I got a new bamboo rug for my kitchen, a pale grass green, composed of narrow wooden slats, slightly less that a quarter of a inch wide. It's 4 x 6', and perfect for yoga, so to celebrate, I got out my yoga mat and did a session to a favorite DVD. The session ends with my lying on my back, observing my breath for several minutes. This is something I have to make myself do. In a live class, the final deep relaxation is a luxury I sink into with ease, but getting myself to do that, lying in the middle of the kitchen floor can be challenging. I'm too close to all the things that tug at my anxieties, all the things that need to get done; often a cat is milling around, rubbing up against me, chewing my hair. But what I learn when I allow myself to relax on my kitchen floor is that my body is happy to have been stretched and encouraged to take deep breaths, that my body is full of love, the way a cat's body is full of love when it curls in your arms, vibrating with purrs. I think of all the ways we—women in particular—disapprove and abuse our bodies, this loving creature that so wants to purr and be petted, by others of course, but moreso by ourselves. Sweet, sweet body. This fills me with tenderness and sadness. I've never been comfortable speaking of The Body as an abstraction. My body and other bodies I've encountered in my life, with their frailties and mortality, point to the futility of abstraction. My mother's terminally ill cat who shits, pees, and vomits all over the floor. Sometimes I will clean up all three leakages in less than an hour, and it's so easy to resent her, but then she looks up at me with her huge blue eyes, her body rumbling with love, or after I take a shower, she leans over and licks the coconut oil off my feet with her little pink tongue that tickles, and I'm reminded that part of my duty in adopting her is to love her, and resentments dissolve. And of course, taking care of her spewing body is about my being a thousand miles away for much of my mother's terrible cancer death, and by taking care of her cat, I'm symbolically taking care of my mother. I imagine with it being the anniversary of 9/11 tomorrow, many of us are thinking about mortality, both individual and global. On his Facebook page, Christopher Breu was talking about the difficulty of writing an ending that isn't a conclusion, and that's what I'm feeling now. I started this post, but how do I get out of it, a process which entails it's own sort of mortality. Or we could be more glass-half-full and focus on new beginnings. I'll end this post, and at 3:00 in the afternoon, I'll get dressed, and I'll do something gloriously productive with my life. Or not.
After I finished the above, I found this video posted on Karla Milosevich's Facebook page. Perfect.