Literally Leah

sharing is caring, so I obviously care a lot.

Saving Private Ryan March 16, 2011

Filed under: Identity,Spirituality,Uncategorized — The Under-Analyst @ 11:29 am
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So this morning as I was sudding up my damaged locks (I need a haircut SUPER bad) I turned around and saw a relatively large black ant fighting his way up the side of my outdated light-blue tub.  Immediately I said outloud,

“ohhh noooo, poor little guy!  Find higher ground, you can do it.” 

I watched him closely and carefully, applauding his efforts and wincing with every setback. I was entranced with this little guy’s own Oregon Trail adventure.  At one point I was incapable of monitoring my insect friend when banishing yesterday’s makeup with eyes closed.  After I was done splashing my face I turned around and was horrified to see my new bathroom neighbor thrashing about in the bottom of the tub in a tidal wave of water and soap. 

“Nooooooo!”  I screamed as I dove down, craddling his body in my two hands.  For a brief second I prayed that he wasn’t a biting ant but then resumed my rescue efforts.  I looked around me, desperately trying to find the right place to lay him out, but every surface was wet.  I blew on his limp body and then saw my towel that was half hazardly thrown over the side of my sliding shower doors.

I quickly put my hand over the green fluffy Costco special and watched him drag his body onto the dry and soft surface.  He laid there for a while, catching his breath.  And then he started exploring the new terrain.  I was relieved to see all of his limbs were intact and still functional. 

But then I realized I needed that big towel.  I was wet and now cold after turning off the water.  The ant and I would have to share it, easy enough. 

I reached for the corner closest to me and began to pat my arm.  I needed more towel and the ant was coming closer to me. “Noo, go the other way!  You’re taking up the whole thing.  You need to learn how to share! I just saved your life! UGH”  I decided I needed to exit the shower and use the half dangling over the other side. I patted myself off as best I could and threw on my yellow robe. 

 “A towel is not an ideal home sweetie.  I’ve got just the place for you!  I bet you’re hungry.” 

I reached out my pruned palms to let him climb on but after he smelled me with his little antlers he ran the other way.  I assumed he associated my hands with dying in the great lake of my tub, but it still hurt my feelings. So I went and grabbed a kleenex and coaxed him on that.  I jogged naked into the kitchen and set him down on our less than clean floor next to the garbage.  “There you go! Feast away buddy.  You’re safe now.” 

I finished getting ready for work with a big smile on my face and got into my car.  I was a hero.  A regular Mother Teresa! 

I rolled the window down to let the fresh Los Angeles morning air in.  At the stop light as I was turning the Ryan Seacrest morning show up louder a gnat came flying into my face.  Immediately I wacked it, looked at its lifeless body in my hand, muttered, “eewww” and then wiped it on the side of my driver’s seat. 

The irony of this morning didn’t occur to me until I reached work. 

Lucky ant, Unlucky gnat.


Lady Fortuna and a Visit from Marmee August 12, 2009

Filed under: Identity,Magic,Spirituality — The Under-Analyst @ 9:49 pm
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My mother finally came to visit me last weekend. I’ve been living in California now for seven months and was starting to wonder if she was ever going to come (she never visited me while I was living in Spain).  I understand that she hates to travel… but I am her daughter, come on (besides… who hates travel???).

I took her down to Venice to see Muscle Beach and the freaks.  As we
 walked down the boardwalk mom stopped and excitedly yelled, “Oh my god
 leah, let’s get our palms read!” 

I had heard of the Venice Beach Palm Reader. A friend of mine claimed she was not only affordable but extremely accurate as well (apparently she foresaw the demise of a mutual friend’s relationship to some jerk). 

I shrugged and quickly 
jumped on board. palm-reader

We walked closer and examined the sign advertising, “palm readings for $10.”  Above the sign was a small staircase leading up to a little balcony with two chairs and a table overlooking the strand. We climbed the stairs eager and giddy like adolescent boys entering a brothel.  The landing was empty  so we turned to the sliding screen door on our left.  A dark sheet draped on the other side of the screen blocked our view into the old apartment.  Mom gently called out, “hello,” and knocked against 
the aluminum frame.  A funny little dog with a cone around his neck burst through a small tear in the screen near our feet. The door slid to the left and behind the dark sheet a middle aged blonde woman emerged wearing a sleeveless, Caribbean-looking 
muumuu. She took a seat in one of the chairs and asked who wanted to 
go first.  Being brave, I hastily volunteered my mother. 

She asked her if she was right-handed and grasped her wrist to examine the fleshy palm.  Mom was informed she would have a long life, at least 80, (this pissed her off and she wouldn’t stop complaining about 
the injustice of a long, old, hard life the rest of the weekend).  The psychic 
continued her “reading,” remarking on mom’s broken love line.  She guessed my mother had been married twice. Mom politely corrected her with, “actually it’s number four.”  The woman nodded and replied, “yes, but 
for some reason I’m getting the sense that two of those you really don’t 
count.”  My mom nodded vigorously, laughing at her own expense and gushing, “I always say that!” Lady
 Fortuna then announced, “the guy you are married to now is a good man, 
why are you so hard on him?”  This left my mom looking stunned and gaped-mouthed (we had just been going over what a nitpick she was with him). Wow, so far I was convinced this lady was the real deal.  She then said that she could tell my mother was an intuitive woman who needed creativity in her life.  She segued this into career talk and told mom to never go back to the cube (again a subject we had been mulling over for several weeks).  

My turn!

