I wasn’t brash enough to fire up my aging Razr, so I put on Elvis.  

GOODMORNINGLOSANGELES!!! Looking out over the wartime headstones in the cemetery, sitting in traffic, listening to Jailhouse Rock. The song always makes me think of the utter bound bliss of my asylum-based childhood—chaos on the lockdown. The mind likes to be bound! Don’t you forget it. That’s part of why we reign ourselves in with conventions, and (on another level) why meditation-mantra is so much easier than spacious awareness.

But do the boundaries we set up decay? I think about the kids dancing the goddam jitterbug to Elvis, and the unpredictable chaos of the dance I’ll make today with the wolf children at the Masons’ hall. What it used to take to make a film just 50 years ago (the rigid structure of Hollywood’s golden age soothes me), and how many of those rules are just elastic today. Of the yoga icons in this town who proclaim the ashtanga system finally cramped their creativity and they had to deconstruct it, make something new.

Genres divide. Is that the way it always is?

I am always the first to know when a solution has expired. I give credit to new ideas and welcome new perspectives to a fault. Mentors hate this because it’s no way to build a career; and friends who haven’t known me long enough take it as a mark of poor character. But it is this “openness” just the hungry ghost of the genre-divider in me?

Why don’t I do this with my practice—doubt it, decompose it, reduce it to chaos?

The mind likes to be bound.


● Intriguing. Limbs of Yoga, phase one of eight. Look in to the wheel. He’s watching you all and giving you this message. 

● Problematic. Aren’t Oprah watchers already doing nothing? Tolle’s great, but “live in the now; drop your problems” is a message the consumer-debt crowd has already appropriated….

● Accurate. Journal Issue researching bloggers is free til April. I like the piece on bridge bloggers, and always take note of Cass Sunstein’s well-tempered jaundice about this revolution we’re making with the internet. 

● All too human. Man thinks he can fly, gets off on his edge. Somewhere between awe-inspiring and just stupid.