September in France finds me under prepared physically, aesthetically, emotionally. It brings us rain and grey clouds, and only a few trees have begun turning red. Today I feel a bit blue. Weary of the same loose black sweater and dirty jeans, of the hair falling in my eyes. This feeling of home is fleeting and soon to be far flung—I fly to D.C. on Sunday. Benjamin asked a few times if I would like to put my things in the drawers, but they’ve remained in piles atop my luggage. A metaphor, if you know what I mean.
There are no yoga classes in Fontainebleau. I practice yoga on dusty carpets in the living room and on cold wooden floors at the gym. Yesterday I ran through a C1 class by myself, skipping balancing and about half the chatarungas. The gym on campus has a room for aerobics, weight lifting, etc, a hell with fluorescent lighting and warped mirrors. Staying with my practice demanded special effort; pausing in down dog for four or five breaths, half hearted warriors being judged by the invisible yoga teacher in my ear.
Finding myself in a place of judgment and declaration. Like, I won’t eat baguettes for the next thousand years, and to prove my point I nearly eat an entire loaf, topped with rhubarb and butter. Like, I will do all eighty chatarungas in this series and to prove it I drop to my knees. I couldn’t stay present in the practice yesterday, couldn’t find a place to be practicing in a full and present way so that when I am not practicing, I might also feel that presence and fullness. When I finished, I felt as though it never happened. The same can be said about this relationship with Benjamin. How to be with him in the fullest way possible so that I still can be without him in the fullest way? When I’m alone I can’t understand my being so timorous and, I suspect, neither can he.
What does this have to do with yoga. Is it being wary, nervous, afraid of attempting all eighty chatarungas and collapsing on the sixty seventh? Like, I’m embarrassed someone will see me unable to complete a pushup?
In Paris over the weekend, Benjamin and I ate at least four chocolate éclairs. In one day. Being in the city, and being in the city with him, was perfect, in a less dramatic sense of the word. The city makes me want to meet it with its same pace, sound, life. The desire to dig deeply into the ground where I am walking is nearly overwhelming. What I say next sounds like something Kira would say, and so I attribute it to her: We start journeys because there is a feeling that something could be better. I say the same about why I began practicing yoga, and why I flew to France.