IN writing class this week I was asked to make a list on what I am devoted to – it was surprisingly hard. I asked my husband “what do you think am I devoted to?” He didn’t quite know what I meant, so I said, “What do I really, really like; what am I always thinking or talking about?” “The Sun,” he said. Of course. I need reminding of what is in my own heart.
THIS morning I am practicing in anger smelted to sadness. Bad energy like sulfur fills the air, brings tears to my eyes. Sutras, chanting. I notice the sun begin to come through the trees behind the park. There is a whisper – through me – inside me – from me – or someone else – “Your anger is blessed, your sadness is blessed.” Transmute anger into positive energy, is what that old wizard’s facebook post said. Perhaps the sun is my catalyst – my body begins to move. Sparks fly in my hip joints, knee joints, igniting a fireworks strand along the highway of my inner thighs and sacrum. Backbending.
IF only I could keep the sun. In my youth, the sun so prized – like a jewel for its rarity
found among the rough of so, so many grey clouds. Ithaca, NY was “where the sun
goes to die.” Then I, in longing to bathe in the sun, uprooted myself from family. In devotion to Surya moved to the Southwest. Then perhaps took light for granted. Washed out my shadow-sister. Turned brown.
IN the Northwest, I cried for Sun’s lack – the ice, thick, black and cold each morning blocked the earth trapped beneath it. I am unable to even touch the earth through thick layers. Stung my backside when I slipped. Each step has to be calculated to avoid that bite. No dancing. I am crying. This greyness matched the color of my shadow-side. The color-sound of my shadow-sister’s moans and cries. I cannot make her content.
TO Colorado. To the sun, the sun, the sun. With seasons there is the guilt of begin indoors on a sunny day. The tendency to push outwards, always into the sun. I begin to notice shades – a sunny day in autumn has the look of evening all day. Some yellow leaves glint and I know the sun will leave. My shadow-sister, angry, cries.
I’M practicing. Listening. Inhale, exhale. Then there is another blessing. “Winter is the world’s exhalation.” Inhale, exhale. From a teacher: what is within is without; what is not within is not without. The relaxation of exhalation.
PRACHARDHANA vidharanabhyam va pranayasya (Yoga Sutra 1.34 The mind is also calmed by regulating the breath, particularly attending to exhalation and the natural stilling of breath that comes from such practice.)
TO never exhale…to never release. Oh earth-mother how could I deny you this stillness. Thank you, mother. Let me rest in your rest – inhale summer, exhale winter. I invite it, allow it, fear it, in the way one fears the act of stillness or looking in the mirror. Uniting with the shadow. Oh mother, exhale me into your rest.
INSOMNIA is my permanent inhalation, the permanent sun, inhalation unaligned. Oh mother breathe me into your darkness. Take me inside for exhale and rest.
THE Surya Namaskara (sun salute) includes the inhale, the exhale. The upright and the bowed. I am devoted to you, Surya and align myself with both your exultation, and your rest.