Tuesday, November 28, 2006

It's Oh So Quiet

Whilst activity on this blog has been quiet as of late, rest assured that life in the Bo world is ticking along at a most rapid pace. There have been potates mashed, pumkins pied, babies played with, friends kissed, and merriment all around.

Quiet for me usually equates to "Bo is trying to get her life into a bit of order". The new job has been wonderful but also filled with quiet a bit of travel, stress, and lots of learning. I've been trying to streamline my life. Gave up teaching my regular Saturday morning yoga classes for a spell. Also cutting away some of my less value-adding extracurriculars. It's all about making space in my mind and my body to explore that which is most important to me.

Even before I ever discovered yoga, it was always important for me to have a lot of "nothing time" - time when I can go into my head and my body and play in that space. I grew up with a very large family in a very small apartment. Between the 7 of us (my parents, my grandmother, my three sisters, and myself) we shared an 800 square foot one bedroom apartment in Flushing, Queens until I was 11 years old. We had one large walk-in coat closet in the very front of the apartment. I would climb into the closet almost daily, dig my way through all the layers of coats one would expect from a family of 7 and sit in the furthest corner behind my mother's very old and antique fur coat from Korea - one of the few luxury items she didn't sell off when we moved to America. I would sit there, one cheek pressed against the cold plaster wall of the back closet, the other brushing against the fur coat and breathe in the comforting smell of old clothing, mold, and moth balls. Even in the summer the temperature in the closet never rose much above a slight chill. It was as though the closet was impervious to the external world. In this space, I'd sit for hours, doing nothing more than breathe. No thoughts ever really raced through my head. I just found immense comfort in sitting and breathing. Sometimes I'd close my eyes, other times I'd stare out, focusing on nothing in particular. I would sit in the closet for hours on the weekends. Sometimes I would sing songs to myself. Nonsense songs for the most part with words that didn't make sense and melodies that changed with every verse.

It's no wonder that I naturally gravitated towards long distance running and yoga as an adult. It's not really socially exceptable for a fairly well adjusted woman in her early 30s to sit in the back of a closet for long stretches of time. It's during my long runs and yoga practices that I most readily find the lovely rich emptiness and solitude that I indulged in as a child.

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