60 Days On the Mat — Day 49: What’s Your Story?


“The world isn’t just the way it is. It is how we understand it, no? And in understanding something, we bring something to it, no?
Doesn’t that make life a story?” ~ Pi, The Life of Pi

The Life of Pi

The Life of Pi

I saw The Life of Pi today with my friend Lori after yoga.  The movie could not have been more perfect for me right now.  I was reluctant to see it when it first came out.  Bengal tiger in a life boat with a boy — seemed a little too fantastical for me, but the more I read about it, the more I wanted to go.  I’m glad I did.

I went to the mat at noon after, once again, writing in the morning.  I have decided to permanently make this change.  It does allow me to get proper sleep, which I need.  I also get up earlier and can write in complete silence.

Ellen was working on our alignment a lot today, specifically in the holding of the neck.  Pushing too far forward puts our minds in the future and pushing too far back puts us in the past.  I am always striving for the present, a moment so elusive sometimes — it’s like trying to catch a firefly.  As I was holding crescent pose, attempting to balance in the now, I start to see how my evolution on the mat over the past 49 days has taken me full circle.  I have spent a great deal of time remembering the past and dreaming about the future, but as I move into the final 11 days, I find myself much more in the moment.  Trying not to linger too far back or wander too far ahead.  It’s a contentment that I have not felt, perhaps ever.  This sense of wonder at what is and the open-ended possibility of what will be.

On the mat today, I found myself very much in the present, but as I watched The Life of Pi, I spent a great deal of time thinking about my own story.  He would say a line and it would roll me back or move me forward.  I think movies like this one are supposed to do that on some level.  Your wheels are constantly turning as you’re trying to take it all in.

“All of life is an act of letting go but what hurts the most is not taking a moment to say goodbye.” — Pi, The Life of Pi

The moment he says this quote my tears begin to flow.  I think about Mawmaw.  I can’t help it.  When someone is slowly losing their mind, you often don’t realize when the last moment they remembered you took place.  You want to find your way back to it somehow and make it more meaningful.  You want to make sure she knows not only how much you love her, but how much all the great memories she gave you matter.  How they shaped you.  How you would not even understand your life without her in it.

To let her know that no matter how old I get, there is always a piece of her right there with me.  I carry her and all that she gave me in my heart every day.

We are leaning in side-angle pose and I let the weight of my head drop.  My neck cracks and it feels great.  I was letting go.  My shoulders cracked as I moved my hand over my head.  More letting go.  My only thoughts were to be in the room, and that’s what I did.  I was completely in the room, smiling through any struggles on the mat.

“To choose doubt as a philosophy of life is akin to choosing immobility as a means of transportation.”  ~ Pi, The Life of Pi

This quote took me to my struggle with religion.  Without giving anything away, Pi is a Hindu Catholic Muslim who teaches Kabbalah and other religious studies as an adult.  I would say he is very much like my friend Shannon — fascinated with religion — drawn to the beauty of religion.  Believing there are many paths to God; all religions have a purpose and something to teach us, regardless of which one we choose to follow.  If we choose to follow.

“If you believe in everything, you will end up believing in nothing at all.”  ~ Pi’s father, The Life of Pi

His father says this to him as he is trying all of these different religions as a boy — finding a new connection to God in each one.  I think about my conversion to Judaism and my longing for the Christmas tree.  The Christmas tree that is still a big, undecorated plant in our front room to be removed on Thursday.  I think about my love of yoga (which is not a religion, but there is a very spiritual aspect to it).  I too have a fascination with religion, the beauty of it, the ritual of it — the thought that perhaps one God is giving each of us a different road to the light?  Or perhaps many Gods have something to teach us?  As I think about our children, I agree with Pi’s father on one level — but I also see the wonder in Pi as not a terrible thing.

I take myself out of this and back into the movie.  We’ve got several hurdles to jump over before we cross this bridge.  Don’t over think it.

When I get home, I cook lentil soup for dinner.  I get out the food processor and chop the onion, carrots and celery.  After five and half years of marriage, I am no longer afraid of my food processor.  It took me five years to put it together right so I could get it to turn on and chop.  Literally.

I take two recipes for lentil soup and make up my own.  I bake some frozen whole wheat rolls.  There was a whole new level of creative when I was making dinner and the end result was great.  Jonathan loved it.

As I am sitting on the couch with Jonathan and Boomer, I think about our story. What’s the story we want to tell?  I feel in many ways it is only just beginning.  After weeks of writing and thinking and downward-facing-dogging — I see how significant these slice-of-life moments are that make up the bulk of the story.  All the fantastic trips and life boat adventures with tigers — those are great, and of course you will remember them, but it’s these seemingly insignificant moments that truly make life beautiful.

Leave a Reply