Well, personally, I think it’s fairly obvious that she does. But here’s the naked confession: I am writing this as I sit here with my hair piled on top of my head, letting the creamy goodness of Excellence by L’Oreal, #6R (light auburn) saturate my strands.
Long day today (so long, in fact, that I began writing this when it still was “today”, although now it is, factually speaking, “yesterday”).
It began, quite surprisingly, with an automated telephone message from the boys’ Day Camp: “Due to severe weather conditions last night, camp will be closed today. We apologize for the inconvenience, and we wish to stress that the camp, itself, is fine, but the streets in the local vicinity are flooded, and electricity is out in the area. We fully expect that camp will be back in session tomorrow.”
What to do, what to do. By which I mean, how to get to Shala X? Because, I mean, my kids would have been perfectly happy to sit glued to the television all day long, Brian on Nintendo and Adam watching taped reruns of Avatar: The Last Air Bender on the Cartoon Network. But , leaving them for two and a half hours to do my practice in a far-off neighborhood? Sheesh, even I am not that obsessed.
Instead, friends were rang up, plans were made, and at shortly after 9:00 a.m., my friend K picked up my kids for a playdate. By the time I got to the shala it was well past 9:30, and my chances of getting any adjustments that I really needed were less than nil. But, as Janis Joplin once said, “Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.” And indeed, with little hope for any extra twisting action in Mari C or D, and no hope in hell for any help at all in Supta K, I floated through my practice as if I were the only one in the room.
On the way home, I found myself lured by the monkey bars, parallel bars and zip-line at John Jay Park and so parked on Cherokee Place and did the unthinkable: I entered the playground sans child (unless you count me, which was going to be my story if the playground police stopped me, who happened to not be there, instead replaced by a group of moms who also couldn’t send their kids to the Day Camp today). I proceeded to swing like a monkey through the monkey bars, a feat I was unable to do before I began opening up my shoulders in Ashtanga. I proceeded to noodle around with theParallel Bars and the Zipline and Rings Course. I must say: this is amazing R&D for Ashtanga. LOTS of opportunities to use your bhandas – piking your legs, lifting your entire body with your hands pressing down. LOTS of opportunities to stretch out those tight armpits (who hasn’t suffered at some point from tight armpits? if only I could open up my armpits, I might be able to achieve vertical arms in Urdvha Dhanurasana).
I think I just might build this playground thing into my daily routine.
Yada yada yada, it was time to pick up Adam from the playdate and drive him down to Battery Park City for a playdate with a friend from Day Camp. This was the second time I had been to Battery Park City, which happens to be right across the street from the World Trade Center site. I must say, this is quite the amazing community. Battery Park City is a complex of around six high-rises, surrounding a small and beautifully kept park. Just beyond the buildings is the beginning of the Hudson River Greenway, a beautiful path that winds up the Hudson River, meandering around playgrounds, concert bandshells, sailboat and kayak rentals, a trapeze school, and a meditation pond inscribed with this wonderfully ashtangic poem by Mark Strand:
What of the neighborhood homes awash
In a silver light, of children crouched in the bushes,
Watching the grown-ups for signs of surrender,
Signs that the irregular pleasures of moving
From day to day, of being adrift on the swell of duty,
Have run their course? Oh parents, confess
To your little ones the night is a long way off
And your taste for the mundane grows; tell them
Your worship of household chores has barely begun;
Describe the beauty of shovels and rakes, brooms and mops;
Say there will always be cooking and cleaning to do,
That one thing leads to another, which leads to another;
Explain that you live between two great darks, the first
With an ending, the second without one, that the luckiest
Thing is having been born, that you live in a blur
Of hours and days, months and years, and believe
It has meaning, despite the occasional fear
You are slipping away with nothing completed, nothing
To prove you existed. Tell the children to come inside,
That your search goes on for something you lost–a name,
A family album that fell from its own small matter
Into another, a piece of the dark that might have been yours,
You don’t really know. Say that each of you tries
To keep busy, learning to lean down close and hear
The careless breathing of earth and feel its available
Languor come over you, wave after wave, sending
Small tremors of love through your brief,
Undeniable selves, into your days, and beyond.
So, as Adam played with his friend, I explored the Greenway, found a quiet space on one of the beautifully manicured lawns where I practiced the Finishing Sequence (hadn’t had time to do so at Shala X) and considered the week’s interesting juxtaposition of yoga on the concrete edge of the Hudson followed by a Balance Bar and a Diet Peach Snapple with yoga in an open-sided barn followed by yoga-supportive freshly cut fruit, brown rice and freshly ground organic coffee (although at the retreat, Sir noted that coffee is not necessarily such a great follow-up to a yoga practice since you’r taking a nice, calm, post-practice body and wiring it back up with a Rajasic infusion).
At the end of the afternoon, we drove back to our boring, sterile neighborhood, where I quickly loaded on the hair color, whipped up a pitcher of pink, girlie cocktails (Absolut Citron, Raspberry Liqueur and Peach Schnapps) in anticipation of a visit from my friend S from Manhattan Beach, California. Rinsed the color-crap out of my hair, conditioned, plopped and scrunched (if you haven’t been reading the Curly Girl stuff then you might think that this is more scatological humor…but it is not…it’s curly hair maintenance), threw on a slip-dress and my new Kork-Ease and ran the five blocks to pick up Brian from K’s house, ran home to wait for S to arrive.
The night ended about two cocktails and four hours later. It’s 7:30 a.m., and now it’s time to start a new day….