Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Myself as Performance Art

I just got back from my yoga class and I'm sitting down to business. Real business. A quick blog post to get the juices flowing, and then it's onto the latest revision of the sequel to TWTSML, The War I Finally Won. (The only thing certain about the sequel--well, other than that Bovril and Butter don't die, I know my limits--is the title.)

The instructor for my yoga class today used to be full of woo but not very physical. Her classes involved the singing bowl, some good thoughts, a chant or two, and some nice relaxing stretchy poses. Then she went off to India for six weeks and came back a ninja yogi. Now her classes involve good thoughts, perhaps some chants or music, and instructions like, "Now hold a handstand, headstand, or shoulder stand for sixty seconds."

For the record: that's a long time. I put myself into my handstand, toes against the wall for balance, just to see how long I could hold it, and the answer today was, about twenty seconds. Which is pretty long. I came out of the pose when my shoulders couldn't do more, but then went immediately into a headstand for the rest of the time. It was only several minutes later, in shavasana, that I realized I'd never actually done a full headstand before today. I could get my head and hands right, and take my feet off the ground, but I'd never stretched my legs all the way vertical before. Today I didn't even think about it: I just did it.

Meanwhile my instructor says that for August her theme is Yoga as Art. She said a lot of stuff about artistic expression and yoga that all made good sense to me, but she said it while we were flowing in and out of one-legged planks and sweat got in my ears and apparently flooded my brain, because I can't bring her words back in coherent language right now. I only remember the sense of her words, which was that we have to be the best art we can.

Which is admittedly pretty woo. Sorry about that. But yesterday I had my long-awaited talk with my editor about my book, and I'm delighted to say that we are finally getting where we want to be. My story's not there yet, but it's getting there. So I'm going to keep my sweaty self here in my chair, sit down with the 9 pages of notes my editor emailed me (single-spaced, small font) and get to work. I'm making art. It's all good.