Sometimes we see our life not by how close we are to it, in it…as it were, but by moving away from the center, as in taking a vacation, or being sick, perhaps even entering the oh so foreign territory of being on our dying journey. Sometimes just the change in language reveals us to ourselves differently via uncomfortable syntax, weird rhythms and verbal structures, or the vegetation, food, and them ‘ferreign ones’ reveal our facets through unconscious, mysterious light. If we are not ‘this’ –are we ‘that’?
In the absence of titles, homes, and friendly connections, what persona emerges? What happens to our sentimental, deeply personal ‘me’ when leaving the large land mass of the US of A, or are thrust into the misbegotten jungle of a hospital? The rich, imperialist voice that is an echo of every American passport, like it or not, has some bearing on how we view the world, and it sees us.
When en vacance, or leaving our known body in some way, we are offered a different light, and if only because we are further away from blind observations of idiosyncratic, quotidian patterns our eyes open wider. Light seems to illuminate the small more easily than the large. Or perhaps the inconsequential becomes more notable, our cocooned lives more vibrant, simply through any change in light….we shine and shadow differently.
Some of the difficulty in seeing our big, sassy, American lives is to not become judgmental, for then all chance of really observing via a new moral moonlight disappears. Seeing only our loud faults of greed and assumptive imperialism do not let us change from being only that. If we are not ‘that’ then what do we offer? Are we ‘this?’ How do we take more than smothered ashes of our grandiosity to any ferreign shores? Do we have an image we then attempt to fulfill? Or, do we drive out blind like the bear who went over the mountain, ‘to see what he could see’? Should we be comparing? Adjusting? How much? Is it more graceful to be in a meditative state of oneness in order for the senses to ignite? What most sharpens the eye, ear, tongue? How to keep the heart open?
However I choose to travel, car, plane, bed, I hope to remain prismatic, allowing light from every quarter to suffuse my core, the difficult and sad as well as the gladsome and magical. I hope to remain open to not only who I am, but to seeing the possibility of my best Self dance under, and with, and through many moonlit moments, moral or not.
Asana: Adho Mukha Vrksasana/Handstand. Place the hands @ a foot from the wall, keep palms the width of the shoulders, kick the legs up one at a time, keeping them straight, and connecting the lift from the toes to the abdominals. Once safely upside down, drop the head, lengthen the lower back by continuing to pull the abs up, and move your energy into your fingers, not the wrist. Attempt bringing one foot off the wall, then the other, play, and enjoy your very different POV.
Health Notes: The Pose strengthens wrists, arms and shoulders, connects leg work to abdominal strength, bathes the brain in more blood, stimulating the mind, and gives an over all spark, and harmony to the body. Remember, if you’re depressed, go upside down, and if you can ‘play’ at it, so much the better.
N.B. This Daily Breath was inspired in reading Adam Gopnik’s, “Paris to The Moon,” in the week spent driving around the Dominican Republic.