SLVIII: New Ballgame • 24 January 2009

Yesterday morning, I finally went to practice around five. Corporate brand signs blazing in the Los Angeles witching hour, and gotham-dim streetlights whose inadequacy once allowed an errant car to hit me straight in to ashtanga. In the dark I strongly imagined my brother, on an art expedition to the Arctic Sea. They drive for miles across the polar ice, through caribou herds and flocks of midnight doves, through the dark dark dark. I'm delirious in the beauty and impossibility that he is there, so at the end of nowhere, in the inhuman cold. Treading the moon itself would be less romantic: in the dark of the Arctic there’s still life. What’s a midwestern winter to one in tribal Tuktoyuktuk?

The life changes that made for a sleepless Thursday also make for a reinvestment of the energy I’ve been withholding from the yoga. There is still uncertainty, but at least a container to feel in the dark. Total uncertainty can be immobilizing, so I’m laying it down: I know that I will practice. I know that I will write. I know that I will be a sociologist. Some lines of energy in the unknown. As true and bracing as President Obama on the radio.

Predawn practice is back on, together with the whole breathing nonsense I bracketed in the fall. But today, since I slept an hour Thursday night, then taught a client whose cold tripped my immune system, and fasted all day for a blood draw, yesterday caught up with me as I went out to dance. I put an alpaca blanket on the floor and rolled around for an hour while listening to 80-era Christian rock operas. Dance is so abstract you can find it under any conditions, presuming you’ve got a lot of experience in self-hypnosis and know how to find the body. Ashtanga is a stronger discipline.

Saturday links

-I am not that interested in Vampire Weekend-era indie pop. This too shall pass. But I have to say that The Crying Light is so beautiful. It takes a decent stereo and some attention. Feels very January 2009.

Temple Grandin’s new book is called Animals Make Us Human. Read it if you eat meat. She’s a carnivore herself, so you don’t have to worry.

-It would be good to stay with Ashtangis in SF in May. I have no idea who might be reading this—I dumped my stat counter a year ago—but if you know me as a reader and have guest space for the world tour, I would love to meet some locals rather than staying with university friends the whole time. I am quieter in person and would be working days at the library or some cafe in the Mission. I will not dance on your tables unless you ask. I won't take oil bath in your tub. And I’d be very grateful for ashtangi hospitality. Gmail insideowl.