Saturday, February 7, 2009


Friday 10:30 am with Miranda
Saturday 9:30 am with Lenette

I had another 180 degree shift in just two days.  Friday's class was cold.  I felt stiff all the way through.  I started the class with a fair bit of anticipation, because I had a slight headache.  The class cured the headache, but I never really felt with it.  For the first time in a long, long time, getting my head to my knees in Rabbit was problematic, at least in the first set.  Of course, I left feeling better than when I came in.  But I still had a lingering feeling of dissatisfaction, from moving backwards or sideways at best.

Then today's class was really great.  The focus was there.  My backbends felt really good (I still have no idea how they look).  The room was hot and I was in an area that had completely still air, but it felt great.  And the energy in the room (with about 40 people) was really high.

Before class, I meant to ask Lenette about some soreness in my right shoulder.  But it went away during class, so I didn't know how to show her where it was. 

Somehow I got mixed up in the numbering of Gate's Meditations, and I'm not going to go back and try to figure out what, if anything, I missed.  Today, he is talking again about temperance or moderation.  He basically talks about how our culture takes passion and intensity to be overriding virtues, and doesn't do much to praise moderation.  

I think he's got it right to a certain extent.  The romantic movement put a very high premium on excess and passion.  And that brings a line of heroic figures like Keats and Byron, flaming with energy and youth and then dying young.  The same spirit in part lies behind the fascination with people like Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, etc...

But I think that only looks at part of the picture.  J.S. Bach lived a long, happy life.  He had 23 children, and he was no slouch when it came to writing moving music.  And he's not alone.  Of course James Dean was cool, but no cooler than Paul Newman or Clint Eastwood or a host of other actors who aged gracefully.  So on this point, I understand Gates' point, but I think he's selling our culture a bit short.

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