For the most part, it’s about organization. What comes first, how it sounds, how it makes us feel. And if the timing is right on with the feeling. What we remember from the last time we heard that song. Where we were. A revisit or something brand new. When I think about teaching a yoga class there’s a certain amount of control you have to pretend to have. You have to assume a lot about the people who are coming to your class and then be ready to throw it all out the window to show up for the people who actually show up for class. Lessons are consistent.
I like to think of the space I’m in right now as recycled. As a bit old and I’m trying to figure out how to let it go. Like there’s something following me around reminding me of reasons I shouldn’t have moved back to Asheville and every once in awhile I turn around a face it and tell it to fuck off. But it’s not working. At least right now it’s not. This is a memory of the grieving process. Of phone calls about things not working anymore and of people who are no longer alive.
And in my mind there’s a picture of how it’s gonna be. How I’ll be in Ecuador, getting ready to lead a yoga retreat as we travel around the same areas I went to last year, and how many ideas I had a year ago today about where I would be. And why I can’t shake this feeling that it’s not quite falling into place. Am I traveling back to walk in the same place? How I’ll be in Ecuador and my best friend will be hosting a funeral for her mom, who has been sick for many years and finally let go early Saturday morning. I can see her face, her house, and all those memories bubbling up to the surface. And this is the sacrifice of living outside of where you grew up. Of creating and being a part of a new community somewhere else. Or maybe it’s just bad timing.
On Monday morning I broke a “yoga rule” and talked about my struggles with holding space for them because I couldn’t really do that for myself at the time. It was part of what I wanted to control. That feeling of teaching a yoga class and allowing that space to fill right on up. I’d missed the point, completely. I’d missed that being a part of it.
It broke my heart thinking about one of the people I care most about in the whole world flying across the country to say good-bye to her mom. And as I pack for Ecuador and teach a few classes this week, I find myself in a space of protection and a little bit of denial. I find myself talking about exhaling.
We can be two places at once. We can experience the pain and grief of a best friend from across the country. We can wrap ourselves in that.
To me, the representation or memory of her mom comes in one simple gesture. She’s walking away into the living room of their house, she’s got a pair of jeans on and a button-up shirt and her hair is short and black. And she’s nodding her index finger side-to-side with a sigh. She’s disapproving of something we’ve said or done. She’s making her way into a different space of the house. Her refuge. And we go back to doing or saying whatever teenagers do. The kitchen door swings close and by the third swing, we are separate.
And every single light is on in their house. It’s so bright. I remember thinking about their electric bill all of the time because at my house, you turned off lights in an automatic gesture.
But I could be remembering it all wrong. Maybe that memory is later in the evening, and the only lights that are on are in the kitchen and the glow of the TV in the living room where she sits. Maybe her fingers are interlaced and sitting softly in her lap as her daughter tells her goodnight. And in this memory, she says it back, easily.
love is a place
& through this place of
(with brightness of peace)
yes is a world
& in this world of