Home, quick update.
So I am home but very tired, and tomorrow there will be a post about the final performance on Wednesday (hint – it was spectacular) and then probably a bit about what happened Thursday, final thoughts, some poetry, who knows. That might be spread between two posts. Additionally, I asked Steve-Ji to write a final guest blog about Friday: as part of the Lakshmi festival, the group attended a few Lakshmi poojas and had the “best dosas in Mysore.”
I left Mysore around 6pm (Mysore time) Thursday, for a four hour drive to Banglaore to then embark on the 25 hours of flying to Paris, and then Detroit-Metro. I then went to Fleetwood Diner for my first meal back because I knew I wanted hippie hash as my first meal back in Ann Arbor since week two of the program.
Other’s are currently (now in the present time of Saturday) in Dubai’s airport, or back in Ann Arbor/Dexter, or some other airport, or are sleeping and will be heading out soon. It’s been a crazy month and though it’s over, it really isn’t.
Euchre and Other Things
Back to work, as we prepare for the final concert in only two days (one day now, but today as I write this, I will pretend it is actually Monday) and in our class today, Guru-ji introduced an entirely new two minutes of story-telling, mudra-heavy (mudras are the hand shapes made to represent different people, animals, objects, actions) dance around Ganesha (it’s a type of prayer of praise from my understanding of the translation Guru-ji gave us).
Many of the other students are in a similar situation where their respective guru’s are giving them new material (they know we can handle it!) on Monday, and I heard that the voice students will be learning a new song Wednesday (which is crazy difficult to do in one day, with the process of how a song is learned in Carnatic music).
I leave Thursday around 6pm and so thoughts of packing, and more packing are at the center of my mind (as well as a few other things)
A few of us made trips to KR Circle to by trinkets and scarfs for friends (and for ourselves). So family and friends, be warned – you might have a Ganesha or Shiva in your future!
Now it is Tuesday.
(well really it’s Wednesday- I never got the Monday post posted so I figured I’d combine the two days because I really can not afford to be behind, so that I can report on the expectedly fabulous concert that takes place on Wednesday.)
People are learning more and more new things, and practicing more and more. The flute bros™ can be heard almost all hours of the day, and even a fair amount of mirdangam has been rumbling the floor tiles of the hostel, while singers can be faintly heard, delicately practicing scales and songs in their rooms, while the dancers are building calloused feet while we are stomping away at our dances.
Dinner was particularly hilarious. Steve-Ji’s humor was on point, and all I can remember is a stream of silly absurdist humor that never seemed to end.
After dinner came an intense game of Euchre (this game has been a through-line of passing the time and bonding throughout the month) followed by an even more intense game of Celebrity a weird catch-phrase/charades game that managed to keep us up till 10:30 (remember we have yoga at 6am every weekday morning). Up until about the third week I was reluctant to learn Euchre, but other members of the mysore2016band convinced me that after four years of being a resident of Michigan, it was due time (and due duty) to learn how to play the game. Luckily it's much less complicated than it seems to an outward-viewing eye. This seems to be some metaphor that I feel the need to point out (but don't think I want to shove some sickly sentimental catch-phrase in your direction) about unknowing, and entering the knowledge in some state of un-comfort, and then the realization of ease and security within the now-known. (or something like coming to India for the first time). We all kind of - sort of - must of - experienced this here.
Weekend and Guest Blog #3
So I lost EVERYTHING I wrote about the weekend and I'm a bit frustrated by this.
A lot of things happened this weekend, but I’m going to keep it short (as I also have Monday’s blog to write!) I’ve really enjoyed not writing on the weekends so I made that decision on Friday, so that I have a few days to be fully immersed in the program, which has worked out quite well these past weeks.
So here’s the skinny.
Saturday we had a full day of touring the tribal schools and hospitals that are all under SVYM’s umbrella. The children at the school were incredibly energetic and loved taking photos, mainly so that they could then look that themselves in the photo after it was taken. A class showed us the dance they’d been working on, and another class performed a happy-singing-tune for us, and we returned the favor by teaching them the traditional Bharatanatyam Namaste that is performed before and after dancing to ask forgiveness to mother-earth for stomping on her.
We also had the opportunity to talk to the young people (about the age of the mysore2016band) who are training to become teachers. Many of these future-teachers came from tribal backgrounds as well, and many of them will go forth to teach younger tribal children, returning the favor.
