Perspective: the capacity to view things in true relation or relative importance. There are moments that naturally instill a broad perspective and year-end is traditional for the long view. I’m not big on resolution, but I’m an ardent fan of perspective. And I’ve had a bit of panoramic immersion at year’s end provided by a lengthy rectangle shaped from grocery bag paper. I’ve been sitting with this prod for three months.
“River of Life” the facilitator called it. “Just mark the far left side with your birth and the far right side as the present. See what emerges in between.” Daunting, to say the least. My River of Life sat empty for two months. Then one quiet night, in true staccato fashion, I measured and marked out the decades, exactly seven. A pencil with a good eraser became my best friend. Obvious birth, death, marriage events came first. Then slowly, day-by-day, entries would spill out: relationships, travel, moves, education, injuries, peak experience, jobs. I would wake from dreams of remembrance, receive ahas in the shower, gratefully garner downloads in conversation or the dance floor or gazing into the fire.
One of the most intriguing upshots is spotting how events are juxtaposed. Out of many compelling intersections, here’s just one for instance: I never realized I began meditating the same year I almost drowned in the Merced and that this was the very same year I hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. Really? These had never connected in my memory bank. And still bits continue to emerge and my pencil with the good eraser fills in another gap.
Right away I began to imagine the rhythms collag-ing their way above the written timeline. This too continues as a work in progress. I have danced the Cycles territory aplenty, a 5Rhythms landscape that explores how life moves in a wave. Yet all those hours of movement did not deliver quite like this. My actual River of Life is so long now and maybe I look backward with some accumulated wisdom. Wisdom that reveals how the rhythms are not so clear in their progression; they twist and overlap and weave. In this long perspective, I see how chaos began so very early in my life and continued as a guiding energy for so very long. It is also apparent that staccato has been a dominant companion force for just as long. Maybe staccato grew in potency in response to the chaos, a way to wrestle order out of turbulence. I am still fleshing out the emergence of lyrical and the way it overlaps and blends into stillness.
“There are things known and there are things unknown, and in between are the doors of perception.” Aldous Huxley
As instructed, 2020 was at paper’s end. Until I woke from a dream with a start, tumbled out of bed and pasted one more empty decade stretching beyond 2020 all the way to 2030. I wrote about this possibility in the last blog. About surfacing from a dive into the depths of mystery grave health challenge affords. Emerging into something quite unformed and surprising, allowing myself to want to keep being here, actually speaking it out loud, marking it as visible on my River of Life.
What spurned this missive today? Just a few moments ago, I penciled in Body Joy January 2005. Formative events just keep coming to light. Strange how some of the most obvious are the least accessible. Exactly fifteen years ago I was dreaming about wrestling myself out of the physical therapy clinic I had owned fifteen years. By the end of January 2005 I was teaching my first little Body Joy class in mid-town and I had received a tentative offer that led to the sale of the clinic in June. In this very moment I can feel how I nurtured that clinic into being for fifteen years and, in much the same way and in an entirely different way, I have nurtured Body Joy into being for the same length of time. At first it was this teeny quiet dance offering and now it is the umbrella under which I provide physical therapy, teach 5Rhythms and offer yoga.
Because Body Joy’s time had come, it once again stands alone as its own viable offering that combines all three of those passions. And since I am back in town and so incredibly grateful for all the grace in my life, I want to share that goodness on this last morning of 2019. Maybe you can join me at Centered Tuesday morning December 31 at 10:00am for a free pop-up class, before I re-start regular sessions the following week.
Maybe we can glean some perspective together. Whatever you are up to on December 31, may perspective offer you a bit of grace.