Friday, May 09, 2014


It's always been there.  Hazy, nebulous, that nameless shiny thing that never loosens its grip my on gaze and my imagination.  It's just that recently, I've come to understand why it draws me in.

Vastness.  Infinity.  Enormity.

From a very young age, I loved watching Lake Erie.  The sight of the waves, and seeing nothing but water was mesmerizing.  No land visible beyond its bounds.  Just wave after countless, powerful, comforting wave.
Then of course, there is the sky.  Daytime skies, whether clear blue or sculpted with clouds, still hold my gaze with the same allure of the stars, planets and unknown bodies of the night sky
I also found my friend vastness in the ocean.  I loved sitting on hot Caribbean beaches and watching waves on an even larger scale than those I knew in my childhood.  Learning to scuba dive really turned this concept of vastness upside down.  Sure, I'd swam in big bodies of water before.  But when the life that resides beneath those waves is presented to you right before your eyes, it is a whole new sensation.  Well, it's really that you are presenting yourself to that life that resides beneath the waves.
It was diving that really solidified how and why the vastness draws me in.  It's exhilerating to be completely dwarfed by something.  I love diving for all sorts of reasons.  Exploring shipwrecks, deep caverns, seeing ocean animals, feeling weightless...  But it's the overwhelming feeling of awe, of being present in an environment I am not naturally equipped to survive in, this is the real thrill for me.
I realize that my interpretation of this has been shaped by my experiences - mostly leisurely, never really a danger, not part of my daily drag...
So, it's been this discovery  that leads me to ask the question:  What is your relationship to vastness?

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Getting back on track

So this post was written about my first practice after my surgery in the end of March 2014.  It was a simple day surgery, which meant I was back in my own bed that very same night, but it's amazing how something that can be explained away with words like "simple" and "Day" can still wreak havoc on my body.
Moving on.   So I'm on my mat for the first time since that event, and one of our cats decides to join me for sun salutations. Being a unique and carefree individual, Refrito has his own little yoga routine which mostly involves a lot of scratching of my mat, and snugging up against my hip while I'm in upward dog. There is also a little batting of my hair while I'm in downdog - note to self: Procure eye protection for next practice.
As I was preparing to get really annoyed with these feline attentions, I realized that Refrito was supplying an opportunity to think about equanimity - that great yogic goal of being calm, unflustered, accepting of those things we can't change. There it was, a great, giant lesson squirming there before me in a black, furry mass of energy! My mat is a place where lessons like this are not lost on me, since most of the time I spend there, I'm making a conscious effort to pay attention to the rumblings of my brain. The real trick is bringing this same level of attention of the rumblings of my brain when I don't have a quarter inch of spongey rubber beneath me.