February 22, 2010

The da Vinci Code

The more I dip into my paints and,  more recently,  mark curves and shadows in charcoal,  I’m learning that art is about observation. In the class I’m taking,  I and five other students are sketching nude models. But actually, what we’re doing is observing, noticing light and curves and how parts of the body relate to each other in space.  It’s like yoga on paper.  And, like yoga, I’m learning that it is in the  interpretation that beauty emerges. I came across an article about Leonardo da Vinci. The great artist and observer of anatomy watched people and wrote his perceptions in notebooks.  In one  entry, da Vinci’s words describe people with what is considered today to be symptoms of Parkinson’s: “Those who . . . move their trembling parts, such as their heads or hands . . . without permission of the soul.” Leave it to da Vinci to […]
January 25, 2010

When Life Hands You Lemons . . .

. . . don’t simply make lemonade. Bake. Baking is about creation. It’s about changing a list from flour to nuts into a dessert or breakfast treat. Whether it’s melding butter with chocolate or combining raspberries with ground almonds, the result enhances the finest flavors of each ingredient. Yoga. like baking, is about transformation. This shift can happen in my body when I’m molding myself into into hero pose, or in my mind when I’m gazing at the flicker of a candle. The rigidity in my Parkinson’s muscles lets go of some tension, and the chatter – from fears of future symptoms to frustration with the current ones – empties from my thoughts.  This change, this shift, maintains the essence of who I am – my list of ingredients – drawing out what’s most flavorful. Sometimes, a cool glass of lemonade can be refreshing.  But, making it is less a […]
December 27, 2009

Blue Moon

Is this night’s blue moon an uncommon year-ending or a rare new start The weather here calls for clear skies on December 31, all the more reason that I’ll step outside and take a look. Breathe in the night air and simply observe. On this last night, this first night, the moon waxes to its extreme, the second  time  this month. It occurs once, well, in a blue moon. That calculates out to about once every three years on the calendar. I will bear witness to it, perhaps even honor it with the moon series inserted into my daily flow of asanas. Oh, it’ll happen again. But it may be cloudy next time. And it’ll certainly be another lifetime before this lunar phenomenon appears in the space between toasting the old and ringing the new.