Thursday, August 09, 2007
The Darkness Before The Dawn Thing
I went to a yoga class at the behest of a friend who works at the said studio as a massage therapist. Dressed in the same leggings I have been wearing for the last fifteen years (as much as I love clothes, I refuse to spend money on work-out clothes because I hate working out and don't care how I look when doing so) and a Made In Detroit t-shirt, all black. The class involved a lot of props which is not how my regular yoga teacher rolls. The teacher had it in for me immediately, calling me a "real life yogi" (are you fucking kidding me? I'm flexible which is a far cry from competent) and started in on my posture. "You're compromising the pose," was her mantra for me, and I wanted to say like children of divorced parents often do to their parents' significant others -- You're not my real yoga teacher! My friend, totally uninterested and non-athletic (she's one of those evil people who can eat everything, gain no weight, and has no interest in working out) barely moved her legs, to which the instructor said, Beautiful, beautiful! The class moved at the pace of the ceiling fan which lazed around at the slowest speed (for the record, it was the coolest ceiling fan I ever saw -- two old-fashioned fans attached to either side of the blades), and the teacher came up to me at the end and said, Bet you never had a yoga class quite like this one before. True enough. We had to take affirmations from a bowl at the end, and I ended up with one from Richard Nixon -- We could "share" our affirmations so I did because even though it came from old Tricky Dick, I liked it. "Only if you have been in the deepest valley can you know how magnificent it is to be on the highest mountain." Another woman who had been through several cancer surgeries shared a poem from Basho about his house burning down enabling him to see the moon. I told her that he wrote it after his child died, from a place of deep despair which pleased her if not the "yogi" in charge. Then a gong sounded, class ended, and I was shocked to find that I had not even broken a small sweat.
So I thought about the darkness before the dawn thing (I'd accidentally taken five affirmations, all stuck together and that seemed to be the motif of all of them), my central theme in some ways and despite the gong, the picking, and the strangeness of the new setting, I felt at ease. Years ago, I would have felt awful in such a place, awkward and strange, not liked, insecure. Now I couldn't stop smiling which is such a creepy sensation for me that I cannot say. But I had my affirmations, all five of them, had gone through a strange treatment called an ion cleanse, which consists of putting your feet in a tub of water and having the toxins sucked out. I'm all for toxins going bye-bye considering how many I put into my body on any given day. I looked at yoga clothes that I would never wear and never buy, thought them beautiful. Smiled again at everyone, not in that you will love me kind of way, but in that you already do and it's okay if you don't. Not quite a miracle, but maybe it is.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." Martin Luther King, Jr.
Drinking memoir suggestion: The Mistress's Daughter A.M. Homes
Benedictions and Maledictions
My dear friend Bradley of Chant fame (see sidebar for his wonderful website) is playing at Andy's Bar in Denton, Texas for his cd release party this Friday. Check him out if you're in the area! His show is like no other!