Monday, August 20, 2012

A love letter to the Intermediate Series

Dear Intermediate Series:

 I am no longer scared of you, I think you should know.

You are a fun, playful thing, aren't you? Nakrasana? The sheer madness of your Karandavasana? Ok, I'll play...however exhausted by that point in the game, I'll play... But can you tell me when the hyperactive, super-alert, climbing up the walls feeling will subside? Too. much. Prana! I'm like a cracked out puppy after we play.

I am slowly falling in love with your beautiful, strange arc. The way you start with a hanging foreshadows what is yet to come. Your multiple peaks leave me breathless, and just when the twists make me feel like we are winding down, you go out with SEVEN headstands.

Really? Seven?! Is that necessary?

Sometimes, after we play, I worry that I may be forever broken. You are opening me in such new ways: seismic shifts are taking place in my hips, they often feel unhinged. I wake several times during the night with this surprisingly calm thought: I wonder if I'll be able to walk in the morning...But mostly, it's that you bring to surface my deepest worries and fears, and make me look at them with an unflinching gaze so that I don't have to carry them around any longer. The bag gets heavy and it's time to purge. You have made me intensely aware of my fear of death in the past month; I have wept at the realization that I am afraid not of death itself, but the process of aging and dying. I hope you know that I do not speak of wrinkles and silver hair when I say 'aging', but of illness and physical pain; of the grotesqueness of the human body when broken, this grotesqueness that no one wants to speak of for fear of reminding themselves of its reality. We are made of flesh and bones, organs and viscera that will, with time, fail. I am once again reminded of what Chuck Miller said: All around me I see people dying, yet I live my life as though it will go on forever.

Perhaps it is not so much that I fear not being able to walk come morning; it's the knowledge that I'll be walking in a different way, a new way. It is the intense, unbroken awareness that my old ways are dying that makes me feel fully alive.

With love and gratitude,

Erika A.

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