Source: There’s No “I” In Yoga
Barry Lopez writes that if we hope to succeed in the endeavor of protecting natures other than our own, “it will require that we reimagine our lives…. It will require of many of us a humanity we’ve not yet mustered, and a grace we were not aware we desired until we had tasted it.”
And yet no endeavor could be more crucial at this moment. Protecting the land that once provided us with our genesis may turn out to be the only real story there is for us. The land still provides our genesis, however we might like to forget that our food comes from dank, muddy earth, that the oxygen in our lungs was recently inside a leaf, and that every newspaper or book we may pick up (including this one, ultimately, though recycled) is made from the hearts of trees that died for the sake of our imagined lives. What you hold in your hands right now, beneath these words, is consecrated air and time and sunlight and, first of all, a place. Whether we are leaving it or coming into it, it’s here that matters, it is place. Whether we understand where we are or don’t, that is the story: To be here or not to be. Storytelling is as old as our need to remember where the water is, where the best food grows, where we find our courage for the hunt. It’s as persistent as our desire to teach our children how to live in this place that we have known longer than they have. Our greatest and smallest explanations for ourselves grow from place, as surely as carrots grow in the dirt. I’m presuming to tell you something that I could not prove rationally but instead feel as a religious faith. I can’t believe otherwise. […]
Oh, how can I say this: People need wild places. Whether or not we think we do, we do. We need to be able to taste grace and know once again that we desire it. We need to experience a landscape that is timeless, whose agenda moves at the pace of speciation and glaciers. To be surrounded by a singing, mating, howling commotion of other species, all of which love their lives as much as we do ours, and none of which could possibly care less about our economic status or our running day calendar. Wildness puts us in our place. It reminds us that our plans are small and somewhat absurd. It reminds us why, in those cases in which our plans might influence many future generations, we ought to choose carefully. Looking out on a clean plank of planet earth, we can get shaken right down to the bone by the bronze-eyed possibility of lives that are not our own.
One of the times you’re hellbent on going. Just say no, Nancy Reagan style. Then do whatever it is you really WANT to do. Have a burger AND a beer. Those squat thrusts will be there tomorrow. That’s love.
Somewhere someone told us women that it was bad to want to look good. Who was that? It’s absurd. I think it’s the reason why I spent 1/3rd of my life wearing sweatpants, which I wholeheartedly embrace but not because of the reason behind wearing them. I wanted to hide my femininity because not only was I uncomfortable in it, but I thought that somehow I couldn’t be smart and pretty at the same time, and obviously it’s better to be smart.
Newsflash—you can be smart and pretty at the same time and in fact, we are doing the world a disservice not striving for both. So, put on some clothes that make you look and feel hot and go kick some ass. (I wore a Mad Men dress to work yesterday-I never wear formfitting dresses to work, and people almost died–Abby, you look so “grown up!”–I resisted the urge to wonder what they think I look like every other day.)
This weekend a very wise woman told me that part of the reason we feel unloved, lonely and disconnected is because we literally are. We are so in our heads that we are energetically cut off from the earth, from Source, from true love, whatever you want to call it that connects us to everything around us—that thing that when we’re tapped into it, assures us that everything really is okay and perfect just the way it is. You know it, you’ve felt it, maybe when you’ve been by the ocean and closed your eyes and smelled the saltwater at the same moment a warm breeze caressed your cheek, that feeling. So she told me to just focus on feeling my feet hit the ground as I walk through this crazy city. I did it this morning and it worked—as I focused on my feet hiting the ground I then noticed a bird in the sky and a wispy cloud, I didn’t feel rushed or frantic or give a shit about what was going to “happen” on Monday morning. When someone on the train pushed me, it didn’t phase me. Just feel your feet on the ground today. That’s it.
I have no idea but I’m going to try. In 20 wks, it will be Memorial Day, my birthday and the beginning of Summer. I’m going to try to nail this relationship because there is no other way to be happy than to first stop the insanity inside my own mind–the insanity of self-doubt, criticism, pushing, needing to achieve, feeling fat and on and on. I’m fed up and can’t go on like this one moment longer. And I’m tired of watching all the women in my life go throuh the same thing. It has to stop. And this love for ourselves doesn’t need to involve years of study that actually end up making you (at least me) feel bad when I don’t “study” perfectly. This isn’t a selfish endeavor either because if I don’t love myself in a real way as soon as possible, there is no way in hell that I can love anyone else or even be a fully positive force in the world. I know what I’m saying is nothing new but I need to put this challenge out into the world so that someone holds me accountable for it. So please join me on the journey. I’d love the support, guidance, tips, love, anything. I’m going to try and post 3 times each week and you can sign up to follow the posts here, abstractionsnyc.wordpress.com
I promise I’ll do my best not to post anything irritating or too boring.
FUCK THIS 🙂 IT’S OVER.
My mouth blooms like a cut.
nights, nothing but rough elbows in them
and delicate boxes of Kleenex calling crybaby
crybaby, you fool!Before today my body was useless.
Now it’s tearing at its square corners.
It’s tearing old Mary’s garments off, knot by knot
and see – Now it’s shot full of these electric bolts.
Zing! A resurrection!
Once it was a boat, quite wooden
and with no business, no salt water under it
and in need of some paint. It was no more
than a group of boards. But you hoisted her, rigged her.
She’s been elected.
My nerves are turned on. I hear them like
musical instruments. Where there was silence
the drums, the strings are incurably playing. You did this.
Pure genius at work. Darling, the composer has stepped
I was in the shower and started vainly panicking about how I was going to binge tomorrow for Thanksgiving, yep, like a spoiled fucker–feeling scared about getting fat. Then I thought, how can I take my ridiculous fear and turn it into something Good? I decided–I’m gonna do a “fast before the feast” and give away the money I would’ve spent for food. I left my apt. with my head oriented to do good so was approaching every step with that intention.
Walking down the street a man caught my eye, he was homeless but put together. I smiled at him, he smiled back. It was the most beautiful smile–so beautiful it encouraged me to ask him how his day was going. I felt ridiculous as the words came out of my mouth since he was collecting cans so how “good” could he really be doing. But he said, “great” with a smile, “just trying to get my breakfast!” BINGO, here was my first chance to give away my food money so I pulled out a $20 and handed it to him. He was in shock. Remember, he didn’t ask me for anything. Instead, he gracefully took the money and said what can I GIVE YOU. He started listing off all the services he could provide for me with and then we just started talking. I asked him why he was so happy. He said “because I’m kind–I try to do 7 or 8 kind things for people every day, hold doors, anything.” Then, he opened a backpack he had and showed me all this stuff he’d collected to give out to people at the shelter where he stays. Shirts, curtains, anything people may want or need. I almost started crying because I just narrowly escaped walking right by a man with more wisdom and compassion then I could ever hope to have. All inspired by a simple mission to Give today. I highly recommend it.
I invited Joseph to my mom’s house for Thanksgiving.