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Ritual C - Move! - Week 2

Updated: Oct 13

Ritual C – Week 2 – Move! – 19/9/20

Steps for ritual:

1. Read a Rumi poem with Tessa in the morning.

2. Choose a place to dance. Today, after my cold ritual last night, I am performing the ritual in our bedroom.

3. Recite Om Sahanauvavatu from the Taittiriya Upanishad, the verse that starts the section which is a dialogue between Rsih Bhrigu and his father. Bhrigu is said to be the paternal lineage from which I have descended.

a. The sloka, which I’ve known by heart since childhood, translates roughly to: May all be happy, may all be healthy, may all seek auspiciousness, may none suffer, Aum peace peace peace.

4. Read a poem. Today, I chose sections from Dawn Lundy Martin’s Discipline.

5. Recite Om Sahanauvavatu again.

6. Dance to Ambrose Akinmusire’s album on the tender spot of every calloused moment. I found Akinmusire through Spotify’s “Discover” feature, recommended to me due to my other new jazz listens. For the ritual, I purchased and downloaded the album through ITunes. Tessa later reminded me that iTunes is getting rid of iTunes, and so this purchase was not well thought out. This is why I get buyer’s remorse whenever I purchase anything. Hah!

7. Recite Om Sahanauvavatu again.

8. Bow. Full body namaskar on the ground.

Lab Notes:

Been feeling drab all day. Though I love to move, it took a lot of delaying and procrastinating to finally begin this ritual. How happy I am to have moved for the full fifty minutes this afternoon, midway through opening the hallway sliding door to let in the cool early evening air. During today’s movement, I remembered everything I learned from the movement and poetry course I took with Gesel Mason and Julie Carr in Boulder. I remembered how the simplest lessons of modern dance—movement as dance, walking as dance, thinking about minute ways the body moves—felt revolutionary to me. How engaging in new art forms opens up that “beginner’s mind” feeling, as if the most simple techniques to an expert, are world-changing. And they are. Today, I recovered this through the simple move of, at some point, listening to the music tell me that I could not move my legs unless I physically grabbed them with my hands and used my arms to move them. This labored and belabored dance move took me in to Akinmusire’s trumpeting. Into the breaks in the beat. My breath increased. My effort. A dance of why it feels like a slog simply to move through a day in this world of hurdles we make. All illusory, but reinforced to stand. And so we trip. And so I moved. And slid along the glass of day until I was dancing while lying on the ground, crawling by my elbows, belly on the floor. RBG died.

Free Write:

And the mausoleum, decorated

as the draped coffin

carried within, to be wrapped

like a gift to the Earth

Death is the only socially

acceptable excuse for littering

and now the threads of flag,

again, descend. The procession

through ash-boered trees

with my father merited no

fare. Fair, cremation, tactically,

tacitly make the body

more easily compostable.

Sometimes life requires

an arched back, like my mother’s

and her mother’s and her

sisters and the Aunties too.

Some days feel like all the arms

can do is grab the legs, one

at a time to force them

forward another step. What labor

the laboring man leaves

for justice? My mother

remembers whispers of

the woman a village over

from Petlad who, after

one ‘chod’ too much, and one

bruise or countless too

many, waited for her husband

to fall asleep, and with the

heavy stone saved for grinding

grain and millet, lifted above

her husband’s sleeping head

to make lōt of the mind that

daily wound her in trance.

She hid nothing. She walked

to the police station, blood

on her kamis and said, I killed

him. Sometimes violence

safens a small world. Curled

banyan roots entwine my

gaze. I run hands through my hair,

what little, strain. The album

newly downloaded takes me.

What hooded processions

discipline my life. I am tired

of the poem about nothing.

Tired of the back stiff sleepless

night heart palpitation.

This writing produces nothing

but words and facile similes

of thought

It was like that, dancing.

It was like that, living

when RBG died four months

too soon. White tips of grass

now bloom. The air chills me

though I am not a mother.

Whatever wounds wind my

body into what position

is prayer, obstructive as

the crusted lips of flight.

Delight, find it moving

toward, into, through a reveling

in pain. Today’s exhausted state

and choke, reason enough to stop.

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© 2018 by Rushi Vyas