Well, this Palimpsest Project is proving hard work!
Mostly, I think, because my life feels a little complicated right now, and I always have trouble sharing things when they aren’t quite ‘cooked’. This might be because one of the best-worn pathways of my inner landscape is suppression. It doesn’ t exist if I don’t acknowledge it, right?
Er, wrong. It’s much harder to practice avoidance like this when you are in your body a lot – a body really doesn’t lie. For example, this week, I have been feeling very alone. So many of the people I love are not able to be with me (physically and emotionally): they are dead, or on another continent, or simply unwilling or unable, for whatever reason. Particularly poignant, since this week was the one-year anniversary of our move to Melbourne.
Tellingly, my chest, shoulders, and biceps have been incredibly stiff. A stiffness no amount of stretching could release. Because the holding was emotional. Eventually, I went for a massage. The therapist, a really good one, was tuned in to all the hear chakra stuff I had happening, and sensitive. As he stretched out between my shoulderblades, I felt a strong resistance to opening there. After the massage, I went home and cried a little. Finally, feeling it. Freeing it.
And of course, the main place I work my emotions out is on my yoga mat. I get on the mat, and I decide to be open to whatever comes up. Quite often, I cry. It’s such a relief!
I also play music when I practice. Not tinkly stuff, mind you. The stuff that brings me into my feelings. Right now, I am playing Blood Sugar Sex Magik, for my dear, dead friend, who is much with me these days. Especially Breaking the Girl. It was his favourite song.
I am also playing Maxwell Unlpugged. His cover of Kate Bush’s This Woman’s Work gets me just about every time – I should be crying but I just can’t let it show, should be hoping but I can’t stop thinking.…
I love the other cover on this album, of the Nine Inch Nails song, Closer, rendered almost unrecognizable by his musical arrangement. It’s a great song either way.
And, in order to fully feel, and then release, the strongest attachments, the ones that are really causing me to suffer, have been practicing a slightly bizarre form of metta, with my surya namaskara. A note, before we get to the (badly lit, taken at night) pictures: please don’t try this unless you have been working with your breath for a long time. It can be a little strenuous!