October Flora

A pretty magical weekend. Nathan picked me up at my front door around 8pm Friday and we walked downtown for a beer at The Local prior to meeting up with his friends and seeing a brass band at the Dakota Jazz Club. Everyone was in a happy mood, we sat at a long table, crowded among others, a full house. The wine, water, beer was poured and shared; the frites and flatbread and escargot were served and enjoyed; the trumpets sang, trombones moaned, the tuba bellowed underneath.

Shows at the Dakota do not disappoint, and as expected there was a number of lively souls who found a way to dance between the tables despite no designated area for dancing.

Saturday morning-afternoon-ish I made and ate Simple Mills pancakes topped with 100% pure maple syrup. I made a commitment to please myself all day. Took a gentle walk down 1st Avenue to get a coffee at SpyHouse, then ended up taking it to go because it was busy inside, and the crisp fall air beckoned further poking around the neighborhood.

So I went to sit in the garden at MIA. I mostly stared into the wet, ripe trees — a nourishing respite from staring into an electronic screen all week — sipped my warm lavender honey espresso beverage, listened to my headphones, and watched the birds and squirrels and leaves in the wind for a half hour. As I was leaving the garden, I figuratively and almost literally ran into Thomas, who was just finishing up a shift at the museum. It gave me a cozy feeling to see him spontaneously and chat for a few minutes.

I then walked home and arrived with the inspiration to paint the flowers I saw on 25th between 1st and Nicollet (see watercolor painting in full post). The flowers were colorful and in perfect bloom. The sight of the flowers showered upon me the awareness of the bounty of every season. October is delicate and transitory. The skies point toward November, but the ground is still rich and vivid and moist.

Everything I wanted came to me Saturday night. We visited BauHaus where Nathan commissioned an embroiderer to sew the face of a tiger into the back of his new coat. There were a lot of cool and attractive kids at BauHaus but the overhead lights were too bright and the room was loud with very little ambiance; it felt like the tacky American version of a German beer hall.

He got a call from some friends (he’s popular) and we ended up heading back downtown for a rave show, not something I would plan in advance but something that ended up being hella fun due to the spontaneity and good company. I was in such a high state and Nathan was there dancing with me. His friends were dancing with us sweetly, too. Just dancing, I ironed out a week’s worth of kinks and tension in my hips, back, shoulders.

“Strap in, we’re going to Mars” was a repeated line in one of the tunes, and Nathan with his adorable grin said, “The red planet!” Under the light, his friend Nick, with his red beard and light blue eyes, looked just like a Van Gogh self portrait, and I noted it privately to myself. Only a few minutes later, Nathan said, “Nick looks exactly like that painting…” “Van Gogh?” “Yes!” Therefore, the rest of the night, Nathan called his friend “Van Gorgeous.”

We walked home floatin’ on cloud nine. He was cool and confident yet tender and sweet and funny.

Sunday morning began with a walk to Starbucks for a café mocha to fuel another walk to a nearby park, Washburn Fair Oaks. I chose a park bench and sat there listening to Alina Baraz’s full length album The Color of You. Smooth grooves on that one for sure.

Tonight – Sunday night – winded down with a gorgeous yin yoga class, taught by a favorite instructor. With such grace and confidence, she pressed her whole body into my back as I folded forward in a seated butterfly fold. Not only did the assist feel amazing and help me get deeper in the stretch, but I admired the instructor’s loving poise in offering such an intimate assist. I admired her for being so comfortable with herself and with me. I loved that her gifts seemed to pour out of her presence.

At the end of the class, while I laid in savasana with a bolster beneath my back, heart raised to the sky, she came by again to lift up my limp and heavy legs. She picked them up by my heels and slowly swept them back and forth, lower and lower, and this motion mimicked the lazily falling October leaves, giving up their post on the branch, just surrendering lower and lower and lower, eventually taking full rest on the naked ground.

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