Tuesday, October 4, 2011


October 4

It is often extremely hard for me to do things without being told what to do.
This is a very strange thing, because no one has ever really told me what to do at all… I look at my mat and I think, if I go there by myself – I will feel silly. I sit on the mat and I think, what will I possibly do.

I wrote my first poetry book when I was 10 years old. I was in this dismal enormous school in Maine – fifth through twelfth grades and a jarring shift from my previous little Montessori open classroom… The teacher wanted me to do a project with her for a gifted and talented program (imagine a time when there was money in education for such things) – but she said, “I know you can do the work – but it has to be independent. I don’t know if you can do something independently.”

I was surprised she knew that about me. I did it. It was because she gave me permission – that I could do it then.

I have been practicing yoga for 10 years. Beyond that, I grew up with yoga and meditation – less as a practice, but more like learning swimming, in a way. So that when I came to it as an adult, it felt like a familiar old friend.
I say this to prove my credentials, I think. To tell myself I have the right to want what I want. But it doesn’t mean anything to me at all.

I want to stand on my head.

What if I fall. What if I hurt myself. What if someone sees me – or if I see myself as a fool.

Sometimes I crave movement – sometimes I imagine.

If it gives you pleasure… the new teacher says.
She also has us fold our mats in quarters before head stand. Imagine, it doesn’t have to be hard – the floor… doesn’t have to be unyielding or solid or painful…

So – the first definition of “Permission” in the OED is “The action of permitting, or giving leave.” The definition of “Permit” is “To allow, suffer, give leave, not to prevent.”
The second definition of Permission is, “Giving up. Abandonment.”

I can’t quite get my mind around it, but it feels like an inversion, doesn’t it?
The inherent nature of the relinquishing of power…

What is the relationship between not preventing and abandoning?

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