We all have some mental stutter – right? – that pattern that comes up and comes up – the scratch in our vinyl surface where the needle gets caught. It gives us an authentic sound – it’s better than Memorex – even if that sticking spot can be annoying as hell. Sometimes we don’t even see them – our tendencies, our habits, our repetitions – while others we face again and again. Exhausting and yet rife with possibility.
At a therapeutic yoga training last week with a group of yogis, nurses, and physical therapists I put my hands on the shoulders of an Ashtangi/musician, cradled the head of a mom who had just gotten some hard news about her son, and rubbed the brow of a strong young woman who had a perpetual smile on her face. In each person, I could feel and hear some of their bumps and cracks, the places where they repeat-repeat-repeat their energy; the narrow spots where it gets stuck and the spaces that widen up and make room for relaxation.
So why at 3:00 AM do I get this “holy fuck why am I so alone?” feeling? It’s my skipping spot, learned early in childhood – a ding from being an only child, perhaps, or some other ancient wound. It doesn’t really matter how it happened, just a gentle reminder that it’s there, this deep groove on my vinyl.
And then I recall that I can place a warm palm on this place and breathe into it just as all of those people melted under my touch – each of us just yearning for that point of connection. It’s not always easy, but in the murky gauze of late night, I remind myself that I am that physical therapist in Minneapolis on the juice detox. I am the 3rd grade teacher giving little carved animals to her class that she bought for them on her trip to Mexico. I am the yogi-healer from Santa Barbara who has had three bouts of cancer and yet glows with optimism. I am my golden-eyed dog asleep downstairs, and the cherry tree out in the yard that’s yearning to blossom despite this long, cold spring.
Holy fuck, we are all one is a lot harder for my linear, pragmatically Midwestern brain to grasp. But my heart knows it and longs for this groove. C’mon needle, skip on over.