Easing Mornings

The world is changed by your example, not your opinion.

With all the words of wisdom printed and spoken among us, it’s easy to forget that words are not wisdom – are not whole incantations. They are abstractions, shadows and lures.

We stand on ceremony. Recipes must be followed: eye of newt obtained and boiled.

Though I still long for an easy fix of magic words alone. No quest necessary.

How old were you when you realized that you and someone you love could be sharing time and space and still experiencing entirely different realities? I believe I learned this later than most.

I believe there is a communicative purpose in silence.
I believe words can be a distraction at best, and lies, all too often. Unintentional or not.

A heartbeat cannot lie. A touch sometimes reveals more than intended.

Tension in jaw, or the ease of intercostal movements with each breath – these things can be heard, read, understood. The rest is metaphor and presentation. And the words, oh, the words can be nonsense and music: a chattering that says “I’m here, I’m still here.”

I am able to run again. I wonder if the truth for everyone is “again”. Every morning is a confirmation that nothing follows effortlessly – that life is not a matter of momentum, but of obstacles and exertion. Struggle is optional.

A clean MRI and “normal” degeneration, because despite what we tell ourselves, life is not a straight line of growth, it is a curve – if we are lucky.

I am lucky. Life is more than I’ve expected.

In the mornings – now that autumn is close – I sweep dead petals out of the yoga space. I lay out the mat, light the candles, and finish my coffee staring at the clouds through a rain-stained glass.

The first forward bend reveals the dreams lodged in my joints. The arching of my back makes space for them to free themselves, and fall away.

Right leg back, and arms overhead in a crescent lunge: inhale again. Stay upright. Stay open. Acknowledge the bones of the neck, give them the space they need to speak their wisdom.

By the time I put on my running shoes, I am ready for the chatter.

8 Replies to “Easing Mornings”

  1. Ren, I love this. Have been thinking a lot about words as I’ve tried to stay close by emails and Zooms, both disembodied I n different ways. So different from feeling my sister the minute she gets off a plane. Or a friend’s shy embrace. And I loved wondering when I first knew about lies.
    Thank you.

    1. Thank you as always for letting me know you are there and reading. I still hope someday we can meet up. … apropos.
      And Congrats on your recent poetry publication.

  2. abstractions, shadows and lures, as you say. uncommonly said into bare focus by this sequence here. but it is a rightly door to how you share. it’s not the words. it never was. rather, what animates your fingertips, what moves your lips. is it about who we are and who we want to be? thus we navigate.

    maybe the question I’d pose is when did the sense of intimacy become available without any qualification? (lost and found?) not just ungenerously offered toward only one other one. not a sugar spooned panacea, rather an opening, willingly, purposefully. discovery.

    but it is possible. and maybe the only thing we care about?

    I’ll share an answer I like. within this pandemic dressing a friend of mine came by where I was sitting, extending the tip of her pinkie-finger, an offering of doable genuine touch in a sea of restraint. glorious, no matter the measure. words are petals, experience is the flower itself. yes.

    we expend so much effort talking “about” experience, but yes Ren, that’s at least a step away. some might say this impossible challenge gifted us is the answer we are tasked with reaching across.

    my head would reply to much of what you’ve said, but that’s not what I want, nor to offer you in appreciation for being you.

    since last time, me too, real and physical. a thing in my head, now removed (the easy part) and a lower spine making me learn moving over again! I don’t remember choosing that, but here I am, exercises and healing engaged. more more to go. kindness for us all with broken bodies here.

    thanks Ren. you move me to look and see the way I want to look and see.

  3. Oh, Neil. Thank you for this. This kind of comment keeps me on the blog –
    You move me. And I hope that your healing process brings you (and therefore us) closer to what is important. And you’ve sparked something I am going to go journal about now!

  4. aren’t neil’s comments always so generous? i miss & love all of you so much. & ren — i’m grateful for these entries. i love what you say about dreams lodged within us. i don’t stretch often enough but when i do, i’m aware that i’m storing more than physical tension/strain. xo