Sunday, November 22, 2009

212/324 - Putting your eyes out

Friday Off
Saturday 9:30 am with Lenette

The cool thing about Lenette's classes is that, while basically every other teacher says how good I'm doing Awkward, Lenette almost always finds something to correct. This time I was down too far in the first part, and she had me come up just a half inch or so. It didn't make much difference for my thighs, but it did allow me to actually get more of a backbend feeling than I usually do.

Back strengthening was as good as its been for a long time. I felt composed in control in Locust, which is pretty much a rarity. Otherwise it was just a nice solid practice. I had to skip out a set at the end of standing series again, but otherwise I felt strong and good. And following my moaning about the third part of Wind Relieving, I just pulled in tighter and held on, and I made it through without losing the grip. But I still need to be a bit more mindful about food...

The day 284 meditation is the last on pranayama, but it doesn't have much to do with pranayama. Instead, Gates talks about advice from his mother. No matter what he wanted to do, his mother would likely object that someone had died from doing that. After a long, long time and seemingly endless hours on the mat, he finally realized that he might be better off not asking his mother for advice. But, of course, the voice still lived inside him.

This story reminded me of an uncle/caretaker who played a big part in raising us up. We called him Unk, but he wasn't a relative. Instead, he met my grandfather the day he arrived in the U.S. in a bar in downtown Manhattan. They got drunk together. Eventually my grandfather asked him where he was staying, but he didn't know anywhere, so my grandfather said it would be OK to stay the night, and he ended up staying for the next 60 plus years.

That's all beside the point. The point is that whenever I had a new small toy that I was playing with, Unk would assure me that "You could put your eye out with that." For the most part, what he was saying was preposterous. I mean, I suppose a really determined kid could put his eye out with silly putty, but I doubt it's actually happened more than a handful of times. Yet, even to this day, I have a kind of irrational fear about putting anything near or in my eye. Watching people put their contacts in makes me shudder. And this meditation made me remember and realize that that fear almost certainly came from Unk.

Now that I know where that irrational fear comes from, does that mean that mean it will somehow vanish? I doubt it. But since this fear has never been all that troubling, especially since I still don't need glasses, much less contacts, it is amusing to realize where it came from.


Bosco said...

I never heard the "got drunk" part of the Unk story. Also, I don't remember ever being warned about putting my eye out, which means either that I just don't remember it, or Unk didn't care as much about my eyes.

I wonder how much stuff we all have lurking deep in the foundation of our personal beliefs that is just the accumulated folk wisdom we have picked up along the way?

bikramyogachick said...

I love the unk story! I have an irrational fear of heights. This past summer I went on an evil rollercoaster at magic mountain called tatsu. My daughter wanted to go on again. I couldn't...I had been squeezing my eyes shut, hyperventilating and ummm...crying while on it the fist time. Sheesh. What a baby.

Duffy Pratt said...

The drunk portion was my reading between the lines. They met at a bar. It was downtown in Manhattan and it got very late. And it was Pop, who was not known for temperance even when he was eighty. So I infer that at least Pop, and maybe Unk, were drunk. The reason I think Unk probably was pretty drunk too was because Pop took a liking to him. II could be wrong, but think of what everyone else knows about your graduation night besides you and me.)

My guess is that lots and lots of our foudational personal beliefs are based on folk or received wisdom.

BKY: The whole point of irrational fears is that they are irrational. And how often, really, does an irrational fear of heights get in the way of anything. I'll bet your daughter is as amused by your fear of the roller coaster as she is of the coaster itself.

Bosco said...

Duffy, your reading between the lines is almost certainly correct - I just wondered if you had ever heard anyone actually tell the story that way.

tracik said...

Love this post. As a kid I had all sorts of fears! Fears of elevators, fears of rollercoasters, fears of sand bars in the ocean just to name a few. Fears have eased over the years but still there. In college I lived on te 11th floor of the dorms an walked up because I hated elevators! With Sand bars I always thought the tide would rush in and I would get stuck and swept out to sea! Still won't go out on them to this day. Yes, I am one of those types to over analyze everything! I can laugh about it though beause even I find these fears funny.