She immediately tells me that I have a young spirit and asks me how old I am. I tell her, “25.”  She looks shocked and proceeds to tell me that my energy is still around 17 and that I have a hard time growing up.  “Marmee did you hear that?” I call out.  Mom nods in agreement.  The Palm Reader doesn’t mention anything about how long I’ll live, I take this to mean I’ve got a rather short life ahead of me (I bet mom is jealous).  She then tells me that I love to travel.
 I agree but am skeptical because doesn’t everyone love to travel (my mother not included)??  The Mystical Maiden goes on to say that she sees me writing, possibly doing journalism.  She says that I should be traveling and writing. Obviously! I tell her that I am in fact a writer with my very own blog.  She doesn’t look impressed and continues on with her reading.  She tells me that my current boyfriend isn’t “the one.”  She says that I should be dating, but not necessarily sleeping with any of them (I later find out why). There will be a couple of relationships before I find “the one.”  She says I will marry in the next 5 to 8 years and that I am extremely fertile so I need to be careful of any unexpected pregnancies… eeks.  She definitely sees children in my future, at least two although I may have anywhere from 2-10 children.  10!!???

How cruel to leave 10
 orphaned children after I die from a short life-line.  
Good thing my mom is going to live so long, someone will have to take care of the kids when I’m gone.

Thank you Lady Fortuna, best deal in town; $10 fortune telling and blog material to boot.


Organized Meditation… sure why not? May 26, 2009

Filed under: Identity,Spirituality — The Under-Analyst @ 10:48 pm
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Living in my new home here in Santa Monica has numerous perks.  My favorite so far is the front porch and yard!  Yes, YARD.  To everyone back home, this means very little, but I warn you; do not take your large backyards for granted!  The next time you curse outloud because it’s time to mow the lawn just remember that some people who live in overpopulated and polluted areas of this country are dying to have some grass to cut.  But back to perks…

I share my beautiful hardwood floor crafstman home with Lola del Fresno (perk). Who?  Only an amazing artist from Madrid who keeps my Spanglish in check and fills my I miss Spain void.  Besides taking me to amazing gallery openings and introducing me to new worldly friends she has also offered me opportunities to participate in things I would have previously ran from such as the topic for today, meditation.

Lola attends a Siddha yoga spiritual center regularly to participate in some good old fashioned chanting and meditation. I wouldn’t ever dare to scoff at spiritual gatherings (my karma is dodgy enough as it is) but I do admit to being somewhat apprehensive.  I had already learned long ago that organized religion of sorts was not for me, sorry church of latter day saints, but nevertheless I have always believed in freer relaxed forms of spirituality.  It was only a few days before discussing mediation with Lola that I had heard a program on NPR on my way home from work that was a report on the difference in brains from those who meditate and those who didn’t.  They scanned brains (brain xrays?) of monks, casual meditators and regular unspiritual joes like myself.  The results were crazy!  These meditators had developed a completely different part of their brains!  Granted, I assumed I wasn’t necessarily using all of my brain, but now I was a little bit jealous.  I wanted an enlarged left frontal lobe too!

Sooooo Lola tells me that the chanting and meditation derives from Hindu tradition and that I was welcome to come with on a Tuesday and give it a try.  I was super excited and said, “Si”!  I announced to my co-workers that Tuesday that they should expect a better person to come in on Wednesday.  I called my Nana who had lived a short while in an Ashram and announced proudly that I was going to sit cross legged in a Siddha center. 

We arrived that evening a little late and as I entered the center I could already hear singing from the temple area.  The “center” was beautiful with Indian (?) decorations and incense smells. We took off our shoes and put them in a cubby.  We entered the temple, I followed Lola’s lead and grabbed some pillows and headed down to the front.  There was a speaker who described her first time following the old yogi guru Babbaa(sp?).  A choir of chanters sat cross legged in front of microphones and a band (cello, flute, bongos and guitar) sat to the right.  A large photo of guruMai was hanging from the center ceiling. Lola had already explained the guru story of how after Babba died then Mai became the next guru and teacher.  

We started chanting/singing and since it was the same phrase over and over again I caught on quickly.  Om Namah Shivaya…  I sat cross legged and repeated the chant, the lights were dimmed and I closed my eyes.  I kept chanting and the instruments were so beautiful, especially the cello.  The chanting went on for what seemed like forever and my legs were officially asleep.  I was starting to get angry because I wanted to get to the meditation already, but I was desperately trying not to be angry because I didn’t want GuruMai to sense my negative energy, besides I had high hopes of reaching enlightenment during mediation.  

Finally the chanting was over and it was time to mediate.  We were instructed to repeat the mantra in our heads with our breathing, om namah shivaya, in, om namah shivayah, out.  I did this and tried to ignore my now numb legs.  I felt good, in fact I felt great.  No intruding thoughts, just breath and mantra.  My spine tall, I took deep breaths and really felt my body as I meditated.  Then suddenly it was over.  Wait, what?  Why was it so short?  Why did we waste so much time chanting?  I’m not exactly sure how long we did meditate for (they tell me sometimes you lose track of time, however I doubt my skills are up to that level of elapsing time).  I stretched my legs, the best feeling in the world after sitting indian style  for what seemed like hours.  We exited the temple and Lola asked me how it was.  Good?  I didn’t get a jolt of enlightenment but I didn’t dislike it either, I was now legitimately intrigued.   

That night I slept well.  The next day I wasn’t a better person but I definitely felt like I had done something new and exciting.  I am  going again.  I am determined to enlarge my brain part that apparently is non existent in my current non spiritual state.