Length, Width, Breath

June 22, 2009

Two statements from my childhood and early adulthood keep popping into my mind lately.  The first, from some time in early high school, came from my theater director, in response to students’ nervousness regarding upcoming auditions: when you get on stage to audition or perform, the only thing in the world you can control at that moment is your breath, so let go and breath.

The second came from my aunt, I think during college.  I don’t remember how the conversation came up, because I generally don’t talk about my dating life, or lack thereof, with my family. It’s possible, in retrospect, our conversation had nothing to do with men, but historiography of the moment has made it so. But I remember my aunt responding to my frustrations by telling me “if you make space in your life for what you want, it will appear.”

It’s no shocker these thoughts have been surfacing – as you can imagine, in teacher training we talk a lot about breath, and yoga in general is nothing more than creating anatomical space in the body for breath to move. But in my personal life, as well, these topics keep rearing their heads, lately in opposition to one another; or maybe it’s not opposition, but counterbalance.

The problem with me and my big super ego is my monkey mind will happily grasp on to anything that says I’m failing.  So it’s very easy for me to blame the lack of romantic intimacy in my life right now on something I’m doing preventing me from making space.  At those times, I have to remind myself that the only thing I can ever control is my breath in the present moment… and even that’s subject to change.  Just because the next He hasn’t shown up yet, doesn’t mean I’m necessarily doing something wrong, it can relate to countless factors having absolutely nothing to do with my actions or inner weather.

It’s hard to wrap my  brain around the thought that He exists somewhere right now, I just don’t know him yet.  That we are two paths which will ultimately intersect, “when the time is right.”  PS, Author’s Note: that sentence, “it’ll happen when the time is right,” kind of makes me want to rip my eyeballs out.  I understand it’s truth intellectually, and I appreciate why people feel moved to say it, but emotionally there are only so many times you can hear it at 28 before it drives you to hari-kari.

But it’s true. He’s out there somewhere, and when the space exists and all the myriad factors over which I have no control collude he’ll appear. Patience, however, is not my greatest skill.  To wit, I wrote a poem a couple months ago, which I’ll air here.  I admit, I’m sheepish about publishing it – it doesn’t feel done to me, especially the end – but I’ll just breath, copy and paste in the space below:

You’re out there You-ing
I’m in here Me-ing
And I hope in your You-ing
You like what you’re doing
But I’ve spent a long time longing

I’ve always wanted an Us to be
But I was busy for a while, hating my Me
I’ve freed up some time and some space for a We
Maybe it’s rude to ask you to hurry?
It’s just that I’ve spent a long time longing

I’m trying to let go of my Will-ing and Was-ing
I’m trying to grasp my Being and Is-ing
I’m trying to live Now and not in Then
I’m trying to like where I am, but
I mean, I’ve spent a long time longing.

I don’t know what it means to We
I’ve only ever had to Me
I know a PerfectUs just Isn’t
But a TryingUs can Is
And my Me would sure like to try
After a long time longing

So I’m here in all my Me
Waiting to meet all your You
If you could please just pick up the pace
Damn it, I’ve spent a long time longing


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