Wednesday, December 17, 2008

"Mmm, the sun's out--hey, I feel WARM! Maybe it's warm out!" I said to C, snuggled under five layers of down coverlets. He kissed me with icy lips and set a steaming mug of coffee down beside me.

"Your information is incomplete."

After he had gone I noticed a light white mist in front of my face. It was my breath. Yes, I could see my breath in my bedroom. That can't be good.

Yesterday the house was so cold (49 degrees) that I bundled up and went to a Bikram yoga class where you can take unlimited classes for ten days for ten dollars. It was so worth it. For the first time since this cold snap started I was warm, I was hot, the sweat was streaming down my body.

Bikram is basically yoga in a sauna. They heat the studio to ninety degrees and everyone is there in tiny shorts and teeny tiny tank tops which become soaking wet as class progresses. The instructor is trained to bark out very non-yogic things like, "Push! Push! Go beyond your limits!" but I ignored her and did what felt right to me.

I had a whole narrative going on in my head about how I'm fifty, I'm stiff, I have short stubby peasant legs and a long body and I am not shaped like an Indian yogi, etc. etc. Then I happened to glance around the room and noticed a beautiful young woman at the far side of the studio, doing the poses perfectly. She had no legs. I repeat: she had no legs.

I had chatted with her in the dressing room, but only looked at her face. She had prostheses, which she took off once the class started. She was doing the poses on her thigh stumps. When I talked to her after class, I noticed that she also had no fingers, just palms of her hands, and fused-together stumpy things where the fingers would be.

Okay, so then I pushed myself a little harder.

We watched Letters from Iwo Jima last night with three comforters wrapped around us on the couch. In the movie you know all the Japanese soldiers are doomed from the start so it's heartbreaking to watch--it's not a question of if they will die, but when. there is one who truly wants to live and at the end of the movie he is still alive, but barely, a wounded prisoner of war. The whole "war is hell" thing is brought home to you over and over, until you can't escape it.

I am wrestlingthis morning with not working. Actually, I have twelve schools I need to contact/recontact for this Poetry Out Loud thing, so that will be work for January. And I just got a check from The Writing Salon, and expect a check from MORE and another check from The Sun when the Dede piece comes out there. My bank account is healthy.

It's more that C goes off every days to the wars and I stay home and have freedom, and that's hard to reconcile. I sometimes envy him the cameraderie and sense of purpose his work situation can provide and I know he envies me my freedom to devote myself to writing and creating. And in these uneasy economic times we both worry about the future. I'd like to embrace it with open arms, whatever changes may come, but when I'm numb with cold my arms don't open so easily. I just talked with my sister on the phone who sensibly suggested that I check with PG&E to see if they have any programs where you can get a subsidy to insulate your home. Sounds good.

1 comment:

Virtual Memory Archive said...

I just read "Baggage" in The Sun and I wanted to tell you how wonderful I thought it was. Thank you.