Saturday, May 28, 2011

WTF am I doing here?

Machis-where?  Somewhere in Southern Spain...

It seems a long way from Northern Virginia -  and so it is.  In fact, it's a long way from one end of the Hondon valley to the other end, where Macisvenda sits and waits.  And now I sit and wait.  It's the local past-time, whether you are indigenous to the valley or you arrived by RyanAir - ash or no ash.  They say that unemployment is over twenty percent, but not here:  we're busy doing nothing, waiting the whole day through, trying to find etc.  The dwarfs were right after all.

But in mental space, it's a lot further than the nine hour Aer Lingus flight to Madrid followed by the five hour car rental that practically demolished what remained of the retirement fund after Wall Street had taken its bite in 2008.  (Remember that we are all works in progress, and a little bitterness will rear up every now and then.) 

So I have crossed a great mental space, taken a long leap into the relative unknown,  all with the expectation of creating some kind of cathartic event which will jump me from one state into another. Except that the unknown is not so very much unknown - it just seems like that from a long way away.

Before I left the USA, a number of my students and fellow teachers said "Are you going to write about it?" - as if it was a given - a kind of expectation that I would write.  So I will, from time to time.  And what shall I write about, I hear you ask. Well, I will write about the search for that stillness, the stillness that comes when the asana is working just right, the breathing is quiet and the mind has settled. It is as if we have just opened the door into a new room and stepped in; we are looking around and forming our first impression of the furniture in the room, where the windows are and how to find the exit when we run out of time or breath or strength or all of the above.  And as we decide to stay for just a while in this room for just a moment, it is in the moment that we glimpse that stillness - that shadow, that warmth, that peace that is almost always just out of reach.

Searching for that stillness is now the work of my life rather than the twenty seconds or so in that asana.  There'll be one or two diversions along the way.  After all, how many times have I said in class that life does not progress in a straight line?  So let's not expect this journey to move ahead in an unerring, positive, unbroken line to its conclusion.  We will have a few steps back and a few to the side before we pick up the track once again. 

Let me know if you want to come along.