The goal of these schools isn’t to simply assimilate these children into current-day Indian culture, but to help establish sturdy, proud roots in their histories, and then to grow branches and more branches and more branches and leaves and leaves and flowering tree.
We also visited the outpatient and long-term ayurvedic SVYM hospitals and toured both of their campuses, learning how they combine western and eastern medicines to provide comprehensive and affordable (a stay at the hospital overnight is 10 ru, or about 20 cents USD) health care to people in tribal regions.
All of this happened from 9 am to about 5-6 pm so it was quite the busy day.
Sunday, we spent the day at the bird sanctuary and the Zoo (ooh! And Kevin G. and Chelsea made their way to an wedding across the street and was overwhelmed with food and people (2000 of your closest friends) while we were at the bird sanctuary)!
We heard creaking bamboo trees and ibises and cheetahs and lions and tigers and sloth bears and deer (though we see plenty of those back in AA) and HERDS of giraffes and elephants. Which is something we don’t see back home in US zoos.
Luckily Sunday provided much downtime in between these things so we were able to relax and recharge for our final week in Mysore.
For the second part of this blog, one of our resident voice persons: Cat, will be taking over with her reflection. We originally discussed talking about what goes on during a voice lesson, but after a day of reflection, she decided to share these thoughts with us instead. Thank you Cat!
I write this blog from the roof of the hostel, which is a place, although it is deemed restricted, that many of the group and hostel inhabitants frequent often. I have established a small place for my hammock between, what are in my opinion, the most efficient drying lines in the entire building due to the copious amounts of sun and breeze. Other members of the hostel community come here to do yoga, practice their instruments, meditate with the views of the mountains and city in the distance, and some people even do their laundry.
As I write this note, a small gaggle of girls that can't be much older than I am are washing their gorgeously colored garments by slamming them repeatedly against the concrete in a puddle of water and soap. It's fascinating to observe this activity as a westerner who has never had the pleasure or opportunity to wash my clothes by hand before this experience. The delicate and intricate fabrics that the women wear here hold up astoundingly well despite being abused against the hard surface. Something that I have noticed, is that one side of the roof is for Indian women to wash their clothes, and the other is for men. The tell tale sign of the difference is the beauty of the clothes from one side to the other- women here certainly dress better than their male counterparts, but this extravagance is one of the few luxurious differences that I have noticed during my time here.
The separations between men and women within this culture have not ceased to shock and astound me as our time has worn on at the Vivekanada Institute. Although the separation of washing areas is minor, something we learned from Steve-ji this afternoon on the way back from the bird sanctuary is that something as simple as putting an arm around a man who is not your husband, can be life altering for a woman. This simple action, which in western culture is common, can deem a young girl as 'loose', which in result can ruin her prospects of marriage, alter the course of her career, can stain her family's reputation and will eventually leave her an unmarried, childless, old maid. Facts such as these make me feel strange.
We may have different lifestyles but we are all the same in our hearts
I don’t think I’ve mentioned this yet, but there’s something that’s going around and infecting the entire mysore2016band. We have a few severe cases, and a few light infections that hopefully can be cured.
It’s called ping-pong.
If not treated, it can lead to growing ping-pong paddles out of the infected’s wrists, visions of orange balls bouncing around on regulation-sized ping-pong tables, and a tendency to shout phrases such as “come at me bro,” “ya like that?!,” and “come at me!”
We were delighted to find that the V-Lead hostel (part of SVYM) where we’ve been living the past three weeks had a recreation room (which I’ve mentioned) with a ping-pong table. We found some okay paddles and many broken ping-pong balls, but upon our first outing to the Mega More and later at the Big Bazzar (kind of like a target) we grabbed some new paddles and balls for the room.
Some of us are casual ball hitters, and knock the orange around as a form of almost meditation (hitting the ball for the sake of hitting the ball, or making coffee for the sake of making coffee - it relaxes the mind). Then there are few, notably Kevin A. Kevin G. and John, who devour the table each time they see an orange ball flying at them.
Kevin A. has a long history of playing Tennis and so he’s become a psuto-guru-ji for those of us who haven’t played a racket sport since the 7th grade (and I mean badminton, which is arguably the worst raquet sport). He’s been teaching and guiding us on the most important aspects of the game such as serving, and not missing the ball when it’s flying towards your paddle - because some of us (me) were reallllllllly bad at playing pong when our residency here at the hostel began.
