Roll call

I muscled my way through writing as I did with mountaineering, relying more on brute force than actual technique. In mountaineering it nearly got my killed and as a writer it kept me at the junior varsity level of blogger. I didn’t have the patience for trial and error or the discipline to sit at my desk for too long. I lacked the heart for rejection. It was easier to just do things my way and bunker down where I could stay safe, mostly unseen but somewhat content in my own narrow space.

I did the same in yoga, forcing myself into poses I wasn’t ready for, relying on will to overcome physical constraints. Will was the brains behind brute force: together, the two knocked down doors, tore out roots, pulled cars out of ditches. It was a sloppy way of getting things done. But it was anchored in grit and love. Love that builds on itself into something bigger, defies reason, consumes fear. I loved yoga, climbing, and writing: they would list each of those off at my funeral, reading from a script. And what would they say? Look: corpse pose.

Once again I walked to the lake, sat in the dark, and trained my eye on a light on the opposite shore. And thought of my last backpacking trip, how a peak can look a lot farther away but it’s often closer than you think. Same with the daily practice of yoga, trying to learn a new pose. Same with writing, the ideas can feel like roots buried underground. No one saves you when you’re stuck, no fairy or muse. Any magic is yours and yours only. The mountains will be here long after we’re gone and if we’re lucky, so will the work we create.

Categories: writing, yoga

Tags: , , , ,

20 replies

  1. I particularly love today’s post, Bill. Thank you for continuing to write, and for sharing it with all of us.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your posts over time certainly show experimentation and stretching. I don’t want to say something trite – pushing the envelope or muscular prose – but even if the phrases have become trite, they’re good shorthand, you get the idea. Glad you’re still pushing yourself, the posts are always interesting, cheers.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. [Interesting choice of image, Clytemnestra…?]

    “writing, the ideas can feel like roots buried underground”

    Indeed, snaking gnarled roots. A tree has the same shape and scope in root as it has in canopy. The writing is the canopy sketching and mirroring the invisible underground. But they are not the same. The writing is never right, is it? But sometimes, enough sometimes, it’s close

    You’re doing alright my friend

    Liked by 1 person

    • I like that riff on the mirror image of the tree root and canopy. It’s never right, it’s the middle space between observation and portrayal and the portrayal doesn’t have to be (often can’t be) the same as the observation. That shit has been freaking me out. I’m happy you keyed in on that painting: I wasn’t so intentional about choosing it, but as scrolling through images I’ve used over the past 10 years doing this. That painting really struck me when I saw it I think in Paris. I used to have it on my blog banner. I settled on that looking for the tarot of the magician, which I thought I had in my images file but didn’t. The painting is a wake-up call for me to get my act together on a focused writing project for next month.


  4. Made me laugh: “Look: corpse pose.” So, how have things changed since the past-tense first paragraph?

    Liked by 2 people

  5. After more than a year of reading behind the shadows, this one made me speak up. “No one saves you when you’re stuck, no fairy or muse. Any magic is yours and yours only.” is the reason I’m leaving. Thanks Bill.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well gosh my friend thanks for speaking up and for sharing that! Magic is a funny word…good to dabble in perhaps but not dwell. Happy to hear this resonates with you, and thanks for reading…you can do so in the shadows too assuming you’ve got a good light 🙂


  6. I practice yoga and mindfulness, though rarely, and been helpful to check my anxiety. Maybe, getting back by doing 15 minutes basic pose should help and your posts always brings in a positive light, Bill.


  7. Here’s to the magic, friend, that shows up when we show up. xo

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ha, like that and thank you Rosemerry. To you and yours…thanks for dropping by and being such a positive source of kindness and inspiration for me and for the world! More of you, please. More of “yous!”

      Liked by 1 person

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