Thursday, September 02, 2004

Drum in a circle at Meridian Hill Park (Part II)

The next week when I went to Meridian Hill Park, I wasn't quite as horny. But still it was a day summer could be proud of. And the drumbeat plunged me so deep in my senses that I could feel each grass blade pressing my souls. I was too shy to join the dance, so I did yoga under a tree nearby - a luxury, since I'm often hesitant about doing extreme yoga poses in public places. It's the risk of, as my friend Matthew puts it, "being too joyful in public."

As I was easing into bird of paradise, suddenly there came an innummerable swarm of three children: "What are you doing?" "That's yoga, right? I know about that!" "I can do that, too!" "Our mom used to do that..." "You're pretty!" "Teach me to do that!" "You've got leaves in your hair!"

The names of the swarm were Michael, Lisa, and Tanika. Michael ("I can do that, too!") fancied himself as a benevolent older brother dictator. Urgently I had to spot him for an overextended handstand; when he leapt to his feet, he beamed with pride. Lisa ("Our mom used to do that...") was made of lumpier clay, with heavier limbs. When I tried to help her with the gymnastics, she pushed the wrong way against my helping hands. Tanika ("You're pretty!") was as wispy as a silk handkerchief. When she did a handstand, I felt that I had to push down on her feet to stop her floating away.

The great B.K.S. Iyengar said that children cannot do yoga, and this is true; although there was much exertion and contortion, nobody was meditating or linking their movement to their breath, and as a swarm we were very competitive about who could do the coolest poses best (absolutely not a yoga attitude and a common cause of injury).

But it's also true that as a child your whole life is yoga, because you haven't yet separated your ego from the ego of the universe, and you live solidly in your body in the solid but mysterious world. Which is why most children's skin glows with health.

Except for Lisa. I think she had already met the snake in the garden of Eden. Michael: "You shouldn't try to do that. You're fatter than us." Lisa was grey around the edges. She had little bruises on her legs. She smelled slightly sour, like a grown up person. When Tanika winsomely took my hands and leapt into some weightless somersaults against my chest, Lisa shoved her away. "My turn, I don't want to wait!" Her heavy knee jammed into my chest and again into my throat. "Do it again! You didn't hold me right!"

Oh, Lisa. Of all the pain in this so-painful universe, is there anything worse than being the less lovable one? And I loved you less. It's true. I couldn't help it, even though I knew exactly what you were feeling. But I am sending you this wish: that the beat of the drums pounds into the marrow of your bones, and wakes up the part of your body that remembers how to dance, and that you meet the one who loves you most of all.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Help me Dude, I'm lost.

I was searching for Elvis and somehow ended up in your blog, but you know I'm sure I saw Elvis in the supermarket yesterday.

No honest really, he was right there in front of me, next to the steaks singing "Love me Tender".

He said to me (his lip was only slightly curled) "Boy, you need to get yourself a shiny, new plasmatv to go with that blue suede sofa of yours.

But Elvis said I, In the Ghetto nobody has a plasma tv .

Dude I'm All Shook Up said Elvis. I think I'll have me another cheeseburger then I'm gonna go home and ask Michael Jackson to come round and watch that waaaay cool surfing scene in Apocalypse Now on my new plasma tv .

And then he just walked out of the supermarket singing. . .

"You give me love and consolation,
You give me strength to carry on "

Strange day or what? :-)

3:59 AM  

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