The Captain looked at Fermina Daza and saw on her eyelashes the first glimmer of wintry frost. Then he looked at Florentino Ariza, his invincible power, his intrepid love, and he was overwhelmed by the belated suspicion that it is life, more than death, that has no limits.
“And how long do you think we can keep up this goddamn coming and going?” he asked
Florentino Ariza had kept his answer ready for fifty-three years, seven months, and eleven days and nights.
“Forever,” he said.
~Garcia Marquez, Love in the Time of Cholera
It’s a stunning Spring day here as I sit in my backyard with the dogs. Where the old gnarled apple tree used to stand, grows a young sapling–it’s blossoms few but healthy. Since pruning the birch the sun flows in in willowy striations and showers the young apple. Surrounded by all this beauty I am able to understand the need for the removal of the old tree–and all of the metaphor implicit in creating space for newness to grow; though as I gaze at the old stump with its roots startled in their excavation I can feel the gravity of such decisions–and all of the metaphor implicit in holding on to worn-out things. Donovan sings in the background “happiness runs in a circular motion, everything is a part of everything anyway…”
…Indeed, we can say that this whole cycle really has no beginning and no end, because our very notions of past, present, and future are part of samsara…Although the light of reality is ever present, ignorance chooses to remain blind. The nature of this blindness is to believe in the existence of a separate, independent self. Trungpa Rinpoche also used to say that ignorance is very intelligent. It is actually the intelligence of samsara, which is fighting a continual battle for survival and constantly looking for ways of keeping up its own illusion, it’s own self-deception. ~Fracesca Fremantle
Everything is everything. ~Lauryn Hill
It’s everywhere and it seems like everyone’s talking about it. So, how come? Why are so many of us drawn to Yoga? Yoga has clearly withstood the test of time, right? So many styles and venues, just about everyone can find their niche. I recently read an article declaring that a lot has been lost in Yoga’s westward translation, and while I can see vestiges of a point to that argument I struggle to see the relevance. I don’t know about you, but linear thought is so, well, linear. It doesn’t seem efficacious that one begin at Ahimsa and end at Samadhi, and it certainly doesn’t seem relevant to do all of that work with the desired outcome of personal enlightenment. I mean, right? Like, what is that anyway? A private island?
Okay, I’m being sarcastic, though I hope it’s with good reason. All of the time we’re being conditioned to believe what we think. I say that sans sarcasm. What does it mean to say that we practice asana to prepare the body for meditation in the context of rapid environmental decline? What does it mean to say that we are a reflection of the Universe in the context of Rape Culture? How useful are the old stories and isms if we don’t consider them in the context of our lives now?
While I find myself in the gloriously privileged position of being able to witness the grace of people practicing asana, I find that the elegance of the practice lies in the diametric opposition of Yoga and the Dominant Paradigm. We don’t need fancy clothes, we don’t need to amass fancy postures, and we certainly don’t need to know all the answers. The question is, can we ask, and steep ourselves in the questions? And can we keep asking the questions even—especially—if we think we know the answers?
…do dum dum dum dee do dum dum…