The Metaphor

On my drive to yoga class I say a prayer asking to not get injured and use the class to feel grateful for this body and all the blessing attached to it- this family, these friends, this city, this journey, this day. Increasingly I feel the body is the source of all blessings, because how would you experience any blessings except through your body?

I’ve been puzzling over what embodiment really means. I guess in many ways it’s investigating the mystery of your internal processes- how often are we surprised by our bodies? I guess part of it is knowing if you eat sugar this is how you’ll feel in a half hour, an hour, 5 hours, and the next day. Knowing that if you have a rough shift and then a drink, and then another, you’re not going to make it to that morning yoga class, and you’re gonna feel tired and off even the day following.

That’s one level of it. Figuring out the basics. Figuring out hydration and sleep and down time.

But that’s like, ground level. There’s something else entirely on top of that. There’s the way the body is a creepily effective metaphor.

My core is the strongest it’s ever been. My money and apartment situation is also the best it’s been in….gosh, I guess ever also.

When I wake up and some comedy thing is turning over in my head obsessively, I go to class and I shake and fall in the balancing poses.

In my classes we do a lot of heart openers. Those are things like upward dog, the top of a warrior 2 pose, wheel pose. You’re sticking your chest way out. They’re supposed to help you lead with your heart.

They are difficult for me because my breasts are in front of my heart. So doing a heart opener means sticking my big ole boobies out there. When I do that I feel like I look like a joke. Like some kind of dirty joke.

How funny that the way we fed off of our mothers, the first nourishment, her body metabolized precisely to be what our immune system and brain and bone and muscles needed, is then a dirty joke.

Am I ashamed to be able to do that? To feed precisely and unconsciously, that my body has that magic and it doesn’t need my brain to do that work?

I guess I am ashamed of it. I guess I am ashamed of my love of small things, that it means so much to nourish someone weak into their strength, and that my body advertises that ability so loudly.

If I’m leading with my heart I’m more interested in the weak than the strong. If I’m leading with my heart I’m feeding myself a lot and then metabolizing my body as food for others.

I guess on some level I think that’s dumb. It’s dumb because it’s not how you climb up any power structure. It’s dumb because the weak and powerless are dumb, and the strong and powerful are smart.

Then at the same time I’ve met the strong and powerful, I’ve met people on their way to being the strong and powerful, and I don’t want their lives. I don’t want their loneliness. I don’t want their vigilance. I don’t want their addictions. I don’t want their fear.

With both yoga and this apartment it was important to me to pursue them partly to be a better catch for my eventual man. Two boys have made jokes about breaking in the bed for me. (My workplace is a swirling galaxy of dirty jokes, don’t judge me.) But now that I’m here I’ve found my will to make a male partner happen  soften. I love this little apartment so much. I love waking up in it. I love making my food in it. I love hanging pictures in it, I love sitting on the couch, I love standing at the sink washing dishes, I love sitting at the table typing this out to you, watching the little kids have their recess in the parking lot next door. (Ha, the security guard just brought back a maybe 7 year old boy who escaped the recess.) When I meet a man who feels this way I will love him with that open heart. Who feels like this sunshine and these smoothies and the skylight in the bathroom.

What I’m saying is my boyfriend needs to match this apartment. I’ve got a certain life aesthetic I’m putting together- strong core, gentle edges, as my yoga teacher likes to say- and he’s gotta be matchy-matchy with that.

God the kids next door are just screaming and jumping around with excitement at being outside. Being outside is really exciting. Being able to jump around is also incredibly exciting. I’m glad they can feel their blessings. I want them to never lose it, even for a year, even for puberty, even for college. I want them to feel the blessing of their bodies every morning. But I’ll concentrate on doing that myself first.

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