Wednesday, October 5, 2011

On Yoga, Sprawl, and the Black Earth Institute

I'm getting ready to head out to the annual retreat of the Black Earth Institute, where I have the honor of being a Senior Fellow this year.  It's always an extraordinarily inspiring weekend, with powerful presentations by Fellows on their work in progress, hard-hitting and urgent conversations, and, not least, memorable wine from BEI founder Patricia Monaghan's homegrown organic grapes.  How fitting a way to acknowledge this time of rich, succulent early-October ripeness.

It was at BEI that I met Cristina Eisenberg, which that ultimately to my writing the play "Wolf Song."  The theme of our readings for this year's discussions is "Hope and Renewal"; who knows where this year's conversations may lead?

This year, one thing I plan to talk about is my passionate belief in the ideas expressed in this talk by James Howard Kunstler.  Kunstler's book THE GEOGRAPHY OF NOWHERE was what I was reading when I gave birth to my daughter.  That book seemed to point the way to a more inhabitable world. 

It's easy to live in the head and forget the importance of the physical.  Poetry, particularly the rhythms of of formal poetry, reminds me constantly that the physical IS the spiritual--and in the last few months, as I've been getting back into doing yoga after a long hiatus, I've been reminded that this is true in every sphere, not just that of poetry.  And it seems to be, in turn, the gist of Kunstler's urgent message for the architecture of our public realm.

Poetry, yoga, the built environment: sphere inside sphere, all working towards greater balance and harmony.  It's a challenging time right now for all of us on the planet--but what beautiful, and increasingly sustained, glimpses we keep getting into more hopeful and renewing ways of living.


Malcolm R. Campbell said...

The pace of world beliefs into more and more technological and scientific realms lures us away from the spiritual. I hope you find a lot of it at BEI.


P.S. Enjoyed Eisenberg's "The Wolf's Tooth," sitting here close at hand on my desk.

Ms. said...

So true--the life of the body IS the life of the spirit and the same phrase read backwards too. I don't think I'd be mobile on many levels were it not for my yoga practice. I am about to construct a yoga post over at my blog, but here's a preview of some of the contents for your enjoyment--

Dharma Yoga Posture Poster With Rebeca Kovacs-Amazing!

and--to keep it light--

"King of The Hill"-yoga treatment for a bad back

continuing in that vein--

Stewie Yoga-from "Family Guy"

and last, but not least--A lovely line drawing animation

Yoga For Dogs