Just now, I bore witness to the demolition of John’s game, by Kevin A. who took full control of the paddle shaped captain’s wheel. It was incredible. Near misses and a ball flying near snitch speed (Steve-Ji’s been reading Harry Potter here, and so I have quiddich on my mind).
Even the crowd of pigeons who perch right outside the rec. room (surrounded by windows, and wit ha metal ceiling) and on top of the ceiling, expressed their excitement by stomping loudly on the ceiling or breaking out into impassioned fights over who they were rooting to win.
Ultimately Kevin A. was crowned victorious, but he takes the crown with humility as he now is reflecting upon his win by journaling; processing the win and what it means to his existence in the greater scheme of things, and what it means to his-inner life, his divinity
With mystery of mind and fullness of stomach,
Today was filled with adventure pizza and puppets!
OHHHH! And Krippa-Ji has us putting together more of the dance that we will be performing in a WEEK from now during the final performance. I suspect everyone in all of their respected lessons (and I've talked to a few of them) are doing the same with their own instruments.
A few of us ventured out into the market and made our way to this incense/essential oil shop, which was super cool.
We were mildly weary from chutneys and curries so we made our way back to the pizza shop we went to during the 1st or 2nd week (I really can’t remember at this point!) to indulge our tamasic energy.
Following that outing, the entire group made their way to VIIS (where we do yoga, take lectures, see a few performances, just a walk up a hill from the hostel) to see something I’ve personally been waiting for most of the trip, which is the Ramayana puppet show. The puppet show is part of a local folk-art tradition, where shadow puppets made of goat leather, singers, storytellers, musicians all sit inside this tiny light-box type stage to dramatize the story of the Ramayana in such a wild and funny manner. Check out this clip I took (left) and one that Kevin A. took (right):
After this we all had a very important check in with each other after dinner to see where we are emotionally at this late point in our time here in Mysore, and to talk about how to eventually slowly transition back into our lives once we return (how to ease into new diets, new schedules, old problems left at home).
This is a short update, but I’ve been more preoccupied with being here (which I suppose is a good thing). There will be more tomorrow.
With band-aids on my toes,
"Studying yoga, music, and dance in India" - My CV
So today was an incredibly busy day!!
This means that I only wrote half of the blog that I meant to write for the weekend report of our trip to Kerala. I’m really dropping the ball here and I apologize.
It will come in due time. I’m putting perhaps a bit too much pressure on myself to do good work, and part of myself is wanting to just write something quick for the weekend but the other part of myself wants to make sure that I’m writing something more engaging than these short updates that I write when the day is too long. We do have quite a lot of down time here, but I’ve been using it to have productive conversations with other people in the group as we facilitate self growth in ourselves and in each other, as sharing our individual experiences have been a wonderful tool to have involved conversations that lead to such growth of the inner-life.
This trip (for myself, at least – and I suspect a few others) has become more than the line on my CV “Studying yoga, music, and dance in India.” This trip provides time to have such conversations, and to remove oneself from their current existence back home, all the while in a safe environment
thank you Steve-Ji, Sindhu, Dharmesh, Krishnapa, Sunil, and all of the Staff at SVYM and VIIS
so that we can spend time on ourselves, without the added baggage (either good or bad, it still can get in the way of growth) of our existence of a fast-paced life.
Today, Tuesday, Day 20, we went to a Veena concert by a relatively young Veena player and she pulled out all of the stops (ha – an organ reference/cliché is really funny here) for the audience, playing in 5 and 7, playing bi-tonal music, playing a raga where the actual raga changes for each section of the composition – really cool stuff.
Also today we had a transformative talk on leadership by the founder of SVYM
I don’t even know what to say about it. Parent’s ask you children. Other people – send me an email or Steve or any of us one – it moved beyond just leadership, and into mindfulness, and taking a deep interest in the self and others in an unconditional manner. I'm just a little to lethargic/tired to give that lecture it's due justice.
It’s almost 11 and I need to be up at 5:30. I will be back tomorrow.
Guest Blog #2
Dear all -
Before I continue with Steve's words, I'd just like to give a super quick update!
We are all back from the beach safe and sound, and most of us now are asleep (it's 9pm currently in Mysore on Sunday, as I'm typing this).
