Thursday, August 29, 2013

Fragility and Vulnerability

This has been a week of slowly putting myself back together (feeling very humpty dumpty, yes I am).  A yin yoga class tonight asked me to enter a pose that that the instructor described as "a pose to experience fragility and vulnerability for a very short time."  I thought to myself, "if this is what fragility feels like, then what is the rest of my day?  life?  Hm."

I've been reading more Cheryl Strayed.  This time I've embarked on a journey with Dear Sugar.  In response to a reader's question of "What the Fuck?" as applied to daily life, she answered:  "Ask better questions.  The fuck is your life.  Answer it."  This answer, which in its entirety also articulated a cruelty she'd experienced in her own life, for which there could be no answer, made it infinitely clear to me that there are times when we ask this question in a light hearted way, and there are a few when we ask and the answer is a head shake, the knowledge that bad things happen, and there's no real answer beyond the acknowledgment and increased compassion.  The fuck just is.  Takes a long while to figure that out.  As the introduction to the book reads:  "Inexplicable sorrows await all of us.  That was her essential point." And I return to my belief that those "inexplicable sorrows" are what have the potential to create catalysts for our growth of humanity, if we don't shut ourselves down.

And, in the spirit of compassion and asking better questions, I don't truly wonder at the fragility and vulnerability in my own life any more.  I don't relish it, necessarily, but I don't have much choice for how I exist in the world at this point--you can't very well put blinders back on once they've been removed.

I read an article tonight in the East Bay Express about a man who has created a documentary of the lives of homeless recyclers in the bay area.  These hidden people are the ones who wake me before dawn on Tuesdays as they rummage through the recycling bins that line my street, and whose clinking shopping carts I can hear for what seems like miles in my pre-dawn-wish-I-was-still asleep haze as I toss and turn on my pottery-barn-down-comforter-high-thread-count-clad bed.  Fragility?  Vulnerability?  Sometimes I simply have to laugh at my self.

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