I forget who said it – either George Bernard Shaw or Oscar Wilde – but “being gentle” sticks in my mind. I do the best that I can.
Bikram Yoga is an interesting exercise in wearing that discipline down. We’re supposed to look forward directly into the front mirror, ignoring all the beautiful and scantily clad bodies around us. I usually do well – deflecting even the attentions of the women that want me to look at them – until triangle pose, which is about the 40-minute mark. By that point, I’m pretty much worn out, and my eyes begin to wander.
I do try, but I guess that part of the problem is that I’m such a long, skinny rail. I’m not strong enough to fully express the postures. I’ve also discovered that I’ve not been using the muscles in my pelvic floor, which was creating havoc with the tendons on the inside of my legs. There are certain postures that just hurt, so I sit them out, which causes people to wonder why I’m breaking the practice. So they look at me, and my brain, in its weakened state, follows the interest back to its source.
Strangely, the floor series is even worse. I’ve been struggling with ever-intensifying waves of grief during corpse pose. I know that I’ve been disturbing the other students. I finally broached the matter with the owner, and Rachel, sweet-heart that she is, just offered me a free choco-coco water.
The challenge has broadened over the last couple of weeks. Women are just so incredibly beautiful. I try not to look into them, but even just taking in their shape has gotten them to start dropping the fact that they have boyfriends, or prominently displaying their wedding bands.
I think it has to do with exhaustion. I’ve been getting about five hours of sleep a night for the last couple of weeks – well below my subsistence level of six-and-a-half (I really need eight, I think). It’s also shown up in my driving. I’ve found myself in embarrassing situations a couple of times, basically avoiding accidents through the alertness of others.
I did go back to church this Sunday for the first time in six months. I was fine at St. Paschal’s – the children’s choir their is so clear in their intentions. And I’m getting better at restraining the images of taking the celebrant aside to correct his theology. That showed some at Skyline Chapel, where Pastor Manny took the time to sit down with me after service. I’ve only spoken to him a few times over the years, but what he said was like balm to my heart.
Brian, I hear what you’re saying, but every time you talk to me, I have to let my heart work on it before I know what to do with it.
God, I didn’t even know that anybody was listening.