On the surface, your Favorite Uncle Chuck is a Detragoan (born in Detroit, settled in Chicago). She loves to throw the old pig skin around, is always listening to music, plays soccer, teaches yoga, has a cat, eats moderately well & doesn’t drink enough water for the amount of Hot Yoga she teaches.
Under the surface, however, your Favorite Uncle Chuck has always been an observer. As a kid, she was never the one at the birthday party to be the first to run to the piñata when the paper mache donkey burst open. Instead, she would stand back and watch the crazed kids sprint to the donkey’s remains and fight for their share of the booty. Although overwhelmed by the competition, she was also intrigued by the excitement and hectic behavior.
Your Uncle Chuck’s desire since childhood to observe and understand human behavior has had an everlasting imprint on the person she is right at this moment. Whether she’s sitting on the train, teaching a yoga class or waiting to board a plane for somewhere less familiar, she is always observing the unique quality of other humans and their condition of life– their happiness, their fulfillment, their anxieties and, of course, their signs of isolation.
I guess the reason why your Favorite Uncle Chuck chose to study religion and art history at DePaul University for the first four years of her adult life was because this gave her the chance to delve deeper and explore the human condition. No doubt, the study of religion pumped her brain full of thought and practice. Her eyes became permanently wider.
However, having read religious methodologies upon religious methodologies and after having written analytical papers upon analytical papers of the different traditions into which she had been immersing herself, a strong feeling of isolation stormed over your Favorite Uncle Chuck. She began to reflect on her own relationship with the material she had studied, and found that she felt even more isolated from her own sense of spirituality.
Your Favorite Uncle Chuck realized that she had dedicated her whole education to studying and attempting to understand other people and their ways of looking at life, but she had not truly given herself the chance to define what her religious and spiritual beliefs and values were (or even if she had any…). In a sense, she had played the role of God: stepping out and looking from above, surveilling the crowds of people and their beliefs from a distance. But by separating herself, making herself apart from the whole, she was disconnecting herself and finding solitude in somewhere remote. She had assumed the same position that she had as a kid at the birthday party, standing back like a wallflower and watching the chaos ensue. Your favorite Uncle Chuck was beginning to identify in this moment that her passive, contemplative nature was not allowing her to experience something greater than herself. After having identified her tension as a feeling of isolation from the very religious material she had studied, your favorite Uncle Chuck decided to charge herself with a new responsibility: Instead of a 3rd person perspective, she would now attempt to approach the religious/art historical material which she had studied throughout the years and approach it in the 1st person. Informed by her studies, but not controlled or overwhelmed, she would go out into the world and experience the human condition first-hand. Yoga would her medium.
Charlotte’s Corner is your favorite Uncle Chuck’s way of expressing her global and personal feelings, both good and bad.