Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What are your sentiments?

posted by Melissa

This week I have had two momentous points of finishing something I set out to accomplish.  And after tomorrow it will be three things, although the third is not quite as satisfying.

On Monday night, I finished All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy.  I have been working on this book since the late Autumn.  And here it is Spring.  Reading books is something I wish I did more of, like eating fish or having patience with my kids.  I find it extremely hard to find books that capture my attention enough for me to get past the first few pages.  Short attention span maybe?  Or refined literary taste?  Sadly, I think I know the answer.

*            *          *

Today, I finished my 30 day challenge of Bikram yoga at the SweatBox here in Capitol Hill.  Amy and I went to the morning class, and my friend Kristy came along.  Our teacher, Laura, made the class special in so many ways (she often does).  Today she read an inspiring poem at the beginning of class and another at the end.  I swallowed back the urge to cry during the poem she read as we all rested in our final savasana.  The feeling of gratitude for being able to show up everyday, the depth of her appreciation for our dedication to ourselves and the words of the poem all came together and hit me right in the center of my chest.

The Good People

The Good People everywhere
will teach anyone who wants to know
how to fix all things breaking and broken in this world –
including hearts and dreams –
and along the way we will learn such things as
why we are here
and what we are supposed to be doing
with our hands and minds and souls and our time.
That way, we can hope to find out why
we were given a human heart,
and that way, we can hope to know
the hearts of other human beings
and the heart of the world.

Danny Siegel

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And tomorrow I will finish tai chi month.  Wishing I had done more.  But being OK with simply learning about the ancient practice, opening my horizons to kung-fu movies, and incorporating 5 minutes of walking meditation into my daily life.

I think it is through the yoga that I learn to expand my attention span so I could reach my goal of finishing the novel.  It is also through practicing simple things like slow walking or walking meditation for just 5 minutes a day, even if it is in the midst of children yelling and pushing to get to the bathroom.  Leads me to wonder what other books might I now be able to finish?  What other uncomfortable situations might I be able to bear without letting it shake my foundation?  

In All the Pretty Horses McCarthy writes, "In the end we all come to be cured of our sentiments.  Those whom life does not cure death will.  The world is quite ruthless in selecting between the dream and the reality, even where we will not.  Between the wish and the thing the world lies waiting."

The word sentiment can be defined as: A view of or attitude toward a situation or event; an opinion.

Yoga cures me of my sentiments.  

in gratitude,



Anonymous said...

First congratulations on all three...for you especially the book. While I was at your place last Nov/Dec you were very interested in it, so I happy you finished it and enjoyed it so much to finish it. I remember being a young mother of two and rarely had the energy left at the end of the day to read a book, it wasn't until you were both in your late teens that I could read again, sometimes two a weekend :) I love to read now and find I go off in to areas that lead me to other wonderful places in the world and lives. So relax about it, you'll have your time to do much more reading in your future. My thoughts on Bikram, I believe you've found a passion in life and that was your first intent writing the blog and experimenting with with new things each month, you so accomplished a goal in that light. On to find other passions that will enrich your life even further. Relax and slow walk right through the barricades, more is on your horizon. Much love, MOM

Anonymous said...

PS I'd love to read the book, I'll look here and if I can't find it save it for me :)

Melissa said...

Thanks, Mom. What great insight and advice. xoxo