Posted - 02/03/2009 12:25am
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BODY HEAT


February 2009

Sonoma, California


Sizzling with fever and the kind of aching that longed for the laying on of hands to calm the body into repose, I lost track of time.  Just like that a calendar that held together all the bits and pieces of my daily existence fluttered into free form because its mistress had drifted into free fall. 

"Fever in the morning, fever all through the night....Fever started long ago....Everybody's got the fever, that is something you all know, fever isn't such a new thing, fever started long ago."

When you lose track of time, yesterday, today and tomorrow run in circular motion.  Sizzling with fever all lights were illuminated red and so I came to a full stop.

I had plenty of time to think during a weakened state when all I could do was lie on the couch or in my bed.  It is from these two intimate places of the softest of sanctuaries interrupted only by broken sleep, that I meditated on the fragility of my life. 

We seem to remember the fragility of life in moments when we feel we only have a tenuous hold on it.  It is probably helpful to us that we don't carry this remembrance at the forefront of our thinking, or we'd surely alter the daily markings placed on our calendar.  We'd have to question the importance or the necessity of most, if not all of the markings on our calendar.

What matters?  What really matters?  How closely do I resemble a whirling dervish as I follow the markings on my calendar?  What sort of dance is this unless it is the real thing, fueled by the fervour of Sufi belief?

There have been times when I've resembled a whirling dervish in a Sufi dance.  In those times I'd get caught up in my own skirts twirling faster than I could think.  And then when I did stop to think, I always realized that I was the creator of my own locomotion.  No one was chasing me into some frenzied state.  During these phases I'd feel quite indomitable, ready to run with the bulls, as it were. 

Mind, there is great freedom to take risks and be adventurous spirits when we think ourselves indomitable and are not reminded of the breath that keeps us alive.  Fragility opens the window to our weightlessness and reminds us that we are like the wind in our natural and perceptible movement.

Fragility isn't what powers our adventurous spirits and has no place in fearless thinking;yet fragility and indomitableness coexist within us all.  How do we hold these two paradoxical traits and not have it be a conundrum?

Thinking about the tenuous hold we have on life with only the breath to keep us here, I retreated inward with nothing but time stretching in front of me, as far as the eyes could see.  I closed my eyes and folded a soft Afgan against my body to stop the shivering...and then reflected on where I had arrived.

I had arrived to a place of stillness after the spinning top stopped its rotation.  It is that place my mother always said would find me with just a handful of friends.  She said you can dance, you can play, you can gather round you a band of gypsies for each and every drama; but when it gets very quiet it comes down to you and maybe one or two others. 

Illness has a way of silencing a room.  It brings about a cessation of locomotion.  It brings in the quiet long enough to hear the movement of our breath and for us to bestow a silent thanks to the angels who keep us alive.

One of my very favourite writers and poets is the late John O'Donahue.  He was a Sultan of Soul.  I love that he wrote about receiving each day as an invitation.




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Comment posted by Erin on 03/18/2009

Anya-

Body Heat resonates with my current state of uncertainty, fear, strength, emptiness / fullness, desire for answers / direction and confidence in my ability to find the answers.  Beautifully written.

Comment posted by serge davidenkoff on 03/27/2009

Obviously great writing skills...you are creating good stuff and I am proud of your work.