Wake Up

by Joanna D.

Must have forgotten to turn on my alarm the other night. Either that or I woke up at some point with a strong desire to sleep in. In either case, when my eyes finally opened my normal wake-up time was severely overshot. Damn it. Contemplation… should I even go? It will be 7:30 before I get there… hmmm. It was a five count before my feet hit the floor followed by a brisk thirty-five minute trek to 8th and Sansom. Jewelers row.

The studio is great. Loved. Blessed. It has its own flare. Colorful walls decorated with deities; gods and goddesses whose stories inspire those willing to look deeper through these levels of existence. A slight slope at the front of the room and a few loose boards provide just enough of a hitch to provoke pure devotion and a need for awareness, readiness. Its quirks illustrate the power of practicing with strong teachers and dedicated practitioners. Bhakti.

It has been nearly three weeks since arrival. The condition, the deficit in which I arrived, remains a weight on my thoughts… dependence on the goodwill and grace of others. A difficult position, taking a toll on what I suppose is my pride. The words thank you can’t even describe how I feel when offered the kindnesses I have so far experienced; they somehow come out sounding hollow. Embarrassment. As if I don’t know how or when to say them. They ARE there though. I apologize with deep regret for any thank-yous not yet said because people have so far been extremely awesome.

Knowing full well that these things can take time, my impatience still swells. I want to be able to offer things back. Settle in. Now. To monetarily support myself, support my goals without compromising my sense of self. Something this culture seems to give up too easily. Which brings a deep questioning… what does it mean to put down roots? What does it take to walk away from this realm of cultural norms? Shit. It’s kind of lonely out here.

In the mean time, I look forward to putting my mat down at AYS Philadelphia and to sharing the space of practice with all those out there who will be doing the same, wherever you are.