The Hero’s Journey to Normalcy

May 23rd, 2019


Like most of the civilized world I watched the last episode of Game of Thrones and feel mildly bereft about it after faithfully following a show that took me from the depths of single misery in Mill Valley, California, to married motherhood of twins in Guilford, Vermont. I still vividly remember discovering this weird little show when a friend invited me to her sister’s house for the evening to zone out to HBO. I was utterly transfixed—particularly, of course, by the hot, brooding bastard with the direwolf for a pet.

Me and Jon Snow on the hero’s journey together. I find it oddly fitting that we both ended up surprising everyone by wandering into the woods to lead the quiet life.

But I was never in the running to lead a kingdom, and my recent 23andme foray did not reveal any secret royal legacy, although it turns out I am from the lineage of Luke the Evangelist, alleged author of the Gospel According to Luke (see: Bible). Which is funny, because I am an atheist.

I also do not have any Transylvanian DNA, being that I’m officially the whitest Northeastern European-derived lady alive. Still, sometimes I feel like a vampire, I’ve lived so many lives. Something will trigger a distant, faraway memory and I’ll wonder, was that really me, or another chapter in my vampire storyline?

Here, in Vermont, I’m a working mom of fiery twins, married to a good man. But just ten years ago I lived in urban San Francisco, and had a love-hate relationship with just about every aspect of my life: my unfulfilling job in the yoga industry, my souring relationship with a petulant hairdresser (who was ironically half Transylvanian), the cigarettes I anxiously smoked to try to relate to him. That doesn’t seem like it could have been me.

And did I really once teach yoga? To actual people? Was that me who traveled the northern hemisphere helping orchestrate yoga “boot camps” and forcing people to “transform” to a backbeat of Krishna Das…. or else? (Chant with me: I commit to making this good.)

Was that me, all those years ago, in art school, following my trustafarian friends around to Phish shows and attempting to be cool on psychedelics?

I hope I never look back at this time in my life with the same sort of wonder and astonishment I now project onto my past lives. But I know I will. One day, when my kids have grown up and moved away from me, and I’m left to get back to yoga and pottery and trying to be cool, I’ll think, did all that really happen? Or was it all just a beautiful HBO show I once saw?

What I’m eating:

Spent the weekend totally spoiled by my cousin Kristin who made the following things with fresh local fiddleheads:

What I’m reading:

Just stumbled across this Wired article about how, contrary to popular hysteria, automation and AI won’t leave us all jobless, homeless, and destitute in a decade any more than the invention of the sewing machine did back in Elizabethan England: AI and robots will take our jobs – but better ones will emerge for us

What I’m listening to:

Speaking of past lives, I just found out Lucinda Williams is headlining the Green River Festival this year and have been wallowing in a reverie of her legendary albums Car Wheels on a Gravel Road and World Without Tears, both of which take me back to a place and time in my life that seems from a galaxy far, far away.

What I’m working on:

I recently wrote a guide for Eventbrite called “New Data: How Foodies Are Changing the Rules for Food at Events” and I am quite pleased with how it turned out!

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