Force of Nature

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Lumbar Puncture, 2016

Some of you may know that for a while now, I have been deep in a healing place with a serious injury. There has been so much to say, but never the right moment to communicate. Each time I begin to write, my understanding of my injury shifts, often very rapidly. I gain and lose confidence again in my ability to tell my story.

The ease with which my physical form navigates the world, normally taken for granted is missing. Space and depth and height hold different meanings for me now. It has been a tremendous opportunity to grow in experience and understanding. Stretched in this new way, my awareness can no longer shrink back. Simply put, we’re fragile and vulnerable, all of us. And yet, if we can accept this about ourselves, we are powerful beyond measure.

I feel I have been lucky to occupy this healing space in life a few times now. It has always been a moment of deep transition. A jumping off point. A ripe pause. In fact, taking pause signals an openness to what is to come. Becoming comfortable with not really knowing what comes next, and letting go of the urge to push through somehow. Doing so might mean missing the story.

You do not know what wars are going on down there, where the spirit meets the bone.

-Lucinda Williams, “Compassion”

A curious thing that I am experiencing is that while I don’t outwardly appear injured (well, not much), the injury impacts everything I do, and everything I love. I walk with a cane. It signals the world to be gentle with me, and reminds me to be gentle with myself. My injury has forced me to navigate the world, and to experience connection with other people differently. To make novel decisions and to see new possibilities for myself. And, although I badly want to heal, I like the person that I see. A friend described me as a “force of nature” and I thought, yes, that will do.

Another curious thing is that no doctor really knows how to help me. They are doing what they can do, but that is not much. They have admitted to me that they have never seen an injury quite like mine. They’ve told me that it’s my job to become an expert in this. And so I read and I study. I try, and sometimes fail to strengthen myself. I learn to “work around” like athletes do, making other parts do the work of the one(s) which can’t. All the elegant connections of the body are now more apparent to me.

under stand
I’ve Got to Teach My Friends How to Focus a Samsung, 2016

For now, these words of Sherri Rose-Walker perfectly sum it up…

The Wisdom of Brokenness

Among The People, it is said

broken vessels are holy.

Lightning cracks mended,

bound with twine

to hold the integrity of their shapes,

they are blessed, given grain

and sacred stones to hold.

The wounds of such vessels

see, breath, allow

inner eyes to see out,

outer eyes to see within.

Cracks, fissures,

gaping mouths of broken doorways

are passages for mothering air

to bestow her luminous light,

stir new breath,

alter the alchemy of time.

Make of my wounds gateways,

breathing and seeing;

bind up my broken shape,

fill me with still music.

-Sherri Rose-Walker

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Puja, 2016 – Photo by Ramon Chamadoira

Pranams,

jjz

4 Comments

  1. I feel your pain, Janaki. Thank you for sharing. I have been having ankle/foot problems since I arrived in Bolivia 3 weeks ago. I almost couldn’t walk for a few days. I stayed in one place for 6 days to rest to heal & another town for 6 days in nature. One of the messages from my body was to slow down & rest. I was travelling a lot, carrying 35+ kg on my back. I was finally able to walk for more than 20 minutes a few days ago. I am now doing more resting in Buenos Aires, catching up with reading & on line courses (The Compassion Course). I went to the contact dance jam last night (with a slight sore foot/ankle). Now I have a sore s.i. on my left sacrum. Time for more rest, self care, self love acceptance and introspection. We may be in a different path, but we are all on the journey of life together. Life is a Dance. ❤ Satyadev

    1. Om Satyadev. I agree with you. Sometimes the message we get in yoga is to “push through”, unfortunately. The message I am now getting (energetically, more than anything) is to “work around”. It has all manner of delightful implications, and will probably be the subject of another post! Nice to hear from you. ❤ Janaki

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