Yoga means “to yoke”, to join, to bridge. “Only connect”, wrote novelist E M Forester when I read his famous novel Howard’s End in my first undergraduate English class in 1969. My professor said: Only connect. For me, now more than fifty years later, yoga’s connections expand into a rejuvenation of the body and the mind. Yoga means holding out for more. Not giving up or giving in. It means giving up. Giving in. Yoga means sensual pleasure and the erotic spring. It means contemplative disembodied reflection. Yoga means somewhere between these spaces of opposition - an ease in whatever emerges.
Today the surgeon Dr. Mary Stephens dug with some determination into the sweet spot where the temple arteries run on the right side of my face directly in front of my ear. The arteries were delicate and elusive and it seems to have taken longer than usual to extract a piece of the artery to examine. A delicate specimen that indicated success in her handiwork. During the hour I was wide awake on the pillow, I turned my head on its side. In my ear throughout the procedure I hear a clanging and squishing and the inaudible gestures of a surgeon's blade. I resort to pranayama yoga breathing in my mind and in my mouth and in my lungs. The discipline calms me as a I think how this day surgery is definitely a very good strategy for torture movie scripts. Excruciating begins to encompass it.
Boxing Day 2020 It was a clear day. Warm for a city not too far south of the prairie taiga. The temperature had risen to just below freezing. This walk with Helen wound its way through Riverdale along the river. We stopped to investigate a perfectly round hole in a hollow tree, the work of… Continue reading Pandemic Journal 8/1/2021 – Simone de Bébé
By day, I count the inequities now underscored and bathed in broad daylight by pandemic effects. The youth with no future. The aged warehoused in dead zones. The mothers whose workday suddenly expands with childcare, teaching, and at-home paid labour. For instance, in my old haunt - the university, academic women’s publications have fallen off precipitously since COVID-19 appeared. The pandemic operates like a magnifying glass of injustices. ...Once I went for walks in the ravine. Now I listen to the rain from underneath the covers. The monsoon that is late May and sometimes June promises to go on through the summer. My psychic drama.
Winter solstice is in the rear view mirror. This year, spring is once again on its way as I write. Six hours and nineteen minutes into a next year. Every day creeps closer to a high rising summer. Yesterday afternoon was a solstice celebration of connection. Acres of food, hours with friends, a happy visit. Though I did miss all the beloveds too far away or stricken with illness or long gone.r
A terrible pain. A dinner with friends. A shiatsu massage. An adoring poodle. Not to mention Cuban salsa dancing. And avoiding the political scandals for the moment - the avoidance a temporary measure. And still the plot lines of White Supremacy leak into the narrative - a terrible commentary on our times.