Sunday, July 10, 2011

Que linda es la vida: Look at all the costumes!

"Wipe your hands on your costume, and bend forward to pick up your foot."

The costume concept has really been with me lately. In the hot room these past few days, it's like I hardly know myself; some days I'm a rockstar from another planet, others I'm a mouse huddled in the corner, toying quietly with my water bottle as the rest of the class launches themselves into Balancing Stick.

I gotta say, I love the variation. During the semester, I often feel like a woman who only has two or three outfits: Teacher! Colleague! Exhausted person desperately trying to make the most out of a few ounces of spare time! But during the summer, ay. Que linda es la vida. I feel like a spoiled princess who gets to try on a thousand dresses, reveling in the different fabric, texture, and colors of each, knowing there's nothing stopping me from wearing what looks good that day.

(Case in point: I just wrote an extended analogy about wearing fancy dresses. If you know me in person, you know I'm the girl who thinks that wearing a bra makes her suitable to go out in public. This girly-girl post is a summer special, folks.)

It's when I have the time to play with all the different costumes in my closet that I feel most like myself. Maybe that's just the way life is: we go through phases--new mommy, cashier, invalid, writer, mountain climber, liquid eyeliner-wearer, thrift store-hunter--and some of those outfits are like uniforms we're forced to wear for a while. Though some outfits are given away, some are mainstays that will haunt the closet for a long time. 

I know I've been referring to a lot of super-smart spiritual teachers lately, but the person that kept coming to mind as I toss this post around is Tori Amos. (Please, please, bear with me ;-) She did an album a few years ago called American Doll Posse. The unifying concept of the album--God, do her recent albums have unifying concepts--is that the songs are sung from the point of view of Greek goddesses: Demeter, Athena, and all those other righteous chicas I never took the time to learn about. While the album isn't quite as "solid" musically as some of her earlier stuff, I think that idea is kinda cool.

“It’s not just, ‘I’m going to wake up and play dress-up today,’" Tori Amos says about the point-of-view thing. "What I'm trying to tell other women is they have their own version of the compartmentalised feminine which may have been repressed in each one of them. For many years I have been an image; that isn’t necessarily who I am completely. . . I think these women are showing me that I have not explored honest extensions of the self."

Yes, I just quoted someone talking about the "compartmentalized feminine." But it's summer, and I'm gonna say it: hell yeah, girl. We all have warriors, dainty doilies, surfer dudes, broken hearts, sneaky wits, and sensual lovers inside us. (And if ya think about it from a cosmic, multiple-life perspective, that concept becomes even more interesting.)

So go on. Look in your closet. Which one you gonna put on today?

And enjoy my fave song from ADP :-)

"Is there a love lost and found?"


Dorothy said...

I always found the 'costume' concept funny in yoga because the word costume connotes (to me anyway) pretending and that's the last thing we're supposed to do in yoga. I know this was not the meaning intended by Bikram, but I always have that moment when it's said.

I agree, though, that we pigeonhole ourselves. In so many ways. Maybe it's just human nature to want to qualify and quantify everything?

I am also a person who believes a bra qualifies me to go out in public, but I'd prefer no bra if I can swing it.

Yolk E said...

Haha! Swing it.

amy b.s. said...

this is a great post.

Michelle said...

So funny! Sometimes a bra is as fancy as I want to get. ps- thanks for the engagement congrataltions.