Field of Battle, Song of God • 1 December 2008

Hrmmm…Thanksgiving. Up—dinner outside right over the ocean, salt breeze and corn-celery-sage stuffing and that slanting yellow glow you get south of the California boot spur. Sneaking off Friday to US Ashtanga central headquarters, now located in an elite outdoor mall and dripping mint condition prana all down the quick-decay façade of Anthropologie. Everything about the California myth is true.

Down—semidistant relatives who are aching for more of me, in more ways than one. They consider me a little package of culture and refinement (hey, they’re bored) and feel edified by what little I give them of myself. But one little package of me just isn’t enough for these SoCal consumers—what they really want is babies and as I pass into my 30s they have ceased clucking and begun to hiss. Nevermind the inoculations I’ve issued since the carnal beast awakened in my 13th year: no children. Not doing it. Swearing off children was the only way to freedom in a world where the culture wars are fought in the uteruses of the female young. Christian fundamentalism, from abstinence to anti-abortion to homophobia, exists to control female sexuality. This time, there were remarks about the importance of my ceasing all other activities next year to move to the boondocks and “make babies.” (Not ideas, not books, not a world of my own: just babies.) About my “not understanding feminity” and my “unused uterus.”

Seriously. I meet the family on their level, traversing all the distance of this field of battle that is my uterus. It’s many leagues from my side of the uterus to theirs, and once I arrive at their camp it can be difficult to remember that my own ground—my own politics and self owenship—have substance. I have transcended this culture but I also include it, and when the venomous loved ones entangle me there’s an icy deflection that only later reveals itself as a hard little gem of anger.

And soon shatters in to a joke. How funny to have a whole clan fighting to regress my selfhood sixty years, and to do that specifically in the field of my body. It doesn’t really work for a girl whose spiritual practice is grounded in that body. Thank god I have traced every inch of this pelvic girdle of bone and sinew, catching and releasing it with the breath; owning the hips happily; thank god this practice whispers you right through any fear of the subtle body.

The families do make battle on the field of me, but my field is wired with secret powers. The master key shouldn't be a secret: is so simple. It is like Krishna, holding the reigns. Greedy relatives can’t get much traction in lower chakras armored (or just enlivened?) with the master key.

My actions can be my own without being self-defensive. Who knew? I wish all the young women being told not to possess their own bodies could find this buzzing little forcefield.

I don’t think unmoved movement would be possible without a practice that gives my pelvic floor back to me in a way that is immediate, lightly entrancing, crass and transcendent all at the same time. This is the secret of the practice, whatever practice is. It’s simple.

Anyone can hold an unmoved mover in the belly root, can keep space with that, can begin and end all action from that. Om tat sat.

This is the easy way.