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seeing

The other night at yoga I chose a section of sidewalk as my drishti. I was in a studio in Minneapolis that I’ve only been to once before. Though I was looking through a gauzy curtain into the murk of early evening, I was pretty certain that I was looking across the busy road to the north of the studio and beyond to a pale ribbon of sidewalk. Balancing in vrksasana on my right foot, I could see the firefly that had hovered over this spot in August and the little boy rocketing gleefully down the same path a year earlier, pulled back by his mom by the collar of his shirt at the last moment. There was old woman standing on corner, supported by a cane; an ice cream truck idling for customers on a June afternoon; a gay man on his way to the neighborhood clinic in the late 80s; the owner of the C&C Tavern stooping to pick his keys out of a snowbank sometime in late ’78.

It was all there in one gaze point on one late December evening.

I broke my drishti and shifted to my left leg, re-finding the pale strip whose story was so delightfully unfolding. Just then, a car took a turn and threw my little point of focus into high definition with its headlights. A tree! What I had made out as a yard or two of sidewalk was actually a tree trunk, its upper branches hidden by my limited view out the window.

I smiled. What else do I believe I know and yet am actually blurry-eyed in my perception? What other stories do I tell myself based on “facts” pieced together by my limited senses? And if you’re gazing intently with curiosity and love, does it matter which truth appears?

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