Why do I like yoga?
Because it’s like saying
Even if it’s just on this
Little rectangle of earth
For 15 or 30 or 60 minutes
In the middle of a laundry list day.
It’s showing up
With all the vastness outside
And all the vastness inside
Considering your stance and breath
Making tiny adjustments that feel enormous
Because you know yourself well enough
At least on the mat in that moment
And feeling yourself building
Competence and also surrender-
And the freedom which that yields
From minute to minute
And day to day.
Why am I writing this?
A little note to self
To not forget
To show up each day
To be gentle but steadfast
To be intentional
To practice and feel progression
And embody both
Power and transcendence,
Alternating between the
Weightlessness of floating in water
And the solidity of roots and rock.
Why do I like yoga?
Because I am saying
Eyes meet and heads clear
Infinite space for heart songs
No words are needed.
Squirrel skips across snow
Woodpecker hammers for bugs
Winter yields an inch.
Draw a line in the sand
And take a leap over
Some boundaries break
Look back at all the words crossed out
It makes a pattern, a voice
Of negative space, beautiful
What’s not been done
What’s not been written
A beautiful vessel of air and breath held
Holding what is.
So let’s make our resolutions
But know it’s ok to break them
When in the moment and
The right decision is not made in absentia
inward and upward and fold
another shape blooms
Do I recount the happy times
And revel in an antique moment
Yellowing at the edges?
Do I write of sadness
Or memories incomplete?
Trying to capture what is gone
Trying to relive a time that seemed
Very mundane while living it
But I now see was
A last laugh a last story read to the boys
A last annoyance a last resolution
A last hug a last plan a last hope
A last visit to the house with tea in the kitchen
A last “I love you” said and heard by me
And by you
A last breath.
You always said we never know
When it will be the last time we see each other
So sadly true, so many little truths
And now I whisper “You were right”
But I can only imagine you saying “You see?”
Your last day was a chai
You would have smiled at that
The eighteenth day, I hope it was blessed.
Feeling a little gray.
You know, like when you
Let your eyes go out of focus
And all the sharp edges blur
And the colors wash out a little
And that soft gray of twilight
Or dawn creeps and infuses.
The gray of an elephant’s memory
Of a stream in reflection.
It’s not a bad feeling,
Comfortable like a well worn wool blanket
A little scratchy and matted
But warm from your own heat
Until compared to the brightness
Sharpness and activity you expect
That’s expected of you
And then suddenly you’re wearing
A hair shirt and scrambling for the light switch.
I say pull it around you a little closer
Breathe deep and lean into
This, which has its own soft
Clarity to impart.
I think the answer
To the question
“Who am I?”
“Who do I want to be?”
And any day
Any minute we can
Ask ourselves and answer
In a breath.
This breath flows
As this moment flows
Into the next
And with each breath
We get a new chance
To get it right.
To love and show compassion
To live and guide through example
To stumble and accept an outstretched hand
To give without expectation
To receive with gratitude
To answer a smile with a smile
To answer a frown with a smile
To take your brother’s burden
To share your sister’s sorrow and happiness
To be gentle with yourself
In this moment
Be exactly who you wish to be.
Isn’t it wonderful that we’re not alone?
I watch a squirrel outside my window chisel a walnut
And I wonder how people
Came to position themselves like broken gods
Hands outstretched in defense and separation
Ears and eyes covered and closed
Refusing the music of nature for so long
That option came to resemble fact.
Once priests cried brother to the animals
And everyone danced an emphatic “yes!”
Until they didn’t, and machines built fences
Where we divided nature into the fearful wild
And living property (modified to stack for shipping).
Now scientists are proving
What we once already knew
(“Animals Can Think! And Feel!”)
And suddenly we’re not alone (again).
Simple truths read a little like supermarket rags
Here we have an epiphany
(“Overseas Governments Grant Animals Citizen Status!”)
And there we have a revelation
(“Cruelty Discovered in Circuses and Animal Parks!”)
And everywhere we question our humanity
As we stumble to come full circle,
Remembering, forgetting, remembering again
Our family of creatures in our shared home.
Slowly we choose to remember
That it’s truly wonderful- we’re not alone.
Don’t know if
(Future, always, all ways)
Any thing is meant
But we saw, we see
(Past, what has passed)
Steps that led us here
(This shifting, singular point)
Is a good place