Monthly Archives: January 2010

Silence

Dear Blog,

This is what I would say if I could feel well enough to write.

The bad side is, when I’m not doing well, neither is my blog. We’ll sit in silence and stare at each other for long periods of time (the cursor always blinks first). When my emotions are tangled, so are my fingers, and I can’t write. I get knotted up. I get tongue- and finger-tied.

Thankfully, Kyeli said it for me instead.

Hope to see you again, soon.

Love, Dawn

Off the Typical Yoga Trajectory

I went to a new yoga class this Sunday. Near the end of the class, we held the position of Downward-Facing Dog for 5 full minutes. For non-yogis, in Downward-Facing Dog you have your hands and feet on the ground, tail high in the air. Your body makes two sides of a triangle, with the floor being the third side.

Instructions on Downward-Facing Dog, from Yoga Journal

The teacher gave instructions for holding this length of pose, similar instructions that I’ve heard from other yoga and meditation teachers. “Often in life, we don’t push ourselves. We would rather be a little lazy or take the easy route. Use the length of this pose to challenge yourself, to push yourself beyond your comfort zone.”

As we entered the pose, I thought to myself, “What if I’m the type of person who never takes the easy route? The person who is always pushing myself to work harder & longer, who skips lunch and drinks with friends so I can get more done?”

As my head hung down between my arms, I felt in my body the truth that no matter what the instructor said, I needed to apply the pose to my own needs. I don’t need to learn how to push myself harder. Instead I need to learn to relax, to listen to the subtle indications from my body that it’s time for a break, and to actually take that break so my body knows fully that I’m listening.

Three minutes in, I lowered to my hands and knees and rested comfortably. Instead of feeling guilty, I savored the experience of learning just what I needed to learn.

Edit

There’s a way that I lose my writing voice when I start to edit. It’s worst when I try to edit while writing, try to overthink my audience, what they want, what they will think about whatever is going on in my head. When I try to write “a blog post” and be all official about it, it just gets bland.

Monday morning at 4:20 AM, I remembered that I write best when it comes out stream-of-consciousness. When I don’t worry too much whether the uninitiated reader has all the background necessary to understand what’s going on. I woke up that early, thinking about my friend Kate’s newest book The Book of John (check out the excerpt). “New” as in “not actually out until May 2010, but I’ve got the freaking Microsoft Word version because I’m just that cool.” I started reading the book Sunday night, and forced myself to go to bed because I had to work early on Monday morning. But damn Kate and her damn books, they get under your skin, they whisper into your dreams. They have some secret way to tell your cat that there’s more important things to be doing than sleeping, and they hypnotize your cat into meowing in your face, pawing your shoulder until you are wide awake and thinking about how heartbreaking this book is.

So I surrendered to the power of Kate’s book, and got up and wrote her a stream of consciousness review. And even now I can’t imagine publishing it direct to this blog without editing the fuck out of it. And since “the fuck” is the juicy part, if I edit the fuck out of it, there’s really not much left. So I’m writing this review of my review, trying out my looser voice, the voice I use freely in emails to friends, but still haven’t quite found a way to publish it to the interwebs. Kate is beyond an inspiration to find my own voice, speak my own truth, own my vulnerability as the most precious of the crown jewels.