16 November 2009

Oh My Goodness

If you're too overwhelmed for narrative, write a list. I got inspired by my friend Julie's awesome blog to finally update again.

Here's what I've been doing lately:

1) Teaching my students to write ghazals, haiku, sestinas, and sonnets, which they totally hate. I love the ghazal, especially this one by Shahid, and using my favorite book on the subject, Ravishing Disunities. The Ghazal works with fragmentation and avoids the kind of unity that we look are trained by our English teachers to look for in say, the sonnet. This is why my students hate me and ghazals right now--they're struggling to learn to live with ambiguity, multiplicity, lack of closure, actually things I love the most in poems.

2) Yoga. I'm trying to go four or five times a week in the hopes of not resorting to pharmaceuticals to keep my mental health in check. Nothing against them--I love them and have used them and would use them again if necessary, but I love not feeling dampened by them, and love not paying for them every month, and love the absence of side effects when not on them. So I'm trying not to develop my yearly full-blown depression.

3) Squash--acorn, sphagetti, butternut, amber cup, green hubbard. Roasted, pureed, mashed, and so on.

4) Reading Anne Fadiman's The Spirit Catches Me and I Fall Down and Berton Roueche's The Medical Detectives in preparation for teaching a writing/ lit. class on medical writing, idea inspired by my friend Teri from Mills who now teaches bio-ethics at Gallaudet and who contributed a chapter in this awesome book on House.

5) Editing and revising my manuscript of poems for this press, forthcoming in winter of 2011.

6) Finishing up fourteen. That's 1-4. Loads of laundry.

7) Revising a new manuscript, tentatively called Gentian Weaves her Fringes and a chapbook Physic at the Table so I can start submitting them.

8) Thinking a lot about finishing the novel I started last year. Totally discouraged about not having enough time right now.


Geo said...

I think that all that squash and all those clean clothes can only heighten the anti-depressant effect of your yoga practice. A mother lode of beta carotene trumps a fistful of pharmaceuticals any day.

Have you ever tried Kundalini yoga? Sounds like you're going to a class, and I don't know of any Kundalini teachers in these parts. But there are some DVD gurus you might appreciate. I find it especially engaging on down days.

(Sure was nice to meet you!)

Do you really have college-age kids? That's hard for me to accept.

lara said...

What DVD's do you recommend? I have a friend in SLC who's been urging Kundalini, but I've never tried it. It sounds intriguing.

Ila R. Asplund said...

hello, cuzzie! I am lurking on your beautiful blog! Just so happens I am going to my weekly Kundalini class tonight. I will tell you allll about it if you are interested. Miss you and love you! -- ila

Geo said...

I have a few by Ravi Singh and Ana Brett and I really like each of them. It's a different sort of approach to movement and breath—still yoga but a different soul-speed or something. As for the chanting, sometimes I'm a follower, sometimes I let my mantras wander . . . . I always feel uplifted after I spend time doing Kundalini.

lara said...

Georgia--I'll check those out. Ila!!! I miss you!!! Tell me everything!!!

Marni C. said...

Your list is itself a ghazal, no?

Writermama said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Writermama said...

i have two dvds by ravi singh and ana brett. they're good, actually, once you can get past ana's gummy smile. they're married. i've met ravi singh. went to his classes occasionally when we lived here, and read a manuscript of his novel. it was so good i had nothing to suggest to him!

i'd like to know what you're doing w/squash. i have a cheese pumpkin i need to cook.

thanks for the shout out, lara! (my word verification is "ingsters")

Eva said...

Think I fixed those links for ya, ma! Glad you're posting again! Wish me luck on my Hindi quiz today!!!
PS did I tell you we're reading ghazals in hindi-urdu? I had to memorize one and recite in front of the class (terrifying.)

Ishk se tabiyut ne zist ka maza paya
durd ki dava payi, durd bedava paya
it's Ghalib.

Eva said...

Oh, and I guess that's actually a SHER from a ghazal...
As I remember from taking your class!

lara said...

Thanks, darling Eva. You might be quizzing right now. I'll call you later to hear how it went.

I like the sher you sent. I need to show my students a ghazal in Urdu 'cause it's so much easier to recognize the qaafiya and radif in an unfamiliar language (I don't think any of my students know Urdu.)

Ask your teach about any decent translations he might recommend.

Teresa Blankmeyer Burke said...

How is the medical lit class coming along? Would love to see your syllabus.