Lightning woke me up around two—tore open the upstairs bedroom with its flash—and then the whole house shook, the way it does when the train goes by a block away. This earth must be full of clay, soft enough to transmit the energy from the vortices I’ve decided lie to the north in old Chippewa forests. So thank god this isn’t earthquake country. Or maybe the house just shakes because it’s 90 years old?
When I timber from some inversion in the upstairs room, the Editor says the original schoolhouse globes start to swing. They hang in the old plaster from white-painted chains. I’ve been trying to feel those orbs under the floor, slowing down the acrobatics so's not to disturb them. I’m not light, yet, in my landings, even though the past week there has been a just weird new buoyancy in my body. Like the breath has been re-wired to the hydraulics in my belly, making a more efficient pneumatic machine. Can I get so quiet up there that the globes won’t shake on their chains? Soooo quiet. Shhhh….
Some practices are deep, but the funny thing is—doing it alone—that some are shallow. The usual mental discipline is not always there. I’m accustomed to strong discipline—putting emotions and thoughts in to silence as they arise. That’s yoga practice, yo. It’s not getting all intrigued by whatever trivial thoughts want to absorb me—it’s not entertaining those thoughts. I sense that the shallow practices come because I’m lonely—I’m fantasizing a community instead of just feeling it and rolling forward on that energy. Yesterday in the trikos I got swept up in remembering the things old-timers say to each other in Mysore…
…Q: How was practice? A: I left it on the mat.
…What I love about Sharath is that he’s just practical. He’s still an engineer in many ways. I was always in to the mystical side of yoga and I benefit from a teacher who wouldn’t try to do the modern guru thing but just be grounded and everyday about it…
…I’m still here because it just doesn’t work to teach if I don’t keep returning. I can’t explain it, but look around. I have to come so that my teaching will work.
…For years I switched up my lotus every day, evening things out… I might have to get back to that in self practice for a while…
…this group isn’t different now from how it was twenty years ago. People come to practice; they find something to get dissatisfied about; they bitch about it. The old days weren’t different. You just practice through whatever it is…
Then the thought occurred: what will this day be like if you spend the whole of it in this petty mental state? Do you want to live in a cognitive flatland?
I shook, looked around the room and out the windows, and saw something amazing—something I’d have missed if I’d been actually doing my practice. The woman who lives in the next house—small, white-haired, mid-70s—was making slow, crazy movements next to her living room window dowstairs. She was doing an asana practice.
I suspect that from her angle and through the double panes of my windows, she cannot see me up there doing contortion in my underwear. If she’s following some treacle Rodney Yee instruction, I don’t need to know; though even if she is, her magic is starting to reveal itself in other ways. For now, she’s just this machine’s plug in to what’s present. Lightning strike me down.
Anyway. I just came in from the market, driving down wet streets on the right side with a fine bourgeois parmesan and a case of kombucha. There’s a kombucha war on here, since California GT’s is trying to price out the local upstart—“UNITY VIBRATION.” I met the UV lady at the farmer’s market and got behind her product, since I’m not in the mood just yet to brew up my own seedy straightedge moonshine. Anyway, along with a huge display of twelve kinds of coconut water, the market features special educators to help you consume fine cheeses and international olives in an intelligent manner. (I’ll be making proper professorly canapés in no time, dear god.) Thank you India for lactose tolerance: I’ll take the crusty old Reggiano but not the sad, sulfured coconut water.
Anyway, coming in, I saw that the decrepit splitrail between the old lady’s house and ours has just collapsed after this rainy night. A fucking onslaught of flowers is rushing out of her yard in to mine, this purple pestilence, this juggernaut of cuteness, smashing down the fences and crowding out my crocus. Well then! Bring it on, neighbor.