Inversions. I don’t do them much in yoga mostly because I can’t. I have not put in the effort to suspend myself upside down balancing on my neck bones, picturing each vertebrae smash into the base of my school while blood rushes to my head on the horizon of my mat. My life has felt a bit inverted but as of late I’m starting to see everything come together even after it has crumbled. Sand moves and changes, ancient in the wisdom of the winds of change and in the powerful force of water and fluidity.
My work inversion practice has become such that now I am a leader. I feel that I can plant some heirloom seeds of my learnings at the elementary school. As I look back, I know feel a sense of pride for the things that I felt mattered to me, to the kids. I wrote and was awarded grants for Osprey packs so we could saunter down those crooked, winding trails. I left that legacy. I took the kiddos to volunteer at the Humane Society, down Piedra River Trail, up Chimney Rock. Children are a powerful force, fluid, wise, ever changing.
It feels like so much pressure to have kids eyeball me as I move around the classroom to pick up some of my special buddies. I see eyes peering through door cracks, smiles flashing atop tip toes skipping across the commons, feel little hands grip my thighs in hugs and touch my long braid. They so want to be seen and as I uncover feelings and thoughts I realize how alike we all are. We all want to be seen, just seems adults do it in even more sneaky ways, eyes peering from doors that were shut a long time ago.
I miss teaching yoga but have been watching videos, collecting cues, deciding how I will once again get my steady practice at a steady time. I miss crawling into the womb of a 6:00 am heated class, feeling safe and strong in the motherland of my soul. Lots of pressure there, too, folks thinking that I may know more about their personal practice. Cleaning up cat vomit is yoga. Snapping a child is yoga. Getting into a violent fight is yoga. Yoga that will cause immense self-reflection and change. Sometimes things have to be upside down to come up right.
I’ve been touring farms and spending more time around farm folk, simple folk, or really folks who have decided to make a living the best way they know how—minimalistically and cheaply. I know not to guzzle down the kool-aid too quick after our first hard frost and getting messages about the cold becoming a mean ol ex, frigid, thick and heavy. Then I watch shows about living mortgage and rent free, watch contractors frame out tiny spaces and remember I have friendships with many carpenters. Electricians. Van-home builders. I can barter my dreams.
As hard as life has been here in Pagosa Springs, I can’t let the fuzz of my own sadness cover the lens of life. Life becoming a movie with the camera covered in soft panty-hose—the kind used in filming Gone With the Wind. Out of focus pink and ominous horizon and sharp image of Clark Gable not giving a damn. I’ve channeled some of my own Clark-ness not giving a damn about the old crotchedy landlords, the mentally ill friend, the narcissistic ex. They are all just archetypes of folks I will encounter over and over. Love me or hate me, it has nothing to do with me.
I was at a friends farm talking with my best Old Timer buddy when the owner comes whipping up the drive and yells out “road kill!!!!” We are now in a Bronco, back hinge door flapping and creaking over every rock as we tear down the dirt road. We find the slick patch of fresh blood on the road and pull over. I try to shut the eyes of the deer and let it go. I am directed to grab the leg by the tendon and give one heave and warm pile of red chunky stuff falls out her mouth. Blood on boots, hands, pants. She is still warm and I’m worried of breaking her limbs. Then I realize—its doesn’t matter. She is dead. And so it the old version of me.
“With enough courage, you can do without a reputation.”
-Rhett Butler, Gone With the Wind