Sunday, April 17, 2011

Looking Closely

The desert is often more beautiful when it's seen from a distance.  When I'm looking around me as I hike, there doesn't seem to be much to see (not in a lush, running water, tree swaying kind of way), but the distant layers of purple mountains upon mountains and the lighting at sunset are pretty damn striking.  However, when you look most closely, and you notice tiny barrel cacti hidden beneath a scrub oak, or pink flowers poking their way out of cracks in a rock formation, or orange ocotillo tips, then the beauty makes itself apparent.  As I was hiking with a friend this evening, he mentioned that this was kind of like people:  from a distance they're all beautiful, at a certain level of remove they can be annoying, but when you look even more closely, and understand them most deeply, there's surprise and unexpected loveliness.

A yoga class with MC Yogi, in a warehouse studio on Mission, Thursday night provided me with an opportunity to have an experience that I could view from a distance, and to feel intensely close to.  I was able to practice anonymously, but to feel as if I was truly part of something more intimate.  And the class is still with me, in a "to be continued" sort of way.  I sweated.  I swayed.  I cried.  I smiled.  I laughed out loud.  I walked away in a daze.  I walked away with the words "be who you want to be now."  "Stop chasing who you want to be and just be it.  You want to be more?  Be more."  I realized, in that moment, that I did not know what I wanted to be, nor am I clearly seeing myself or the world around me.  I need my vision to both expand out and to zero in carefully, so that I don't miss out on details that may just provide unexpected moments of clarity and opportunities for celebration.

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