I'm sitting in the airport at an internet terminal. It appears to have been designed for people with six millimeter diameter fingers.
I haven't been able to post because I've been without internet access since the end. So I have a lot to write down - I don't want to forget it.
The last two classes were exactly what I needed them to be. They were congratulatory, exciting, sad, empowering, powerful. The friday morning class was taught by Rajashree, the friday evening class, our last class, was taught by Bikram. They were intense and difficult and we all did magnificently. My strength and my enthusiasm and my joy came back to me. My friend Carrie (where do they COME from?) insisted that I finish the training practicing next to her - most of the training we ended up next to each other because we both like to be right in front of the podium directly in front of the teacher. I had been feeling weak through the last week and retreating to the back of the room near the doors, but I wanted to share the end with my friend so I sucked it up and went to the front, and I did great. No falls, kicked out in all the standing head to knees, did all the toe stands, and sat out for nothing. I won't say I rocked, but I represented Wellington and Anika's studio proudly. And then it was done! The roar of applause and congratulation and hugs and tears was overwhelming, but humorously not as powerful as the time when we found out we got to go home a few hours early... A lot of people were crying, lots of people were hugging (delicious, delicious sweaty post yoga hugs... slimy...) For my part, I felt like I was floating. The emotions were there, but not knocking me over. It was calm, happy - surprised. There were parts of me that really, truly didn't think I would make it, and definitely didn't think I'd have the center spot in front of Bikram for the very last class.
Graduation was pretty much what you'd expect - it was hot and humid and long, and I was a bit stressed (though trying to stay in the moment) because I knew I needed to get to the party location and start setting up lights and speakers and wires. Virginia came to watch me graduate, and when it was finally my turn to walk up on the stage, shake Bikram's hand and kiss Rajashree's cheek - I was almost disbelieving. This is the hardest thing I've ever done - more than I ever would have credited myself for, and I rocked. I've never been more certain that I had done the right thing, walked the right path. And now, once I teach my first class, I'll be a YOGA TEACHER! WHO ON EARTH WOULD HAVE SEEN THAT COMING??? Bikram looked sincere and proud as he shook my hand, and Rajashree looked pleased and beaming. I heard the applause and the yogis yelling my name and I felt really, truly thrilled to be me. I wouldn't change a thing. (Lie! Still trying to find a good nostril hair trimmer!)
The party was so wonderful, I doubt I can explain it. A fellow yogi Martinez and I rushed over with Virginia after the graduation to set up lights and DJ stuff as the sun set over the terraced gardens in Malibu overlooking the ocean. As always, it took forever and people were starting to show up while we were still putting up lights. There was a gigantic full moon, the sky was perfectly clear and the air still. We could hear the ocean breaking. HUNDREDS of people showed up, including RAJASHREE!!! I couldn't believe it. We had a meditation that filled me with energy and power courtesy of Ulises - awful, awful cheesy dance music courtesy of a DJ we were hooked up with through the school, and as the evening reached its peak, I stole a page from Ethan and had everybody come down to the main lawn and hold hands in a circle and I said a few words about taking moments like this into their hearts and bringing them home to create more of this in the world. I would have liked to have been more poetic, but you do what you can. It was a magnificent success. I know that everyone who was there will remember the magical, special place and moment for years and years - that it ended the whole training on such a high note of union and, well, Yoga!!! I spent a small fortune in the end, though other yogis pitched in, some with small fortunes of their own. At one point during the evening I got to see Craig sitting in a love seat MADE OF GIRLS. He didn't seem troubled at all. I played a bit of music, but didn't really have with me the kind of music the crowd needed. They just weren't really feelin' the breaks... lesson learned!
And then it was all over! I stayed awake for more than two days with the party planning and the party cleanup and I didn't really eat at all the whole time, and felt perfectly energized. Of course, when I did crash, I could barely remember my name and forgot where I was.
Since the, I've been just wandering around LA - Virginia let me borrow her car, and I took Dave's first yoga class down in Laguna Beach (and then jumped in the ocean directly after class!!!! YAHOOO!!!!) I went back to Bikram headquarters a few times because I didn't know what else to do and I missed it. I stocked the water coolers and helped do some clean up and then realized I was being pathetic and went home.
And now, here I am. I'm in the airport, ten minutes to board - a few days until my first class - dialog running through my brain and over my tongue. I'm nervous about coming home - sometime during week seven I felt like my connections to home got cut (around when Clodagh and Kris went to the South Island), and I feel apart from it. Clodagh has organized a welcome home party for Saturday, and for some reason I feel slightly nervous about it. I would try to explain it in terms of energy, but I don't think I'm quite there yet.
Goodbye, LA. Goodbye Bikram, Rajashree, Emmy, Craig, Doug, and all my friends. I know I'll see you again, and as I said at the party when everybody's hands were held under the full moon over the ocean, I love you all. Namaste.