Little journals everywhere. That’s what I have. Half empty notebooks that tell partial stories and house incomplete thoughts.
I’ve only ever filled one journal from front to back, and it’s this thick, squishy one covered in a giant pastel cat that my dad gave me when I was five. Or maybe I was four. Either way, it was forty-ish years ago, and it moved with me from Alaska to Texas, by way of a brief stint in Kansas. It was the most important thing I owned — never mind that it was full of kindergarten thoughts — and somehow, I missed it as I packed my car for Oklahoma twenty years ago. In any case, it is the only one in which I’ve filled all the pages with my measured handwriting and unmeasured thoughts. (It’s also the only one I’ve ever lost.) I don’t have a reason for that — for not filling any others, that is. There was never a decision attached, nor is there symbolism to look for. It’s just what is.
Little journals everywhere.
I piled them up today. I gathered them from my desk, my closet, my nightstand, my laptop bag; and I piled them up. I sat in the middle of my unmade bed and read them. I always make my bed, but for this, I needed it to be messy. Between sips of coffee, I took in each word, reliving old adventures and outgrown philosophies. I settled into these past stories of somethings and nothings, and I marveled at time’s portentous ability to go so fast while standing still.
I surprised myself when I unthinkingly tore out the first page. And then the next handful. I surprised myself by not needing them anymore. I ripped them in half and then ripped them in half again, and I kept going, saving only the entries that made me feel something. It sounds fitful, but it wasn’t like that. It was calm and benign, really — like tearing off a gum wrapper.
Little journals everywhere.
I typed all of the entries that made me feel something into my beloved Text Editor and then tore them up, too, leaving partial journals full of blank pages.
Some are short — one sentence long — and some could qualify as a novella. Some are full of sweet silliness and others are steadfast ideas on life. Some speak of family or love or sex, and some are dreams I remembered to write down upon waking. I wrote a letter to coffee in one and processed the horror of 9/11 in others. Many are just me writing out loud as I prepare to teach.
I didn’t plan to do this this morning, but things like this are never really planned. I also didn’t plan to write about it, nor did I plan to share any of it; but, here I sit with a partial cup of cold coffee to go along with my partial stories, and it’s clear that plans don’t really belong to today.
from one of my little partial journals — written 10.31.16 in an attempt to find true answers for one of my studios
It’s funny — the things we use in the yoga world to describe concepts and actions and such. At first, I struggled with that, but it occurred to me that these concepts and actions and such are happening whether they’re named or not, and yoga came from India, and India’s words sound funny in the western world, so really, it’s just words. I love words. Now I love these words. They’re poetic, really. Even the ones I don’t know yet.
It seems I’m teacher of the month at Soul for November. It’s nice but a little uncomfortable to be put out there so.. so.. so visibly. I guess that’s the word I want. I have to answer questions like how I’d spend an ideal day off. I don’t know. I truly love all of my days. Camping in the mountains, maybe. With a few close friends. Hiking. Bushwacking. Doing silly yoga poses on a log. I’d like to drink a beer and read a full book by the campfire. That would be nice. I’d like to wake up before everyone else and write while sipping coffee as the sun rises. Or maybe I want to explore an unknown city. Feel tiny amongst the tall buildings. Feeding on the energy of hurried strangers. Wandering into used bookstores and coffee shops. Dodging cracks in sidewalks and people watching long enough to make up silly stories about them.
I have to decide what I’m most passionate about outside of yoga. People probably guess running. Some will say writing. Some may say climbing mountains. I think all are true to an extent, but I’ve had some experiences, some insight, some shifts in perspective that have turned my passion more toward relationships — not necessarily romantic, but with my people. I think that above mountains and words and trails lie my connections with those I’ve started to call my family. If I were to tell the story of being at the top of Hope Pass, looking around for my runner, and then bounding down the side of the mountain, thoughts of life moving as quickly as my feet, and in those moments, truly realizing that my people are more important than all the other things, it might be understood. At least logically, if not by heart. So my passion is my people. I wonder if I can put that out there?
And one word that describes my teaching? Honestly. I can’t give a one word answer to anything. My mind is a mess of words. Hopeful, maybe? Hopeful that my students feel something from the inside out. Hopeful that they allow themselves to be in the moment they are in, and hopeful that they aren’t suffocated by the moments before or after. Hopeful that they leave stronger and sweeter. Hopeful that I don’t fuck it up.
Originally published at https://talesofgritandgrace.com on April 27, 2020.