A Body Sings

A yoga friend of mine describes his morning practice as his body singing to him. Isn’t that beautiful?

I think of it every morning during my own practice when I begin to hear those sticky, ignoramus thoughts about oh-I’m-tighter/chunkier/older/more-gravity-stricken-than-i-was-when-i-went-to-bed. I hear that harangue, and I think, hold your neurotic horses, my body is singing to me.

I stop, listen to my breath and my heartbeat, and everything gets better.

I spent yesterday morning in a hospital room, sitting with a friend who is dying. That’s a harsh word, dying. Maybe she’s being born into something else. I hope that’s true.

Whatever it is, she’s only got the tiniest fingerhold on this life, now. She’s a pale, thin, porcelain residue of what she was before. No one home in her eyes, most of the time. Maybe you’ve seen this in someone you love.

She’s still beautiful.

I spent time with her by matching her inhalations and exhalations with my own. I didn’t know what else to do.

And I watched her heart thumping her body, her whole upper body beating with the force of it. It’s something to see, the stubbornness of that heart carrying on while the rest of her is saying goodbye.

This morning I started my yoga practice at 3am. That’s a great time for it when I’m awake anyway, trying to make sense of things that don’t.

I bent forward, and heard, oh, I’m a bit tight, a bit tired. Then I thought, hold your neurotic blah, blah, blah. I stopped, breathed, and listened to my own heart beating.

My body is singing to me.

It occurs to me, about five downward dogs in, that Nancy’s body is also singing to her. I don’t understand the song, and it’s a sad, difficult song to witness. It’s goodbye music.

I’m not coming to any grand, illuminating conclusion, here. She’s not going to leap off the bed, and I’m not going to fully understand life and death any time soon.

I just want to say, listen, if you can.

And thanks for my body’s music, your body’s music, and Nancy’s.

Thanks for the conversation,


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