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.
* * *
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.