reflections on wild geese

levitation attempt

 

That was my best shot at levitating so far. 

I was actually trying to take photos of a sweater I crocheted (in one piece in a sideways manner, I’m hoping to post the pattern soon). The way I positioned the camera was too low and couldn’t capture the entire skirt, so I decided to take a jumping shot, inspired by Natsumi Hayashi’s levitating self-portraits.

Having been following Natsumi’s posts for a couple of years, I’ve found that the key to levitation (as opposed to just jumping) in a photo shoot is that one has to jump while relaxing one’s shoulders and arms. 

It’s actually quite difficult. A lot of controlled coordination needs to happen in a fraction of a second.

In this photo I certainly still looked like I was jumping, but I like the way my arm and hand look in the light.

***

I’ve been stressed on many fronts lately. 

The paradox of jumping — a surge of energy to propel oneself off the ground against gravity — while being relaxed was actually quite enlightening when I thought about my recent encounters with conflict.

What this makes me realize is that, in conflict, I have to learn to sustain a clear and calm state of mind in the face of heightened emotions. Heightened emotions that threatens to derail my thoughts and actions.

It’s actually quite difficult.

***

Realizing that it’s difficult, and fearing that it might be impossible for me to ever do well, I find this poem comforting.

Wild Geese

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.

Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.

Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

– Mary Oliver

 

May we all find clarity and compassion today.

 

 

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