Our giant new television came with high definition. While my husband marvelled at the crispness of the picture and the exciting quality of the sports events, I noticed something else.
The illusion of reality had disappeared.
Exploring a personal, eclectic path by looking at the intersection of three great traditions.
One of my yoga students approached me after class. She wanted to discuss a scene from a book I’d leant her.
“You know how the author is teaching a yoga class, and one of his students breaks down crying and he cradles her head in his hands and acts as her witness? And then he shows her how to be her own witness?”
“Well I was wondering if you could that for me?”
Sure. No problem.
Home. We don't really know how we feel about it. We may reject the place that raised us and seek to escape its troubling pull. Or we may long for an idealized home and set out to find it. But home is something you can neither escape nor find in its perfection. Rather, “home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.” (Robert Frost) We can't avoid the imperfection inherent in living with those we haven't chosen. And even those we choose can disappoint us, and we them.
Sure, I love bad boys. They’re sexy, rebellious, often funny, deliciously scary. But why I really love them? Because they’re honest. Because they know how to suffer. On those days when Facebook is filled with “humble brags” and Pollyanna affirmations, I find myself on the side of those who aren’t afraid to complain.
Fear. We’re in it all the time. The cancer patients I teach, friends on the financial edge, my husband who has nightmares. A disturbing childhood vision--an intruder climbing a ladder to his room but somehow never reaching the sill--means he hates to be alone in the house.
I don’t fear death or burglars, just failure and ferris wheels. But that’s been enough to affect many life choices. I don’t drive or have a career (or enjoy amusement parks). I lead classes and ritual, but both make me sweat. I imagine my friends rolling their eyes as I seek reassurance for something I’ve done a hundred times before....
It comes up every few months. It starts small but soon enough blossoms to a full-time preoccupation. I drift through reality, experience heightened by desire, appetite sharpening my senses. I’m unable to resist the enchantment even when I fear the strength of its pull.