Corpe Diem

July 12, 2010 at 11:46 am 1 comment

I realized something as I was tackling my mess of stored clothes; taking things out of baskets and boxes and putting them in my near-empty closet and shelves.

For years now, I have lived in transitional spaces. University dorm rooms, student apartments, moving for a 2-year apprenticeship… and in so many parts of my life, I still act as if I am getting ready for whatever happens next.

The boxes of clothing are part of that. That sense that whatever size and shape I am now, whatever body I inhabit in this moment: it is only transitional. I have believed that about myself on the way up, and on the way down. Whatever I am, I won’t be for long. So I live out of laundry baskets and old boxes. No sense putting these things on the shelf, as if we were going to stay a while…

And, in some ways, this is true. We are dust, and to dust we shall return. Many things about this body I inhabit are transitional. This is a valuable thing to know about myself.

But I am reminded of a valuable lesson from one of my yoga classes. We talked about balance, and the difference between carrying weight on the heels, and on the balls of the feet. With weight forward, my instructor said, we are poised for fight or flight. We are prepared for whatever is happening next. But with weight back, on our heels, we are ready for this moment. We are ready for whatever is happening right now.

I started practicing that simple discipline at work, especially when I am standing, robed, before my congregation. Weight back, a physical sign of being open to the present moment. It actually helps me find that sense of worship, in my worship– helps me sink below the meta-fretting about the liturgy into actually experiencing the liturgy. And also, less lower back pain.

I have been circling around this truth for so long. This. Present. Moment.
And it feels like such an uphill battle, in this culture where to be “set back on your heels” is, well, all about setback.

This body, these clothes.
This family.
This work before me.
This beloved community.

This moment.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. AcceptanceWoman  |  July 13, 2010 at 12:12 am

    Hmmm. I know what you mean, and you’ve said it so well. That rocking back on the heels — I find this really valuable in parenting, too. Rather than the worry about this moment being the very one that sets the course for the entire future and therefor must go exactly right — a rocking back on heels, taking in the big view before acting — is helpful. I’ve found there are words that buy a little time, set things back in a good way, like “we’ll see” or “Oh, I can understand wanting that” that aren’t committal and allow for a changing of minds all the way around.

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