Tipping the Balance

The 23rd leg of the Camino.

I don’t want to walk the dog around the block. I don’t want to do dishes. I don’t want to write.

Working from home, I’ve lost the habit of balance. I find myself sitting in front of the computer 13 hours a day. Not having to pack up for the day and catch the train home, I sit with a cup of tea and work until late in the evening. Sometimes I sit past what used to be my bedtime. I have lost sight of the fact that there is never a time when the “to do” bin is empty, because the emails keep pling-ing in. I worry about the silent build-up of lymph in my body – all this sitting.

I don’t notice that I’m wearing thin until I’ve burned the roof of my mouth so badly on a cup of tea that I have stop to take account. This hurts. That hurts. My eyes are so tired. Where did I leave my glasses?

Focus can be a good thing. It can also be deceptive – like when your eyes fix on something in the room and part of your consciousness “sticks”. It’s easy to mistake this kind of resting as balance. But under the stillness, there’s a racing energy.

In America they have runaway truck ramps along difficult stretches of highways where many of us just ride the breaks.

Hell, it is hard-going either way: you can run wild or you can run down.

If yoga has taught me anything it is that balance is not a state of being, it’s a habit of continuous adjustment. My slipping daily practice may well be an integral part of a larger lesson here.

Do not fix in place: adjust.

Our guide points out the Episcopal Gaudi Palace in Astorga. A neo-gothic church that only hints of his trajectory toward the Sagrada Família. Antoni Gaudí died at 73. Years ago, a tour guide at the Sagrada Família told me that Gaudí had apparently zoned-out while crossing a street. He was struck by a trolley car – on his way to make confession.

There’s a lesson for you.

Pay attention. Adjust. Practice balance.
Get yourself to the church on time.



6 Replies to “Tipping the Balance”

  1. I feel so very fortunate to know you, and appreciate the way you have shared this journey with us. I love reading your writing, as a kind of daily meditation in my strange life, down here at the bottom of the bottom of the world. I’m so glad you’re still in my life x