8:11 am

by MB

What do you do when the burden of being present is too much to bear?

We have been practicing mindfulness. The difficulty of being aware in the moment. The pleasure derived from that which is now.  

On this yoga mat, sitbones firmly on the wooden floors of the studio, smells of pancakes and bacon wafting through the tightly closed windows to my left, I feel only the unfamiliarity of what once was my routine. Looking around at the women around me - dressed in diamonds and makeup, hair flowing long past the sun-stained hollow space between rib cage and hip bones  - I am no longer overwhelmed with self hate. I am not too big, my hands reach past my toes as I grip the balls of my feet in forward bend. My body belongs in this room. It knows the sequence of poses, moving forward into plank, shoulders over elbows and elbows over wrists, halfway down, belly tight, upward facing, and back, rhythmically to down dog.

I am stronger now than I was then. 10 years ago. I am here. I have arrived.

I yearn for the familiarity of self loathing and the comfort I once derived from its consequences. 

Back at my house, speeding East on Sunset, everything is as I left it. Books stacked upon magazines and journals, jumbled heaps of words and characters and disappointments. Pages stained with bathtub water and ink smudged with salty tears. Spines bent beyond comprehension - past the point of no return - tell their own stories of the girl who once inhabited their fictive worlds. Her loneliness and desperation. Her hatred of her body. 

Her fear of asking for help. Her refusal to cry or emote, despite all physical instincts to the contrary.

I miss that girl today.