Who’s calling? “If you’ll be my bodyguard/I can be your long-lost pal,” “Call me Al,” Paul Simon. We all need people to support us. In Yoga-with-a-capital-y-land, we call this Sangha, or community. Who’s in your Sangha? Perhaps biological, perhaps by convenience or necessity, by commonality, by marriage, or by heart, no one should go it alone. If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together: African proverb. Bio family, sometimes. Friends, maybe. Your ride-or-dies, for sure! Partners, hopefully. Whomever you chose? Yep, hence the choosing part, ‘natch. Me, myself and I? Always! We must work on self-love through Svadhyaya, or self-study. More on that later.
When I was little (ha! I’m still barely 5′ on a good day, but I was even more littler once upon a time…) I was on the bowling team. High score 187, baby! Turkeys, too. If you know, you know. But, I digress. My bowling partner, and friend, supported me, as I her. It wouldn’t make sense to share my triumphs and tribulations with some rando friend who didn’t bowl, and/or who wasn’t related to me by blood. Hi, Mom & Dad! They would come to the opening of an envelope if asked. They’re supportive of my myriad interests and accomplishments, in the best way they know how. Dija know that the older you get, the smarter your parents become?! Wakka wakka…
When we’re little-little, we need role models. They’re everywhere, but some are for sure “don’ts” and not “do’s.” Parents, other blood relatives, chosen family, friends, partners, lovers, etc. can all potentially serve this role. TV and other media? Save Mr. Rogers, survey says, not so much. Not sure where I land on this “everyone comes into your life for a reason or a season” business, but it’s worth exploring.
“Who’ll be my role model/
Now that my role model is
He ducked back down the alley/
With some roly-poly little bat-faced girl”
What’s hinting to you that your Sangha might not be what you need? Have you outgrown them because you’ve moved on to, ahem, SERIOUS #adulting? Or maybe you’re stuck in that alley, “surrounded by the sound, the sound/Cattle in the marketplace…scatterlings.” It’s all sh*ts and giggles ’til someone giggles and sh*ts, amirite? I was never much of a night owl, and am even less so now. You mean I have to get dressed, including supportive undergarments? Stay out once it’s dark? Best believe you’ll pay for *that* the day after! Get your beer someplace else, tyvm. Beer bellies might be cute on lil’ old men, but they don’t serve much purpose for most of us. Even if there’s no aldult beverages involved, I value my shut-eye.
Perhaps some of your friends are looking more like a “cartoon…in a cartoon graveyard.” Silly is fine in small doses, but I daresay that it’s lookin’ a little worse for wear nowadays. “Mr. Beerbelly, Beerbelly/get these mutts away from me/you know I don’t find this stuff amusing anymore.”
“All along, along/
There were incidents and accidents/
There were hints and allegations”
Are you friends because you’ve been friends, or is there real love, interest, and support there? Even if they’re not on the bowling team, can they feign interest, support, a lil’ rah-rah-rah-ness? “If you got no love, then you’re with the wrong…” fill in the blank as you choose your own adventure.
The lyrics are full of opposites: soft in the middle, but having a hard life. People will say that middle age is when the narrowness of the waist and the broadness of the mind change places. Talking to people of a certain age is always entertaining, or is it exhausting? Exasperation, here we come!
The main character’s also got a short attention span, but long nights. Maybe that’s not such an opposite, after all. The attention span is distractable – seeing bat-faced girls, foreign men with no currency, and angels in architecture, spinning in infinity. This’d make anyone’s night drag on for a rilly, rilly, RILLY long time, or at least *a* drag. “No currency” could be literal, lost somewhere on this rock we all (Al) all call home, unable to barter or get along, to transact. It could also be figurative. Long nights, disappearing role models. No currency means no one will play with you. It’s no good at all to be in a one-sided relationship. On either side, I’m afraid. How many of us have tried and tried and tried (not Little-Engine-That-Could-style but more Sisyphus-style, pushing that ding-dang rock up the hill, only to have it come a-rollin’ back down,) to keep a friendship alive, to no avail? Or maybe you’re without currency because you’ve used it all up. Who wants to hear about bowling scores if you think the shoes are gross? How many candles or spice blends do you expect your friends & family to buy? Taking advantage of good-natured friends will only wear out your welcome. How many of us don’t know how to break up with a friend? Hm…
“Na na na na …” sing me off…
If this resonated with you, please feel free to comment below or drop me an email. Until our mats unfurl again, be well.