Like Crazy.

Lana gets it.
Lana gets it.

It’s hard to say why some of us end up being the outsider. Sometimes you find people just tell you: ‘You’re weird’, ‘You’re not like everyone else’. But I wasn’t even trying, you think.

Discovering you are the odd one out can be a tiring, lengthy process that involves moments of social failure, bad performances and necessary isolation. It takes time to realise the difference in recognising you might be crazy and the later recognition that that crazy is not going to change. Being labelled ‘weird’ at school is fine so long as you learn to conform in time. But if you don’t, if you do things like read far too much, love far too much, or start a yoga practice (because we know yoga ruins your life); then you have to start to get used to life on the edges.

Being the crazy one serves an important societal function by reaffirming the blandness of the rest. Being the crazy one can also be entertaining in causing people discomfort when you choose to not adhere to the appropriate rules of the situation; if you do things at the wrong age, if you don’t have an investment account, if (as a woman) you don’t have a partner or you don’t want children, or if your life is sort of crumbling apart all the time and you don’t really mind.

We’re not the detached ones, we just far too fascinated by living to waste it becoming X-Factor watching machines. Sometimes we make no sense, we constantly interrupt the self-conscious account of ourselves, and it gets messy and we say the wrong things and we want to do it all over again. But we can’t because you were just born this way and for whatever reason the events in your life impressed on you in such a way that it can’t be undone. But we come undone all the time, we give ourselves over to the other all the time because the boundaries of life and death are always so thin living out on the edges; a constant awareness of the fragility and contingency of life means making risky choices, travelling across the world for adventures and falling into inappropriate encounters.

It might mean being greedy and idealistic and loving the wrong people, and seeing things the way others don’t. It means not really belonging to anyone or anything except the idea, the ideas that fuel you. It’s being the other woman, the one that got away, and falling for the one who never quite got it. It’s being a bad investment, scary and threatening; it’s never quite being the same thing one day to the next. It’s always seeking that place a little bit outside ourselves, either in a foreign landscape, the bottom of a wine glass, on the yoga mat, or inside the mind of another. It’s feeling people too much and never quite keeping enough of yourself to really know who you are. It’s laying yourself bare with no guarantees, it’s investing desires and dreams but never knowing where they will go, it’s about losing everything and your self over and over again.

Living on the edge of crazy is never easy, it can get exhausting and overwhelming out here. But it will be realer, it will be the realest thing you ever tasted.

It’s a Wednesday night baby and I’m alive.

I’m not sure how it all started.

“How to live?”. How to live starting from a position of negativity, from a lack, either as a woman (Jacques Lacan and penis envy) or lack as a loss in the form of death of parents, or of illness and disability; the loss of the ability to walk, of taken for granted functions. How to live in a constant sense of liminality, when the liminal becomes not a transition but the daily experience of living a life. What life can be lived without prevailing norms to sustain it.

How to detach from the conventional, from what is not working. How to envision an alternative in a form that once articulated it’s radical nature is not diminished. How to not scale down. Where to find alternative modes of existence that excite and stimulate without compromise of our fundamental needs. And what of our fundamental needs? Where do they lie? Somewhere in that space in between. Each encounter is a moment of becoming, not merely a recognition of what one already is. It is a potential transformation, a future building. Or it is stifling, a stern grip on my mouth, binds on my sensuality. Choices, independence, makers; we choose only the ties that bind us.

A yoga practice directed to self-knowledge is to sell your practice short. What a limited exercise. A yoga practice dedicated to loving oneself is challenging no-one, critical thought is diluted and washed away. It’s teethy smiles and cute shorts and nit-picking. It’s not empowering or about choices and independence. Yoga is a process of coming undone to discover ways of being, of living that might perhaps offer alternatives that intimate ever so softly what makes a life worth living. It is to question what markers we designate, what objects we follow, who we love, what illusions provide us sustenance.

It is to enter into a mode of liminality; an opportunity to become over and over again. The sense of antecedent is eroded. I never was, so I can only be in new disguises. This is how to detach from what is not working. To never claim to be anything. To never believe you can know your own self. But it is threatening and awkward. Better to seek alternatives with cushioning, to sand down those prickly radical edges, make it easier to swallow.

Equilibrium as an end point becomes polite and boring. The Mercury in Aries in the 12th House makes me abrupt, direct and impatient. Impatient to live, to experience, to love. Oh I’m fickle and contradictory when the stars align. Let’s never be short-sighted with our ambitions and our desires. Let’s think wide and stretch our days long. Pinky promise on that and lick our thumbs. Sticky saliva will bind us together, sisters of the spirit.