I'll have a MASSIVE blog for the weekend trip coming tomorrow! Lots of photos and stories and good times but for now, here's some words about Thursday and Friday. I was getting a little burned out by the daily blogs, but this past four days of not writing have been wonderful, and the weekend has been a refreshing time to press the restart button on all of the forward momentum I (and probably many other's in the band) had at the beginning of the trip two weeks ago.
Also while I'm in frank-talking-quick-update-mode, I wanted to point out that most of the photo's on this blog have been provided by Kevin A. with a few coming from Cat. I just wanted to take a moment to credit them on their photo taking skillz, and I'll be making an attempt to credit each wonderful photo for the final two weeks.
And now over to Steve-Ji.
Hello folks, this is Stephen Rush – the guest blogger from time-to-time. Lucas and “the band” as he calls it will leave for Kerala tomorrow AM, a well-deserved break because…Well….wheww….we are getting to the end of the 2nd week of this program! India – it’s an exercise in maintenance (self/emotions/hope/sleep/body) and also a kind of “endurance contest” – and then you realize Bammo! – we’re leaving tomorrow!
It’s right about now when I encourage the students to really BE in India. Really let go of home for a little longer – it’s okay – it’ll be there when you get back, with all of its joys, burdens, and more. Some of the students are horridly homesick, and some of them are actually realizing how sick of home they are! (many paths to the same truth). Either way – WE ARE HERE. And darn lucky to be so.
What are we up to? Most of us have had or are about to have our 10 lesson with our gurus. Our minds and bodies are exhausted! Challenged. Embarrassed. Each student ADORES their guru – it’s not even “like” or “appreciate”. It’s adore, in the truest meaning of the word.
We saw two amazing concerts this week – one written about below with the great Taranath on Sarod, and the other by Kripa Phadke – our Bharata Natyam guru. She was powerful, graceful, beautiful, terrifying and more, as she danced the “birth of Ganesha” (as a gift for me, honestly) and sections of the Ramayana – which the students understood completely. Why? Because the previous night we hung out in John/Kevin A’s room and group-told the Ramayana to each other, interspersed with contradictions, feminist interpretations and wild interjections (It was a Hoot – ask anybody that’s come on the trip – it’s a blast!!!). We’ve also had some lectures on the History of India (not so hot) and the History of Yoga (amazing). Yoga itself is revving up – asanas are coming fast and furious, and shavasana at the end does not come soon enough for anybody (dead body pose).
Shopping? It happens, sure. Kilos of coffee bought, gifts for you the dear readers are being purchased, and students are experimenting with various local rickshaw drivers of varying honesty. Let the hijinx ensue. The stakes are NOT high….roll with it!!!
There are tears. Everything gets amplified in India. Or, as I tell anyone interested in the trip – India will kick your tail – you WILL probably get sick, and anything “bothering you” back home will get amplified. There is no guarantee that those problems will get “solved” here…but they WILL get seen in a different light, and that IS a good thing. All in the safety of this loving and caring environment (and I really DO mean that).
I’m not going to the beach with the students this weekend. I need a break from the program, I guess. And they need to bond/have fun without an old codger around. They will see Wookie river-temple priests, a gorgeous Pacific beach, a textile mill and an ancient fort. And gorgeous jungle roads that inspire and nauseate – off and on. I can’t wait to hear all about it. Be safe my dears. Be safe.
Tuesday arrived with a thud (for me at least, I didn’t go to yoga, as I was a sleepy sleepy person that morning). We didn’t have any performance slated to attend so we finally managed to have our Gita lecture later that night.
Lessons are progressing for everyone quite quickly now; the voice students are singing their first song after a week of exercises and learning about different ragas and how to count the tala, and now are even adding words onto the songs (as opposed to singing the raga syllables).
The flute bros™ are also learning their first few tunes. One is by Dikshitar who was exposed to a court pianist who had studied with Haydn and played a lot of western classical music. I mention this connection because this joyful little tune I’ve been hearing quite a lot is quite reminiscent of the theme of Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy which is just completely bizarre.
The mirdangam boys, I really have no idea what they’re doing because I always seem to be discussing other things besides the mirdangam with them; things like the DNC, the Gita, NYC.
I did just talk to John in the four hour absence between this paragraph and the one right before it, and apparently they’ve learned three tala’s – so that’s cool. Yay knowledge!
