follow tali on ...

JUN
28

Sky View

b2ap3_thumbnail_yogasky.jpg

I've got to hand it to yoga. Or maybe I've got to hand it to Cleveland. Or Tammy Lyons. Or any of the people behind last night's Believe in CLE event at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. After all, it's not every day you get a shavasana view like this. Shavasana is a relaxing, restorative pose that ends a yoga practice, and surrounded by 2000 other yogis outside the rock hall, the wind blowing off of the lake on a sunny and 75-degree evening, I couldn't bring myself to close my eyes. Which is sort of key to the pose, the closing of the eyes. But, um, did I mention the sky view? I simply could not help myself.

I've probably mostly got to hand it to my friend KJ who introduced me to yoga in the first place. I began attending solely for the workout (sidenote: it is a phenomenal workout), and scoffed at the very idea of all the other "benefits" of yoga. Emotional, mental, spiritual, etc. It's  not that I resist or don't appreciate these aspects of life. On the contrary, I very much embrace them. It's just that a yoga classroom isn't the place where I necessarily want to deal with them. I just want to sweat like hell. So that's where I've been. The girl beating the Other Stuff off with a stick.

Maybe it was inevitable, in that the longer I'm involved with yoga, the more I realize you can't really escape the Other Stuff, because it is, in fact, central to the very practice of yoga. This past week I even found myself--and the "I am only here to work out" part of me is a little embarrassed to admit this--crying in a yoga class. I didn't see it coming, and so was rather surprised to find myself almost instantly emotional when we settled into shavasana, warm tears streaming, well, basically into my ears.

It was this shavasana I was thinking about while lying under the Cleveland sky last night. Not because I was crying--I wasn't, and I doubt that will happen very often. But it's strangely comforting to know that this kind of emotion--true and completely unbidden--is possible. It's comforting to know you can be surrounded by dozens (or even thousands) of strangers and feel so connected. It's also comforting to know that you can eventually come to embrace things you initially may have been wary of. It's life, it's change, it's betterment and growth, and live from Lake Erie, folks, it's happening all the time.

 

JUN
17

If you want me, I'll be in the bar.

b2ap3_thumbnail_joni_20140618-000613_1.jpg

It’s funny, the music we latch onto as kids. My dad was the rock & roll fan, and I came to think of any music he liked as being pretty cool. I remember Jimi Hendrix, Billy Joel, The B-52’s, Ray Charles, Roy Orbison, Genesis, and many more, but mostly I remember Joni Mitchell. You could say it’s because she’s a girl, and I liked the idea of a woman succeeding in that way, but it could also be because her music is just that good. It’s just so…different. From the way she tunes her guitar to the way her songs are so very *not* formulaic, she was for me an example of a person who did things her way and was incredibly successful at it.

I’m reading Sheila Weller’s biography of Joni Mitchell right now. She also weaves in the biographies of Carly Simon and Carole King (so it’s not exactly a quick read), but I’m reading it for Joni. It’s part fascinating to be hearing about the stories (and people) behind her music, part enlightening to be learning so much about the music industry in the 1960s and 1970s, but I confess it’s also part tragic. “The life of an artist,” Dad said when I recently told him that the actual circumstances of Joni’s life were bringing me down a little. Not that her life wasn’t glamorous—California, New York City, money, men, world travel—but it was also kind of heart-wrenching. The going from man to man, the insecurity, the giving up of her baby because she felt she had no other choice. It’s not at all what I pictured when listening to her music in my youth. Knowing what I know now, I think I’d have wanted a river to skate away on, too.

Not sure what my point here is, I guess I’m just grateful that my life is as uncomplicated as it is. But more than that, I’m grateful that people like Joni did what they did for the music.

(And for all the talk in Weller’s book about what are the best Joni lines ever penned, to me there is a clear winner and it is this: I could drink a case of you and still be on my feet.)

FEB
02

Advice from Billy Joel

b2ap3_thumbnail_Rock-N-Roll-Hall-of-Fame-HBO.jpg

One of my favorite things in Cleveland is the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It appeals to the writer in me, feeds my celebrity obsession, and reminds me of the music my dad listened to when I was growing up. The first time I went, I was struck by a quote on the wall. Written in larger than life font and attributed to none other than the incomparable Billy Joel (who I dub the best male voice of all time, by the way), the quote reads as follows: "If you are not doing what you love, you are wasting your time."

It's a powerfully inspiring quote. And I've been thinking about it in light of a few friends of mine who have recently decided to go out on a limb in the name of what they love. A co-worker recently quit in order to start his own business. A former college roommate has an opportunity to turn her transient lifestyle and love of all things foreign into a paying gig that she's perfect for. And a good friend with a budding theater career recently bought a one-way ticket to NYC with no job lined up and pennies in her pocket.

These people have a few things in common. They all took risks, they get by on little to no (or at least less) money, and they are all probably much happier than I am. Which brings me back to Billy. Because while his quote fills me with moxie and empowerment to go after what I really want, it's also not very realistic. I mean, come on, Billy. We can't all be rock stars.

It seems unfair to say that I'm jealous of these people, because I could certainly choose to take a similar path if I was unhappy in my job or willing to do without things like, say, so many trips home to see my family, but I'm not. Most people aren't. So if you're like me and are not necessarily doing what you would choose to do out of anything in the world, don't beat yourself up about it, because there are many paths in life and many reasons we choose the ones we take. But if at any point in your life you are lucky enough to be in club Billy, realize that you  have achieved something most of us never even come close to. You give the rest of us hope, inspiration, and belief in the power of effort in a world where too many people lack the courage and gumption to even try. With pennies in your pocket, you are richer than us all.

latest tweets

TaliNayBooks What does society say you should change? Fascinating exhibit at @WMofC. https://t.co/NAlhWw9hHu
TaliNayBooks @vcolotta Happy Bookiversary to you!!
TaliNayBooks A Prairie Home Companion in #SanDiego was pure delight. And I'm not just talking about the Carmen Sandiego rendition. @christhile
TaliNayBooks Proud to be the kind of Savvy Auntie who flies in for This. @SavvyAuntie #otherhood https://t.co/NMlHBhtv8Y