Last night, I found my way to yoga at the Y. The teacher conducts the entire session with her eyes closed; it has taken me a full year to realize she is not seeing impaired. I can be really oblivious.
I love that she is in a solidly calm-zen-like state. The whole world stops for an hour and fifteen minutes while we contort and breathe and stretch and lean. I was in downward facing dog going into a plank and back up again last night focusing on my breathing thinking just how hard it is to plunge yourself into the strength of the air from your lungs. Even more difficult is blocking out the passing thoughts. We start with meditation. She gently guides us to acknowledge thoughts and send them on their way. I have meditated for the better part of 20 years and I ride the struggle bus every single time like the first.
My favorite pose is warrior. There’s something mighty about raising your hands out and above your head with strong legs firmly rooted into the earth. Have you ever thought about magic and how unacknowledged it is in the day to day? Well, dear internets, magic is underrated, and I get a little chiding from people when I mention it as though a child-like wonder is something to be ashamed of! Warrior pose is magical.
I see magic on the wind, blowing in the trees. There’s magic in the water on my skin.
Last weekend, we were camping along the Mississippi River, where the barges passed all day and night, and even a train, rumbling through with its blaring horn at 2am, making a person feel as though they were riding on the train, the ground shaking so. We went to a little lake in the park on Saturday. None of us brought swimming gear. I jumped in fully clothed. I cannot resist a body of water. The feeling of water all around me is one of relief, the silky nature of it flowing through the gaps in my shorts and shirt was priceless, pure magic.
I keep hoping more people will bring up magical moments to share in conversation. Maybe you will try that today. Someone else is going to feel the joy in that exchange.
I’ve been listening to the Ear Hustle podcast series this week because living closely with someone has been on my mind and because I think NPR subliminally feeds me much-needed food for thought.
The episode Cellie is particularly poignant because I live with two other people and sometimes it is such a convergence of tectonic plates, not smooth at all. Three people with different approaches to organization, to priorities. It can be explosive when nerves fray and communication breaks down. Cellie is different for obvious reasons, because inmates cannot escape each other to regroup. Striking was the conversation between two brothers who thought being in the same cell together would be safe and nurturing but turned out to be volatile and destructive. They had different ideas about hygiene – one thing you cannot be is super stinky in a tiny closet-sized cell. One observed the Sabbath by not watching tv, and the other was forced to use his headphones to watch his favorite shows (which were 18” long, at best). It was a disaster. They fought so much that the guy in the next cell would shout through the air vent that there was going to be a murder between two brothers.
There can be calm, but with consideration to each other’s needs.
Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman were singing Time to Say Goodbye this morning on my stereo on the way to work. It’s maybe a 15-minute drive. It’s in Italian and English and the translation into English is utterly metaphysical – it doesn’t entirely make sense. It is taken as a farewell or a joining of two lovers, depending on your interpretation. I love to sing away in my broken-Italian. Today, it made me cry a little.