I’m having trouble loving the world today. Maybe because I’m reading about war and disloyalty and sometimes civilization seems like the thinnest thread. It’s a barbarians-at-the-gate kind of day. A woman told me recently that when she has insomnia, she names gratitudes. She goes through the list of people she loves, and things she appreciates, and then she thanks her organs and her body for supporting her. She has given me a different way to think about pain. She says if you use your body, your body will ache. I’ve decided to apply that to my heart. When I use my heart, it aches. I can’t imagine the opposite. I can’t imagine my heart not aching. My heart useless.
There is a woman who teaches yoga to Mary’s ladies. She doesn’t get paid to teach them yoga. She comes, every week, and meets them in the basement of a church, and volunteers her enthusiasm, her expertise. I like to think of them in that basement, stretching, concentrating on their breath, feeling their bodies. I like to think of them getting stronger, having another resource. It seems like such a small thing, teaching yoga to women in treatment, but it isn’t. Even the mats are donated. A note was posted that mats were needed and there was no money, and every day for weeks I came home to mats on the porch, shipped from all over, dropped off. Dozens of them. People can be quick to give. I think of those yoga mats whenever I get discouraged.
That’s the thing, isn’t it, the world is what we notice. And what we don’t notice. My mother used to phone me every morning to report the latest tragedies. Did you hear about … isn’t it terrible … I read only this morning…. I’m having a hard time. I don’t know why. I’m having a hard time. And somewhere a woman is teaching yoga to addicts in a donated basement on donated mats. We do what we can. When I use my heart, it aches.