Then we had a Gita talk where we went through the Gita, book by book, and had some discussion about detachment (a big theme within the Gita).
Then we went to bed.
It’s a short blog today folks!
OH and Peter practiced wayy to much yesterday and so he took some time today (day 15 when I'm writing this) to actively chill and do nothing. It's important here to take time for oneself to recharge. It's so much easier to become exhausted here.
With a Short Attention-Span,
Today was an incredible day.
It was one of those every-thing-goes-right-and-you-feel-awesome type of days. After the weekend all of our lessons resumed and for the dancers (my apologies for those who are frustrated with the lack of voice students and mirdangam and flute students – I’m trying to make sure to include everybody throughout these blogs) our main guru Krippa-Ji who was called to Dehli FOR A CONFRENCE(?) for a week, finally returned.
Chelsea, Kevin A., and I were hyped up for our first lesson with Kripa-Ji. Her knowledge and philosophy on teaching and learning was inspiring, and she brought a vivacious new energy to the lesson (Chelsea who is video blogging will have a new video covering all of this in greater detail soon. Check http://tinyurl.com/zygn85c for her vlogs.)
We had quite a few great conversations after lunch, and I had some time to journal/rest/recover - maintain.
In the evening we went to a sarod concert (for those who don’t know - a sarod is a kind of Indian fretless guitar with a metal fingerboard - look it up, it’s super cool.) by the masterful Rajeev Taranath, who’s had an incredible carrier through his eighty-some years of life on this plane (his introduction was quite long but amazing to hear).
He talked with a solemn pace, that for myself was trance-inducing, about his professorships and praise of his accompanist on tabla. He talked about the dirt that fills the world and institutions and people (and how the tabla master lacked such dirt).
And he played.
The first piece was a slow exploration of the raga he was using, with these reoccurring descending motifs that were woven in and out of a fabric of notes and slides and ornamentation of the musical line - I was hooked. It was long but moment contributed to this slow build and back down to a quiet place after who-knows-how-long.
I learned about melody and it’s construction (and I’m here to be a dancer and a writer, but here comes my composing self again?!).
The second piece, involved the tabla quite heavily as the raga (from what I remember him saying) was a rhythmic raga (I really hope I heard correctly) and so there was a constant interplay between the sarod and the tabla. This piece was in a constant stage of building and building and building and only relaxed briefly to start a new phrase that would only gain even more energy than the last phrase.
I had never seen a tabla player play as fast and as long as this guy did. The endurance of the two was insane. So much so that I’m at a loss of good adjectives or what-have-you-to-explain-how-absolutely-amazing-it-all-was.
All of this plus a nice surprise of the previous vocal concert as we walked in, lasted an hour and a half.
Unfortunately we have yoga tomorrow at 6am. As always.
(Spoiler, I don’t go to yoga the next day because I stayed up late that night, reflecting on the concert)
I forgot about the lecture on women in India we had today. That was the other incredible thing that happen. We discussed feminist trends, history of the women's movement in india, inter-cast marriage, honor-killings (really wretched things, and I do not apologize for those who believe otherwise), the intersectionality of women and how cast, class, patriarchy, etc. all are factors in a woman's identity and her existence and how she functions within the world.
I knew I was missing something.
With tired eye,
Double-Feature. The Wild-Vigilant from OUTER SPACE and THE ENSLAVED MONSTERS FROM PLANET MARS.
Are you ready for a late-night-double-feature-picture-show? (I wanna go, oh oh….) No, I don’t mean Rocky Horror Picture Show but a weekend extravaganza sale going on now at your local Big Bazaar and Mega More.
Since I’ve been consistently two days behind on these blogs for the past few days, I’ll be reporting on the Mysore2016Band’s entire weekend adventures for Saturday AND Sunday! Grab some popcorn, or be prepared to wait till intermission, grab some earplugs (you’ll need em) and your hiking shoes (and some soap and water after you accidently step on an elephant log).
Here we go.
Saturday + no yoga on the weekends = time to sleep-in. I believe I even slept through breakfast, but I heard it was quite good (as always).
Highlights of Saturday include going out to a pizza joint and seeing Kabali: the new blockbuster Bollywood movie to hit India with it’s bloody violence and revenge narrative.
