Sunday, January 18, 2004

When I was 19, I put all of my belongings in the back of a 1980 Civic and caravanned to California. “All of my belongings” mostly consisted of two crates full of books and a TV that took up the whole backseat. I had purchased a gigantic albatross of a TV using grant money for college.

I followed my friend Tom’s maroon 1988 Ford Escort all the way from Wisconsin to Encinitas. It was a marathon two-and-a-half day drive aided and abetted by No-Doz, Mountain Dew, and, for a brief period through Utah, hallucinations of the most frightening and realistic variety.

Towards the end of the trip, I remember eating No-Doz every few minutes like M&Ms and trying to pee in empty Mountain Dew two-liters. Trying and failing. The No-Doz was no longer working, and all I was left with were strange, uncomfortable itches and pee on the front of my pants.

Tom had gone to high school with a kid named Marc who had moved to Encinitas some years before, so that’s where we were headed.

All three of us rented an apartment a few minutes drive down the coast from Encinitas in Cardiff, or, as the postcards say, “Cardiff-by-the-Sea.”

After two years in a synthetic apartment complex, we decided to relocate to new digs, and we were served with an eviction notice. We settled back in Encinitas proper. The house was on the corner of Third and A Streets.

I would eventually go on to move three blocks down, to the corner of Fourth and D Streets. (This is after a few short-term hiccups that led me to a few different zip codes, among them Hollywood.)

From Encinitas, I relocated to downtown San Diego, to a rent-controlled loft, which I recall as perhaps the cleanest, most modern, and downright coolest place I’ve ever lived. Or probably ever will live in, at the rate I’m headed.

I relocated from San Diego to San Francisco (again, with a few housing hiccups along the way, one of which involved living in a partially furnished garage in Ocean Beach, across the alley from Eek-a-Mouse, a certifiably insane, crystal meth-addicted B-grade reggae star who pimped out his haggard “girlfriend” in an abandoned storefront-slash-“studio.” Nights were punctuated by blood-curdling screaming, yelling, and shouts of “Bumbaclot!”).

Roughly two years ago, I moved from San Francisco and landed in Encinitas again … on Fourth and D Street, in the exact same apartment in which I had lived years before.

(I remember the date: October 5, 2001, because it was the first monthly check I wrote to Tim’s studio.)

Talk about full circle. I eventually moved directly across the street from my old apartment.

Through all this, unseen hands have conspired to have me practice ashtanga yoga.

For at least seven or eight years, I’ve lived within five blocks of Tim Miller’s studio. When I lived in downtown SD, I lived a few blocks from Anne’s studio. When I lived in SF, I lived three blocks from Alice’s studio in the Mission.

If you pay attention to the most resonant chords within, the ones that truly vibrate, and you relax to the universe, it will open up and support you. I’ve really come to believe that. Ashtanga has really helped organize my perception. It’s realigned more than my body. It’s realigned my past, giving it a sense of graceful inevitability that has led me to this very day. It's something that will lead me into the future.

More on asana practice later.