Poetry on practice

April 27, 2020


Each morning I am astonished that I’m asked to lift my giant soft body off the floor. Picking up each limb, limp like a warm bag of soaking wet rice. Gluey and slow. Under my skin is just paste and popsicle sticks. I’m sure of it.

Then resistance begins to board my body like pirates or soldiers and a Rolodex of common complainers arrive for roll call. The regulars come belly up to the bar. How about those ribs refusing to turn? Why are the shoulders duct-taped to the spine? What are these parts that are always in the way?

I know this routine. I coax myself like spring calling at the mouth of the cave of some hibernating bear. I come stumbling out into the light in need of nourishment.

This is the process unraveled most days. Like a skein of yarn or tangled silver chain. All awkwardly lengthening as I methodically go about untying each knot. Organizing myself is undifferenced to creating a single file line out of wandering preschoolers. Such patient work. And there it is. I begin seeing with mothers’ eyes.

Some days I am a yard sale, throwing off unneeded rubbish. I am a weary grandma in a rocking chair. Still cold in my warmest sweater. I am a trapped fox. Eyes full of Wilderness and fear. Banging against its cage. I am a sparkling drunk teenager. I keep coming back here. I draw my knees below me and my forehead toward the ground to let the thoughts fall out.

My mat is a sponge for these exhaustive efforts. It knows all the versions and costumes I have ever arrived in.

It is here I learn to wave my little white flag more freely. This peace practice is a treaty I have signed and sealed. It is a raft in an open ocean, a treehouse far from adults, and even from great heights, a soft place to land. This practice is the professor that tells you the difficult truth. The reflection of yourself in every stage of your shapeshifting. This practice is the question that needs to be asked and The answer already in the heart.

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