Queering the Triathlete (and Other Discomforts)

A Melancholy Zebra determined to strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.


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I Screwed Up My Retreat

How does one screw up your own retreat, you may ask? Well. You can’t.

A retreat is an act of withdrawing. Nobody says how that withdrawing is supposed to work or what it’s supposed to produce. It just is. One withdraws and sees what happens. (Or, more specifically, one meditates.)

But I did screw up: I went into my meditation retreat with expectations. (How dare I?!) And I ended up experiencing one of the top ten most shocking moments of my life to date.

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Lessons from the Psych Ward

Tonight, I want to share something I wrote maybe a year ago. It’s an excerpt from an expository piece I wrote on my time in a South Carolina psych ward. I don’t expect any trigger warnings in here, but if you’ve been committed before, take some care.

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The Raisin Cult

Welcome to the Sarcastic Sangha, the Compassionate Cynics, the Mordant Meditators, otherwise known as the Raisin Cult.

Population: me. Your Humble Narrator.

My therapist of late (J) told me a couple years ago that I should attend her mindfulness group on Wednesday afternoons for an hour or so. I had just been released from a hospital whose idea of mindfulness was: “Look at your feet. WHERE ARE THEY?!” and the subsequent repetitions until you had named several possibilities for the location of your feet (under my ankles, on the linoleum, in my non-slip socks…), so I was skeptical. Sardonic. Scornful.

I thought it was a moronic thing to do. The most I’d heard about it at the time involved close examinations of raisins and the squeaky noises they make. I doubted that a raisin squeaking could fix my crabby mood, never mind my battery of acronyms pulled from the DSM IV.

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