finding the groove

record-player-for-the-blind-300x225We 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.


3 thoughts on “finding the groove”

  1. Not only are you connected, you are a blessing. Thank you for your words, your thoughts, and all that brought you to them.

  2. Your timing is spot on, Jennifer. I was just having an afternoon where I was thinking, I do feel beloved, and in the hearts of many, but also feeling really alone just now. You aren’t close enough to lay hands, but your words have a touch of their own. Thank you!

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