by essayan hart

lately, everything is buzzing.  why is life either poetry or action? im burning calories, asking questions, reading books and working too hard.  id like to sit still, let the dancers body emerge, as leonard cohen wrote so simply.  im witnessing the ways my body is changing, even at this young age, the early notices of post-maturity.  the muscles that ask for more than a tiny stretch to grow limber.  the sore feet, the new rules.  america is obsessed with youth, and i am quickly becoming a beautiful relic.  the chandelier, the faded paper.

still, i look at myself and i see the dirt of ageless joy.  i see camouflaged talents and  toes that laugh with me as i sing, as i move.  i see the tree climber, the best friend, the cynical humour and madness i have always carried.  nothing is lost.
i have to work harder now to remain unafraid.  to walk the bending limb, to brave the steep dives. my collected disciplines are small, but growing to meet the new and unexpected demand.

as a kid, i was a flexible ninja with an unlimited capacity for indulgence.  i miss the easy swing of my legs, the sharp edges, the dance marathons.

i spend evenings with a woman bound to a body that can not speak clearly.  that can not shape the multitude of words necessary to explain how she is feeling.  tonight she left to have dinner with her mother, and came home to cry on the couch for half an hour.  i did my best, as a hired friend, to allow her her sorrow, and not to frustrate her with questions she cannot answer.

i imagine what life is like for her, every day we meet.  the endless stream of companions. the arm that reaches out and warns her when it isnt safe to cross the street. the inexplicable restrictions.  the diet plan laid out by her controlling mother.  she is thin, and will always be thin, but craves chocolate, soda, chips.  i do as i am told, serve nonfat milk and yogurt, raw vegetables and pre-packaged microwave dinners meant for dieters.

i finally have to admit, that i am no longer thin.  that i have to make an effort.
please understand.  i do not need to live up to a standard of beauty.  i love curves and fat.  my body however, forgets how to climb trees, forgets who she is, doesnt dance as long or as happily, and that just will not do.

hafiz wrote that we all desire a master with a skilled whip, and i am no exception.  i am tired of my own habits, and call on a higher self, one with the power to calm my cravings, to simplify things.  still, i can not be jealous, when my client comes home in tears, and i live with the choice to wage my internal wars, or to surrender to base desire.


sugar free jello
raw kale
lowfat yogurt
grain cereal
almond milk
rice cake
hot sauce

i am incapable of the perfectly organic, even after training as a yogi.  even after the spiritual retreats, the years of sobriety, the support i am offered.  so, jello: from here on in, were  going to be very good friends.

discipline is lost on me.  so i will just have to play more. ill surf, and tree climb and sing.  go for bike rides with friends, slow and laughing.  ill take opera lessons.  ill snowboard.  ill jump on trampolines.  ill have more sex.  more fun.  thats my plan.  and i have the choice, and for that at least, i am grateful.

30 some-odd years from now, when i am 65, and you see me perched in a tree, don’t call me eccentric.  im on a fucking diet.