I don’t walk in a week what I would run on a single morning before 7 am a year ago. I don’t recognize myself. Yoga is difficult and, although I still have my balance, I have lost flexibility. But I am healthy, and maybe it is okay not to recognize myself on occasion. Maybe that’s a sign of clarity and plasticity. Things change and I can choose what I want to take up again, and what I can walk away from.
Run toward again.
We’re back to digital school for a few days. So close to the end of the term, and I feel like I’ve accomplished little in terms of teaching. It’s been an exceptional year and I have been unsteady at times, but I have also been able to be there when people needed someone to be there. There is teaching in that: in my obvious imperfections and my obvious acceptance of them. I will not apologize for my life. I will not negate any part of myself.
The funny things is that I’ve noticed no one else cares. I can only assume that I was never fooling anyone by myself, or that … no one actually cares.
Which is a good thing. I think.
In the last couple days, I have understood – really understood – how random the moving bits of the world are. All these things/events/collisions we rationalize with a cause and effect we think we can chart and judge. We chart and judge to keep what’s frightening at arm’s length. If they brought it on themselves, we are safe. None of us are safe. The people we love are not safe. And that is too hard to accept.
No act, no action
is a promise, though every
action is a prayer
I’ve been wondering why we are so hard on ourselves. Why we – as they say – internalize the boundaries and standards other people set for us. I was thinking about strict religious communities that whip themselves with an eye toward a heaven. But agnostics and atheists, too. Do we fence our lives in according to our stories? The books, the films, the lessons taught in narratives: cause and effect. How to earn the “reward”. Use the right toothpaste, wear the right brand of yoga pants, sleep with the right people. Are we all trying to be good enough to earn the gold star?
Maybe it’s just me.
That’s why I do this: write these little missives. I’m reaching in order to feel securely connected to in the world. That’s my long view. And it’s become clearer than ever lately that this reaching is absurd. It’s trying to overcome the human condition.
People can fall away from us no matter how good all of us are. We, too, will fall away because all of our connections are both imperfect and wonderful.
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The problem of safety seems to extend far, far back in human evolution. We feel safe in our groups (bubbles, tribes, families, religions) because the world’s dangerous and we aren’t in control of it all. But even our group fails to protect us fully. We ought to know that, but it scares us.
I dunno…aging seems to have mellowed me a bit. Easier to let things go. (But I recall, vividly, that there were times I hung on desperately).