Most of us (myself included) have been expressing our need for cheese and something reminiscent of home (coping mechanisms are important for our newly upheaved existences so that they can still function and explore and observe and grow while voluntarily surrounding themselves in a drastically new environment).
On the way into town, one of us (I believe John) spotted a billboard for a wood-fired pizza place, which seems out-of-place in such a non-pizza type place [though surprisingly Domino’s has invaded (at least) Karnataka], which sparked our interests.
Oh, I forgot to mention that five of us went to the police station for a routine paperwork thing that is randomized when we get out visas, half of us filled out the paper-work at SVYM and the other half had to get what I believe essentially to be a notarization, or approval for a similar type of paperwork that we all need to return to the United States. So no worries about seeing the words “police station” (however my confused explanation might insight that – my apologies).
Apparently it’s quite a gorgeous building.
Oh and while I’m on a stream of tangents, I wanted to include some images of the other’s practicing.
I believe I have this picturesque photo of Kevin G. with the mirdangam and this video that Kevin A. posted of the flute bros™ on his SMTD-takeover of instagram.
So back to pizza, I suppose.
Or I should just leave you with what I gave you. That’s about it. We ate it. It happened and my mood is informing me to continue on with the extravagant weekend narrative that I’m trying to weave in under 1200 words and we’re currently at word 436.
And more importantly, was this fried cauliflower thing (it’s so close to tasting like chicken wings) called “Gobi Manchurian” that we had for lunch Saturday. Thanks to Kevin A. for the photo and to me for this prime editing and color-correcting.
After the pizza, which was almost (but not quite-like) the pizza in the United States, we went to the mall in hopes of seeing SUTAN. The new major Bollywood hit, involving lots of wrestling and lots of beautiful people and lots of dancing.
That was sold out.
So we watched KABALI.
If you look up the reviews of the movie, you’ll know that it wasn’t all that great – but it was thrilling enough, with some unexpected turns (which we probably didn’t see coming since the movie was in Tamil.
I’m not going to really speak much more about the movie – oh – we are ever-thankful that Steve-ji brought earplugs. He’s got the routine down. All music shows and movies are very very very loud (and everyone over here is accustomed to it).
~ INTERMISSION ~
(We saw Mysore from above.) (We saw the racetrack.) (We saw extravagance.) (We saw the inside of the Mysore Palace.) [(We saw the inside of our van) (again and again.)] [We saw an endless hall of ornately carved, and colored (bright blues, and mustard yellows, and deep greens, and gold) columns.] (We the gifts of many nations to the royal family.) (We saw the sky begin to darken.)
(There I sit and sigh, as melancholy elephants go by.) (We saw people after people after people riding elephants, tusks removed.) (I next to the path that they followed saw the sharp jagged, stump of the negative-tusk.) (I saw joy come from pain.) (I saw no food or water trough.)
(I saw imprisoned animals, a riding camel tied against a post, trying to lie down.) (The camel strained and flailed on it’s back, unable to like comfortably from the short length of rope around it’s head.) (I saw this theme park ride at the Mysore Palace.) (Fun for the whole family.)
(We saw these tall neuron-mapped trees overhead as the rain-drops drew from the sky.) (We saw fine ivory decorating the walls of the palace.) (We saw traffic become heavy as the clouds changed to the dark, pigmented grey.) (We saw lunch.) (I went upstairs, and made myself a sandwich.) (We saw the sky clear up, as the beings above decided to not waste their tears on us today, and wiped their red, fatigued eyes.)
There was an attempt by a few of our band members to go to a massage place, that’s ran by a doctor of both eastern and western medicines that sounded really nice. I myself, was originally wanting to go, but was too exhausted (the introvert’s curse) to venture out again after the busy day.
Funny enough, the group spent an hour or so trying to find the place, and once they did, the shop was closed down. Talking to Kevin A. who was one of the people who went, it seems that they all had a good laugh about the whole outing.
The evening ended with a group discussion in Kevin A. and John’s room facilitated by the ever-so-impressingly-smart-and-caring-human Steve-Ji about compassion and group dynamics and the importance of being present and aware of the beautiful, and not-ours space we’ve been invited to occupy for a short while.
Wasn’t that a great double feature?
I know I had fun!
(Er… Steve said we weren’t here to have fun… well luckily we all seem to be enjoying ourselves, on top of growing and learning and existing.)
With a bleeding heart,