Study for Meditation Mat

Study for Meditation Mat
Handspun Tapestry Weaving

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Winter's Long Dance Into Spring: Some Random Thoughts on This and That

Spring is hiding around here.  It's -16C this morning, with a wind chill of -22C. The forecast is for a high of -6C, bitterly cold for the end of March, even in this region.  Snow is piled everywhere-in yards, alleyways, the streets.  Side walks are few and far between, making it tough for those of us who rely on shank's mare to get around.  It's been a beast of a winter and there are days when everyone finds it difficult to discover any beauty around us.

This morning when I pulled on my snow boots and ventured out to collect the newspaper, I had a glimpse of the beauty that comes with a very late spring:

There are signs of the Sun behind that combination of hoarfrost and snow:

The patterns of light and dark remind me of this guy, who is ever so helpful, always hanging out where he should not be (rather like this winter):

The books in front of Mickey are my yoga stick figure/note journal and a book of doodles I'm painting. (Among the gifts that yoga has given me is a renewed interest in drawing and painting.)

One of this month's yoga teacher training assignments is to read the Bhagavad Gita, taking note of anything that "jumps out at us."  What's jumping out at me now is annoyance, not only of Krishna's admonitions to Arjuna, but the lack of a female voice in so many yogic texts.  I've lamented this lack before, when taking Colin's Yoga 390 Class at the university. It's as if half the population did not/does not exist, except as something to avoid. Admittedly, I have only read translations of the Gita and my understanding of it is severely limited (to the degree that I probably shouldn't discuss it), but in the versions I have at hand (including M. Gandhi's translation), there is one small mention of women:

"Where there is no sense of unity, the women of the family become corrupt; and with the corruption of its women, society is plunged into chaos." (translation by Eknath Easwaran, p. 81)

Oh, well, then.  Bad women, not knowing their place.  Perhaps it's my grumpy frustration at winter's long stay, or perhaps I'm pulled by the stirrings of the recent full Moon, but I am tired of the rule books, tired of the notion that men build, women are to be watched guardedly.  

This is not what I want for my daughter or my son.  In response, I restarted a painted notebook which I began way back in 2000.  The doodles are fragments of sayings, many from the Gita, and my reactions to them.  They're not planned, but the theme has become a call to my children to thumb their noses at the rule books that present themselves at every turn in life.

It seems to me that, rather than bowing to convention and "knowing our place," it would do all us good if we abandoned our habitual behaviours once in a while. Knitters caught up in making practical items can practice some free form work or dress a cow.  (If you're on Ravelry, you can click the links.) If you're a 2 ply lace yarn spinner, make some wild art yarns:

All of us can open our hearts to the wonders of the Other.  When we do, we may discover that we can dance:


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