What were once vices
are now fond memories.
Nostalgic for the sins of the past
committed under the illusion of youth
and carried into a mid-life crisis
that can’t be explained.
Wisdom is acquired through pain
and karma comes around
when you least expect it.
Past transgressions are no longer hidden away
in the darkest corners of my soul
for the darkness was torn asunder by catharsis
and illuminated by the tears of awareness.
It’s all grist for the mill,
fuel for my transformation
into what I was meant to be all along.
Today I am celebrating Thanksgiving and expressing gratitude for the blessings that I have in my life.
Despite the stories, the myths, and the controversies that surround this holiday and what it represents to many people, I pause to reflect on the people who participated in what we refer to as the first thanksgiving which was more than likely a simple harvest feast. I think of the hardships my Pilgrim ancestors faced, arriving in a strange land in the fall of the year with only what they were able bring with them on the Mayflower and few provisions. Half of the ship’s passengers did not survive that harsh winter. I can’t begin to imaged what it must have been like or what it took to endure it. I also think about the hardships endured by many other ancestors since that time. As I reflect on my ancestors and their trials, I have a greater appreciation for what I have.
In the course of tracing my ancestry, I have come across many amazing stories and contributions to history. For the most part I’m proud of my heritage. However, I’ve learned not to judge my ancestors. They were not perfect. They were doing the best they could with what they had. Looking back at history, we can see that they made mistakes along with their triumphs just like when our descendants a century from now will look back our our lives and see our mistakes and our triumphs.
It does us nor our descendants any good to sugar-coat our history or to make it politically correct to suit our current sensibilities. We need to take history for what it is, even if it’s uncomfortable, and to learn from it so that we may try to be more enlightened than they were, hopefully to make a better world for those who follow in our footsteps
. I firmly believe that it is the responsibility of each succeeding generations to be more knowledgeable, a bit wiser, a bit more enlightened than the generation that preceded them. I have hope that my children and my grandchildren will be wiser and more enlightened than I am. I hope that they learn from both my successes and my failures. I hope they will see where I have erred and strive to do better. This is what I have striven to do in my life.
I was perusing some yoga blogs this evening when I came across Deep Thoughts on Grounding Thru the Sit Bones. The post was about how wisdom comes with age and the differences in how we expend our energies and place our priorities in our youth and in our later years.
I particularly like was the paragraph about her 80-year-old yoga teacher. It was quite inspiring. I hope to be still be doing asana when I’m 80.
One thing I find so inspiring about my teacher in Madison, is that even though she inhabits an obviously aging body, she moves with such grace and ease. I watched her feet while we were doing Adho Mukha Svanasana, and they looked so strong and balanced. Nothing scraggly or misshapen, no bulging veins or discoloration. Instead of seeing her body as something that must be tamed and offered up for others’ approval, she presents it as an accomplice in good health. She works with it, rather than against it, accepting the limitations (she now uses a headstand-chair) but still moving through all the poses her much-younger students obviously struggle with. I guess that’s what 50 years of yoga will do…coupled with a good attitude.
Personally, I don’t think I’d want to be 20 again. It was a fun adventure but I’m content with my memories of it. Now I’m more inclined to accept things as they are, make improvements where I can, and strive to find some peace and calm. I’m taking it one day at a time and enjoying all the wonderful shades of gray in between black and white.
Another month’s worth of mental flotsam and jetsam in tweet-sized bites:
- 01 — New Years Eve with the grandkids, The 3 Stooges, Spongebob, and Dick Clark. A good way to bring in the last year of the decade.
- 04 — Hot yoga tonight. Not Bikram but plenty warm and sweaty! Enjoyed it.
- 05 — Annual checkup with cute doctor went well. Wait, exam, lab, pharmacy all in under an hour. Now I can eat again!
- 05 — Advanced class very challenging. Nylon shorts don’t work well for yoga. Better to be nude but rest of class would have a problem with that.
- 06 — Hot yoga again. Would be good to do naked. Still a good workout even if it results in more laundry.
- 07 — Test results back. HGB A1c down to 5.5%. Still need to work on HDL/LDL. Overall, looking pretty good.
- 07 — Hot yoga again last night. Broke in new mat. Remember, sticky side up.
- 07 — Braved the snow-covered roads to attend yoga class. Only 2 others showed. It was a good class. Which side is supposed to be the sticky side?
- 09 — Good yoga practice this morning. My lower quads seem to be very resistant to my natural state, especially in Warrior & Triangle poses.
- 09 — Got my butt kicked in Candyland tonight. 7-year-olds can be vicious.
- 11 — RT @alyankovic: Happy “Binary Number 30” Day! (1/11/10) — October 10 is 42 (101010). Do you know where your towel is?
- 13 — Two classes tonight, the usual and hot yoga. Yoga’d out.
- 15 — Good yoga class yesterday. Handstands ain’t happening for a while.
- 15 — Been reading old blog posts. Funny stuff. Have I lost the gift of sarcasm?
- 15 — When I was but a wee lad, I never thought I’d be doing so much to keep my body working. “Without maintenance, everything falls apart.”
- 16 — Instead of class this morning, I did yoga at home.
- 17 — @Livsnaturist Thanks for the nipple radiation link. That made my day.
- 17 — Livsnaturist @RevRick The least I could do. I love that post, it’s really funny. Keep up the posting!
- 21 — Another challenging yoga class. Getting closer to doing a handstand. A long way to go on some others. Legs aren’t so flexible yet.
- 22 — 1 year ago — the corporate chopping block and the dull ax of fiscal convenience. Witnesses all blindfolded. I’m not critical, not at all.
- 22 — Ever think about what you could accomplish if you didn’t know you couldn’t do it? “Knowing” we can’t often keeps us from making the effort.
- 24 — I almost feel bad that I accomplished nothing yesterday. I had such high hopes when I finally moved my ass out of bed. Oh, well.
- 25 — Hot yoga tonight. I had no idea I could bend backwards that far. Potentially, I could have gone farther but something would have snapped.
- 27 — Removed SFW links from blogroll that have essentially the same written content as their NSFW counterparts. MNB isn’t SFW anyway.
- 28 — Last night’s hot yoga was good. Some toxins wanted to come out through places other than pores.
- 29 — Relaxing & listening to Kristin Luna Ray’s Where Heaven Meets the Earth.
- 30 — Good yoga class this morning, overcoming resistance to my natural state. Savasana was especially relaxing, as it should be. Namaste.
- 30 — Still listening to KLR. Climb is a great song for savasana. Open to Grace is inspirational. She’s good live too.
Today’s Quote: “Avoid being the cause of your spouse’s unhappiness.” — Dr. Willard F. Harley
I think it’s virtually impossible for a man to avoid being the cause of his wife’s unhappiness simply because he is a man. Half the time he’s not even aware that he has somehow made her unhappy. Then when it occurs to him that she is unhappy, she’s left it up to him to figure it out. It’s the old “You know what you did so I’m not going to tell you.” The problem is, he really doesn’t know. It’s not because he’s insensitive or he doesn’t care. He simply doesn’t have the keys to decrypt the messages she’s sending him. It would be so much easier if we spoke the same language or at least had the same keys to the code.
I don’t have any profound words of wisdom today. I’m just stumbling in the dark, blindly clawing my way through the foliage. I really don’t have a clue as to what I’m doing right or what I’m doing wrong. I’m just figuring it out as I go. What was correct yesterday may be wrong today.