Monday, June 8, 2015

Brainwash, Wax and Polish


I saw him coming, no I didn’t, I saw him standing in the lobby. He’d chastised me for reading a book in yoga class. Once; I never attended his lessons again. I avoid his lessons. Someone put up a photo on FB of me taken when I was 11.  In the picture I was reading a book. I can read a page in an elevator or when waiting for, say, a yoga class to begin. I didn’t appreciate being chastised for reading a book while waiting for the yoga lesson to begin.  I didn’t appreciate being collared when I was 11 for reading in class. I’d look at the granola plump, long skirted, baggy eyes good Samaritan assigned to the “We don’t know what category to put these social misfits into so let’s bag them all up in a classroom and sic a soft heart on them” class, and think she really ought to leave me alone; I didn’t want to read the big print history book with the insert box on African gourds. But that book wasn’t in that class, that was the next class the next year when I couldn’t believe my eyes that we were being instructed upon a gourd. What did we read then when I was 11 and in 6th grade?   

“Is it good?” he’d asked me as he collected my yoga token.

I smelled trouble. I placed the book face down on the floor. “No.” I replied. It wasn’t good, and yes I am a compulsive reader.

He turned away, and then his squashing intention overrode my negative affirmation. He turned back, “Books are for outside the yoga studio.”

“That pansy music in the back ground is distracting. Turn it off.” I wanted to say. But I didn’t.  I aped his passive aggressive smile back. “Yes?” I said as sweet as saccharine. Our eyes twinkled at each other. He had to begin class anyway so I waited for him to leave my vicinity and stop badgering me.

So when I saw him standing there in the lobby, I ducked into the yoga studio quickly with my book, Tony Morrison’s “Song of Solomon” under my arm. My mind was enjoying the book very much, and I was on chapter three. My mind was busy spending quality time on the concepts the book was weaving from African American mythology to Greek ancestors to identity switches to forlorn Sisyphus fun rides with everyman’s death as bait. Even when I wasn’t reading it, I was thinking about these things.  

“Is that a good book?” he asked. He wasn’t teaching the class, but perhaps he’d followed me in.

“Do you like poetry?” I might have replied, formulating a poem in my mind:

Strawberries and Cucumber
Cut up
Halved and cubed
Plate
June 6
Watery

 

“Think about it.” I said, perhaps. But then I didn’t say this, but then I did like my little poem.  So much for my little pre yoga anxiety moment with a large Dutch ghost in yoga or swim shorts.

 

“We will start today’s class with a poem,” the teacher said and she announced the title. “She Let Go.”

 

She let go. Without a thought or a word, she let go. She let go of the fear.  She let go of the judgments.  She let go of the confluence of opinions swarming around her head.  She let go of the committee of indecision within her.  She let go of all the ‘right’ reasons. Wholly and completely, without hesitation or worry, she just let go.

She didn’t ask anyone for advice. She didn’t read a book on how to let go. She didn’t search the scriptures. She just let go.  She let go of all of the memories that held her back.  She let go of all of the anxiety that kept her from moving forward.  She let go of the planning and all of the calculations about how to do it just right.

She didn’t promise to let go. She didn’t journal about it. She didn’t write the projected date in her Day-Timer. She made no public announcement and put no ad in the paper. She didn’t check the weather report or read her daily horoscope. She just let go.

She didn’t analyze whether she should let go. She didn’t call her friends to discuss the matter. She didn’t do a five-step Spiritual Mind Treatment. She didn’t call the prayer line. She didn’t utter one word. She just let go.

No one was around when it happened. There was no applause or congratulations. No one thanked her or praised her. No one noticed a thing. Like a leaf falling from a tree, she just let go.

There was no effort. There was no struggle. It wasn’t good and it wasn’t bad. It was what it was, and it is just that.

In the space of letting go, she let it all be. A small smile came over her face. A light breeze blew through her. And the sun and the moon shone forevermore.

The poem is by, well there are conflicting views on who wrote this poem. I liked it, I didn’t like it. What situation I wondered does this apply to? I asked myself that at the end of the poem. I took in the first half reasonably peacefully without chucking. What is it to be human? I just read a weak essay on this particular matter, and I must say I think it boils down to religion and money. Get it where you can, brainwash, wax and polish.

 

 

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