I was half-way through a post on a new-to-me house and its five fragrances when I realised I simply wasn’t going to have enough time with the perfumes to say something remotely useful yet. So, that will wait another week.
I also ended up scrambling for pictures as the rest of this post is sort of abstract. So, you are treated to a couple of pics of a half-finished Grand Design house in the village that has been dubbed ‘the lego castle’. This has long been a reasonably well-off village, but in the last year things have exploded. With all the people who’ve decided ‘the country’ is where they need to be given Covid and work-from-home this area has moved to wealthy (unknown numbers of Porsches, at least three Ferraris, one Maserati [it is soooo beautiful — i should have gotten a pic of that last time I saw it], a lot of Teslas – Mercs, Volvos, etc, are small beans now).
Anyway, from concrete wealth to abstract states of being.
My yoga teacher started off the last class talking about the death of her partner’s grandmother. She spoke about how this woman was someone who managed, over her long life, to embrace contentment and this was one of the things that stood out about her. That and the structure of the class set me off thinking about balance and contentment.
Starting with contentment, this is a concept I’ve tried to embrace off and on in my life. I succeed in bits here and there. To me, at this point, contentment means being in the now and not striving too much towards the future. Prior to this past year, the concept would flit in and out of my consciousness – it would settle for a bit until something external intruded on all my various strivings. It never lasted terribly long but each attempt left a little more of a lasting impression that I really needed to be more focused on this concept.
In our Covid year I’ve made more of a conscious effort to really engage with the idea of contentment. I’m getting better: more able to be in the moment; more able to appreciate where I am and what I have; more able to step back from things that wind me up, stress me out, and have a serious negative impact on my being. But this definitely remains a work in progress – as I am still frequently side-tracked by fear and worry and irritation – and diffused anger.
Then there’s balance. I hate doing balances in yoga. I am crap at them, the process winds me up no end, and it’s really the one area in practice where I know that while I’m getting better I’m still really like some newborn creature that just physically doesn’t understand how to use empty space well.
When I moved down here over 10 years ago my balance was fine – actually, better than fine, it was quite good. I could hold weird postures on one foot; I could balance like a ballerina. I am not the best structure for balance – short body, long legs – but all was good. In the past three or four years it all started to unravel. I gained weight (it’s harder to balance when you’re my shape and top heavy). Aspects of my physical health started to cause issues (ears mostly – you really need healthy ears for balance). And my sense of mental balance deteriorated somewhat (family issues, worry about my child, loss of a sense of control regarding my health) which appears to have had a real concrete impact on my physical ability to balance. The metaphor is sometimes too much to bear.
But, it’s all a work in progress, this striving and straining. How about you?