How is your unique genius today? Have you made time to tend to your embodied voice this week? I stood in the shower yesterday morning thinking about the transition from summer into fall while water fell toward my feet, as if rinsing away the August heat that left me sweltering right up until summer left, and September strode in. Summer, always lumbering a little as she labors into fall. There were moments of nostalgia echoing around me in the city, falling into the space between the mid-day heat and the undertone of autumn air that accompanied students flooding back to school, shifts in schedules, and shorter sunsets, and I felt this year, for the first time in a while, like maybe the end of summer didn't have to only be something to mourn, that I didn't have to think only about what of her I would miss.
I've thought a few times this year about how much emphasis my yoga teacher training placed on the transitions. How it wasn't just about arriving into the pose, but the body's process of getting there, the mind's steady guidance through that liminal space that can feel strange and frightening and less skillful, and how allowing ourselves to be in that process of transition with less self-criticism cultivates a compassion we can carry with us into our other endeavors. Sometimes, if we rush through those spaces, either on the yoga mat, or the written page, we miss the surprisingly best parts of witnessing our humanness, and the beauty of our vulnerability, the things we discover when we're willing to explore.
It's so similar to our writing practice, both the transitions onto and off of the page, and between lines and words and in so many of the workshops I've taught this year, part of the magic has been someone confessing to the cacophony of their inner critic either before they write, during, or after and my favorite part then becomes sharing a confessional poem, and us all re-remembering the expansive ways a poem has of holding whatever utterance we need to speak.
There are other things I had planned to tell you here---the staff meeting where we talked about how content we choose to put into our writing is just as important as the learned skills of craft, an elaboration on Kurt Vonnegut's above quote and all the ways we experience our becoming both moving on the yoga mat and penning words onto the page---but I'd rather invite you to explore this all with me in real, embodied, transitional time.
Creating Our Way Forward
My invitation to you is to come write with me this fall at GrubStreet where we'll explore the way our poems and prose are holding vessels for the full range of our humanity, and how our bodies are vessels carrying us through memory and transition. We'll experiment with the ways a contemplative, compassionate consciousness---coupled with language and imagistic, sense-bound writing--- allows us to alchemize the experiences of head and heart into meaningful art.
Here's where you can find me in October & November:
6 Weeks, 6 Poems
Begins Thursday, October 4, 10:30am-1:30pm
Writing with the Self as Witness
Friday, November 30, 10:30am-1:30pm
See links for more info & to register--Scholarships available for all classes; see links for details.
Group Yoga Classes
Nothing new to report yet on group yoga classes. I was invited to an audition at YogaWorks last month, but was teaching Poetry & the Body that same day. I will keep you posted.
As always, hit reply and let me know if you have questions, objections, or content suggestions. I always love hearing from you.
To Embodying the Transitions & Forever Flowing Ink,