There are days when worlds seem to be in collision and you’re caught in the crashing debris (back to Gravity again:). But I’m not talking about that vast space overhead, I’m talking about that vast space within. After dreamlike drifting through the fascinating ‘void’, where everything is possible and you’re in the flow... suddenly hulking elements of your psyche seem to loom at the curvature of space/time and threaten your demolition. Yikes.
It was one of those days yesterday, when I began to feel like Atlas (but without the ripped abs) holding up this big old planet (but it’s just this virtual magazine) and suddenly noticed the immense weight of the effort, and perhaps the absurdity of it all. The pressure on my beleaguered biceps became more and more intense as I struggled... How do I continue to hold this damn thing up all alone? (Okay, I am definitely not likening my task to that of Atlas (and I am eternally grateful for all my lovely contributors, without whom there would also be no magazine) but I am an artist so I need to see pictures and I do love John Singer Sargeant. And admittedly, if I were a guy and surrounded by all those writhing chicks, the task would be at once more riveting, yet more taxing...) (more below)
Now Sargeant's Atlas seems to be on a well-trimmed lawn, but typically he's somehow suspended in the clouds. Likewise, as I contemplate my imminent destruction, I then realize that in fact I am not standing on terre firma (of course, because I’m holding it up) but have both feet planted in thin air. My psycho-geographical quandary then springs to mind. Having lived all over the States, forever in migration, I am now wondering where in fact I really belong, not to mention where I can afford to live. So now two of the main considerations in anyone’s life (those are the hurtling space hulks I earlier referred to) now threaten to collide, with me and my big old planet in between. (Like poor Bernie Mac, in Bad Santa, crushed on the grill of his truck when the Bad Elf’s girlfriend plows into him in her Caddy.)
Okay, enough with the setup. Where I’m heading is here - I had to get down to some seriously deep breathing and remind myself that it’s all about the focus of one’s attention. Where you put it, is where you’ll dwell. So, my left brain reminds my right, consider how damned lucky you are to be alive (this is a condensed version of my thinking) and bloody well sod off with all this blubbering. You’re not dead, you’re not decrepit, you’re fucking full of beans so ignite that poot and float onward, girl!
But here's where my theme arises: that afternoon, when I hauled my sorry ass into a yoga class at a new, and much hippy-er studio, imagine my surprise when the lovely +50 yogini at the head of the class began to speak, although I don’t remember her exact words, more or less about the eternal flux between ease and difficulty, between harmony and discord... And how this is simply life, that it is at the core of what it means to be alive. And that yoga is the way to ride those fluctuations and accept them all. This on a day when I was clearly in the old “trough of despond” that the Romantics wrote about. Now that is synchronicity.
I remembered then, that when my parents bought an old house that had once been the studio of a famous American Impressionist painter, we found a few treasures left behind. One of them was an old hand-carved plaque that they mounted over their bedroom door. It said, in lovely script, “The Tide Turns at Low Ebb as well as High.” Yes, even those Romantics knew that. You don’t have to be Hindu or Buddhist to know that. You just have to be alert to remember it. Every day.
So here it is, another day, and I continue, in however a wobbly fashion, to keep this old globe in the air. Thinking now - Well, I may be up in the upper reaches of the atmosphere, but now I’m on this surfboard see, riding the waves of change... And actually that’s kind of groovy.
Thanks Universe, for providing me with that lovely moment of synchronicity; I should count on you more often to do that...