“Can I Have your Attention, Please?”

My Ski "Buddies" No trees here...I had to hug them

The first few minutes aimlessly jetting down the slope do all people think: “holy crap, I am not going to survive this ordeal.”  Like an online dating profile where “casual” really means showers every so often and eats off of paper plates, the blues”EASY” SLOPE translates into

You might only THINK you’re going to pee your pants, but nothing will leak out…

The wind was slapping snow sideways into thick chunks making visibility nilch, and I couldn’t feel if my skis were “banana” shaped or other various orientations my friends barked. Note to instructors:

When students glide over ice in a mogul, what they need to do is STAY down and just rest until the ice melt… not be dreaming about ways to replenish their carbohydrates.

That first run took more than an hour. But not because I stayed down. It’s not the falling that I hated, it was the TURNING. I did three /four? runs in total, and my left leg now bears the marks of more than a 100 falls.

Turning is tricky, people, and surprisingly, a little less difficult than not taking myself too seriously.

There were a few moments when my mind didn’t cling to survival, when my ego had unchipped itself from its usual clinging to my brain, and I felt like 7 years old again, a familiar sense of complete enraptment.

The body shooting the breath into little bubbly lung branches and a sense of this is all that matters

Tell that to me now, off of any weight baring activities for 6 weeks, and I can say, NOPE…There’s definitely MORE….but I didn’t feel that then.

I was in AWE

Knowing and experience so many other highs during my time in Europe, I know that there is more to life than these moments, but in that second, I didn’t occupy my body with such an accumulated sense of distrust, or I did, and I just breathed in appreciated that the moment where I wouldn’t be able to figure out how to turn again was not THAT moment.

A new friend of the trip was later explaining a philosophical baseline of how the stories we tell ourselves shapes our reactions to others, or more generally, things that challenge us.

The story of the ski trip continues to twist, and I am still not good at turning with it. I feel that placing myself on that slope, may have placed me in the risky position of my injury, but it was exactly where I needed to be….to receive a message loud and clear (when I figure it out completely, I’ll let you know!)

I get trapped into the details of my behavior frequently….especially behavior that I manufacture or set about intentionally. How the items on my list get accomplished matters too me because I am looking for IMPACT here, for a sense of “aha-this-is-why-it-exists” sort of production.

But experience demonstrates that the sensation of awe, of happiness, lies in allowing yourself to receive rather than produce a masterpiece.

One of my mottos for 2011 is to resolve not to resolve…that failure and mediocricy and just “getting by” sometimes is what I SHOULD be doing. To fight against this “perfection” drive and just be…..now.

Anyway, so making a toast in the bar (Task #48) task really encompassed this mentality. I knew I was going to “do it” and I envisioned standing up on the bar/table, and I imagined raising my glass and not a script coming to mind, but more so just an audience response of warm girth.

I didn’t plan what I was going to say, and I only vaguely remember the contents. I wasn’t going for a lasting impression. I sometimes long for a snapshot of satiation that dissolves like cotton candy in my mouth, and a sense of tolerance for living with the disappointment that many perfect things do not last.

When you make a toast at 11pm for an audience that has averaged 5 alcoholic beverages in the past 5 hours, no one really feels concerned about the quality of the message. The attention is to the woman standing on the table.

And how fast she will shut up so you can have another excuse to drink.

To celebrate.

The moment of enrapture of what’s in front of you.

And the slight burn as you put the glass back down on the flat surface, and she hops down, not completely satisfied, but content.

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5 thoughts on ““Can I Have your Attention, Please?”

  1. Sooner or later I will have to get around to learning how to ski. I also can’t remember if I have ever made a speech before. I think I did once at a bat mitzvah in memory of a friend who had passed aware, or maybe not, seeing as that was so long ago. I will say that if I did make a speech, I would want the same kind of crowd where everyone has had a lot to drink already.

  2. I am such a terrible skier. The weird thing is that I used to be good but somehow I am getting progressively worse. I don’t get it?

    I am getting to be a better speaker though! I am in Toastmasters and it has done me a world of good. A few drinks probably wouldn’t hurt me either!

  3. downhill skiing is NOT my thing. i will slap on a pair of cross country skis any day but i prefer not to hurl myself down a giant hill thank you very much.

    i do however get a cheap thrill out of public speaking. it sometimes is hard to get me to shut up in front of an audience 🙂

    post a pic of the haircut on my blog!

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