Community

Not a place or a state

not neat

nor tidy.

Sometimes gritty,

a bit contagious,

infectious even.

Community perseveres outside the lines ~

non-conformists

freedom fighters

spelunkers

reformed couch enthusiasts.

Community is a rage of members,

a trickster of inquiry,

an un-settlement of passion.

It is growth with purpose.

 

Warrior

“Yang, the masculine principle: light, active, outward and upward moving, hot, extrospective                                 (http://yogafortoday.ca).”

 

It’s not surprising that my first experiences with yoga were “yang”. Most of the classes that I took at the recreation center were yoga-aerobic. Remember the days of high impact aerobics? Step aerobics? Weight aerobics? Yoga was just another expected evolution in the aerobics trend of that small town in Northwestern Ontario. This was, of course, in the nineties when women, a la Jane Fonda, were supposed to attend aerobics class in high cut leotards and shiny tights. We were to be the “rock stars” of physical fitness. Of course, in reality, most of us shuffled into that first class in overlarge t-shirts and baggy sweats while the more self-confident participants actually wore shorts and tank tops.

 

Yoga, at that time and in that place, was introduced as a great way to warm up or cool down. The hook to get us there was the assurance, “Don’t worry, we don’t meditate or do that touchy-feely stuff.” Except for the one woman or lone man at the back of the room who actually wanted to do that stuff, we were all fine with attaining a modicum of grace while stretching into downward facing dog, cobra, and warrior.

 

For me, the challenge was to get the pose exactly right: stance, breath, and the transitional footwork from one pose to the next. When I stayed focused in yoga, I was lean and strong. I was a warrior.

 

I was “yang”.

Yang

feet firmly plant

mountain pose

while hands drop loosely

shoulders straight and eyes trained

 

breathe through nose

forearms cross (block)

right foot slides forward

knee bends to 45

while left foot roots into terra firma

weight balances equally

arms strongly hold at shoulder height

hands like blades

eyes focus over right hand

 

warrior two

 

– prepare to transition –

 

shift forward, weight on right foot

left front kick then

fall back

settle on left foot, over your shoulder

look

back kick with right foot

then side step,

block

Namaste

I had studied karate at a local dojo in North Western Ontario for three years, but because of a bad bout of mononucleosis and an injured hip decided that I needed to retire my gi for stretchier pants. Also, I will admit, I had reached the point in martial arts where I either needed to develop a more competitive attitude or get out. With a blue belt, there could be no more avoidance of sparring, breaking blocks of wood with a bare hand, or training for longer hours than I had time. Thus began my inner questioning. What exactly did I love about martial arts? Where could I get the same fulfillment without the stress of competition?

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My 250 Word Challenge

The Door

Only in the dark, could a glimmer be so bright. Or so Davis thought, when the door swelled beneath his fingers then burst through the grass like a budding mushroom. It drew him to his feet. Beneath his aching hands, the cool metal pulsed with the promise of release.

(Continue reading at Indies Unlimited, Flash Fiction Entries and vote here for your favourite.)

On Christmas Day, I read a blog by Martin Crosbie, whom I met at the Rural Writers’ Retreat in Smithers this fall. He reminded me through his article on Charles Dickens’ self publishing journey for A Christmas Carol  that even those “greats” began somewhere. That those classic authors we teach in school succeeded because of hard work, confidence, and a belief in their creations. Most of all, I guess, our writing and artistic heroes make it because they make a point of creating and publishing. Thanks to my Christmas lesson (even though I thought I was on holidays), I joined the writing site Martin recommended called Indies Unlimited, AND, my first New Year’s Resolution to publish comes in the form of entering a flash fiction contest. Learning to tell a story in 250 words or less is quite an experience! Although it was a bit painful to slash 100 words from my story I decided that it was worth the experience of (1) actually sitting down and writing and (2) putting myself out there in a competitive context.

Please, check out Indies if you haven’t already. Although I am very partial to my own story I promise you that the other submissions are creative and thought provoking, You might even be inspired to try the next writing challenge.

Into the matte jumble

clouds

Into the matte jumble

of thumb-pressed cotton

the shadow fell

through

fell

too slowly for the eye to notice

still

there was a sense

a notion of change

in the pulpy towers of cumulous

a cumulative knowing

that some Other being

was there.

 

It was

Not the green-yellow palette

Of pre-apocalyptic sky

 

although more reasoned minds

would wonder at this blindness

this unwillingness to see

what was so obvious –

nor was it the pinprick

of explosive force

that shattered preconception.

 

It was the subtle immersion

into the light-well

the realization of drowning

that brought her to life.

Being

In silence we travel;

through the lava beds we wind

wrapped in thought and acid

sweet melody.

Notes play upon my solar plexus,

ripple upward from groin to throat, subtle

waves of energy

keyed to my body like a lover’s hand.

It is my birthday, but we don’t speak of it

yet.

My attention drifts through fog,

seeks threads of blue between stone.

Momentarily I consider breaking

the solitude though it’s not heavy.

It’s the passenger’s obligation to fill the air, isn’t it,

With words?

Amidst the lava a shadow stirs,

shifts into Other shape –

Owl – Woman – Grandmother.

I should not gaze into those dark eyes, or

so I’m told. I cannot fear her still serenity,

or the gathering of life shadows beneath her wings.

Pinioned by love, forgiven for my life’s transgressions

of deeds undone, I

can only hope she will last a lifetime

even as she returns to stone

and mist.