Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Vinyasa Mama

I never understood balance until I grasped that it was more than weight-bearing and strength, that it was reaching up as much as it was squaring the foot to the floor.  Pushing out in every direction from the center: that's what balance is.  A form of flight within stasis.  

I don't know what life "balance" is, I doubt I'll ever know, and I'm not sure I want to find out.  Sounds dreadful, like the "terrible disease" in O'Hara's "Personal Poem":

a lady asks us for a nickel for a terrible
disease but we don't give her one we
don't like terrible diseases

"Life balance" always strikes me as some kind of hidden terror within stasis--now I have it figured out, where the hell do I go from here?  "Balance," the way some women talk about it, sounds like a kind of defeat, a weighting down with responsibilities, and a new reflectiveness about how to distribute the load.  It refers to an achieved state, not of consciousness or being, but of remaining on friendly terms with the world.  An anchoring?  

But balance can't be a static state--the body is always in motion--even Robert's body, his heart beating away, the blood moving through his veins, his mind sweeping in the day, and his arms extending for what cannot be grasped.  Nothing is static, nothing remains balanced in one place for very long--like a rapid photo sequence, the grass wavers, the clouds shift overhead.  

Go out and meet the day: balance.  We don't like terrible diseases.  We don't give her one--the nickel or the disease?  An act of compassion or a refusal to be cheated?  Go out and meet the day, stretched out from the center in all directions.  Refuse to be cheated.

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

Hmmm...yes. Balance is over-rated, isn't it, at least the way it's touted in today's world. I am thinking of the Cat in the Hat and his endless list of things that he is "balancing" as he spins on the ball. But balance in yoga IS like an anchor and only when you think still within and movement without can you achieve it, sort of and only for a moment. Right?