I walked the same circular route twice today. Once backwards, trying to find the earphones that I lost on the first round.
Retracing my steps I was aware of how unaware I had been moving forward this morning. Twice the route holds two possible paths that converge, and I couldn’t remember which I had taken at either junction.
My earphones were the price of this lesson in mindfulness this morning.
It was difficult to focus on work with that feeling of having misplaced/lost something clinging to my heart. I have a difficult time accepting when I have misplaced/lost things. An earring. A credit card. A comb. A jar of cumin spice that I know I bought at the store but can’t find now on the counter, in the bag, or even under the seat of the car.
The feeling deep in my chest is fear. Even before it crossed my mind to worry about dementia of any sort, I worried about this veil between my consciousness and the real world. I have always feared “losing touch”. Losing control.
I will obsess over a misplaced pen. (But do not think for a moment this means I am a tidy person). It can ruin my sleep.
So I walked a second lap scanning the grass, the asphalt, the field. Nothing.
Nothing but the bite in my hamstring. On Tuesday the physiotherapist wriggled needles in my thigh and shoulder. Ripping up the muscle fibers in an attempt to help me un-clench. That word that keeps popping up in my brain. It is more descriptive than “relax”, which doesn’t imply how much energy and will it takes to hold the body in this status quo, and which doesn’t provide instructions for how to stop doing the not-relaxing thing.
Today I discussed Uta Hagen’s theories of “waiting” with an acting student. We never wait. We are on our way to a destination and are held back from our aim momentarily. It is why I love assigning the students a scene from Waiting for Godot each year as a movement project. Waiting is not an action.
I think about relaxing now, and how I cannot relax per se. I can, however, refrain my muscles from their destination. I can unclench. In my case, it takes the same kind of focus as holding an asana: an awareness of the mind-being as a physical entity. And in my case, exploring what it means to this mind-being to embrace this aging physical-entity.
I am not going to accept the idea that the definition of health is an active refraining from death.
Now, if that were so, wouldn’t trying to live a healthy life be an absurd endeavor?
At the moment I don’t recognize my body. When I put my hands on my waist I have a Freaky Friday moment. When I move from warrior 2 into an extended triangle, my hamstring sends out a high pitched pain that I have never felt before.
I have lost control. And now I need a word that will tell me how to release this fear from my heart.
This is the 11th leg of the virtual Camino. The day our guide asks us to make an intention of recognizing our body.