I suspect my sense of loss, of the quickly fading opportunities that Summer takes away with her, was part of the alarming burst of tears that overwhelmed me in Shavasana Saturday morning. My first class in three weeks, thanks to wave after wave after wave of family visits and births and baby-snuggling and granddaughter-playing. Undoubtedly, part of the release those hot tears arose from was muscular -- running is a good way to let go of stress, but it tends to crank my muscles tighter and tighter, and without yoga or Pilates or some disciplined stretching at home, the torque reaches a nearly audible level.
The heat pricked my eyes once or twice during class, but it wasn't until my newly-elongated back settled into my yoga mat in the final Shavasana that I felt tears form. One rolled from my right eye, then another from my left. I tried to ignore them, to concentrate on my breathing, but they didn't stop, and finally I had to wipe them away. And they kept coming, and I kept trying to wipe discreetly, and I had to shift my breathing to my mouth because my nose was clogging up, and I could feel my chest wanting to get involved as a tentative potential sob shaped itself.
Frightening as this was -- who likes to cry, unexpectedly, in a room full of people (albeit reasonably enlightened and supportive ones, albeit most of them prone, eyes closed) -- the moment reminded me of the tensions that impact my body, even as I keep moving, responding to all the external cues in my world. The external cues may come from beloved sources and attending to them may bring me joy in return for the energy they demand, but the internal will not be ignored forever.
I'm trying to figure out how to take that Learned-Once-Again message into the next few weeks. Trying to figure out how to fit the right kind of Me Time into a month whose days are already well marked up on the dayplanner. Not just trying to get to, but prioritizing yoga classes before my body gets uncomfortable enough to slow me right down in its own stealthy way, before the tears burst out in places less manageable than Shavasana pose at the end of a class . . . .
Sorting through travel photos, writing about them, writing connections between here now and there, then, this is one of the kinds of Me Time that satisfies me. You were wondering, were you, how I'd circle back to justify the photo, what a cardinal on a Roman street might have to do with a grandmother crying on a yoga mat in a small West Coast city. Just as much as this man below does, striding equally powerfully, gracefully, up a street in Paris' 13th arrondissement one hot June morning. This one I snapped the year before last, and I was reminded of the image as soon as I looked at the cardinal on the computer screen. Connections. Connections made by me. Random, perhaps. Even erratic. But somehow affirming me, the connector, the viewing eyes, the same eyes cleansed by those alarming tears. . .
And since these photos skew rather patriarchal, here's another one, taken within days of the one above, but this time, if I remember correctly, in Paris 12th arrondissement, another very hot day, but look at that beautiful dappled shade, and the gorgeous colours of this woman carrying her plastic bag full of laundry. . . .
In a world with more time -- more Summer, perhaps? -- I'd put this post aside for further editing, shape it into coherence more convincingly. As it is, rather than watch it languish in that sad folder of Drafts Forever, I pass it over for your perusal. I'll be curious to read your comments, but have no particular questions to invite them today. Meanwhile, enjoy your Labour Day!