The first day of November brings patchy morning frost and playful leaves. I started doing sun salutations in the garage with the bay doors open and a portable heater. Will get an inversion bar so I can get fresh blood to my head and hang upside down like a bat. Cut out drinking, burned off the fog. Walked to the lake, morning mist makes the trees blurred like a Japanese painting. Our lives could be like a painting too.
My dad tells me about the letters he found from his father when he was in the war. They weren’t addressed to him, they were for my grandmother. My dad hopes by reading them he will learn more about his father. I don’t think he knew him as well as he wanted. I picture my dad sitting in his office going through each page and tucking them away when he’s done, returning to the TV and sitting down. There is a space between us and the ones we love and I want to understand why we allow that distance. Or talk about what gets in our way of crossing it.
I am doing sun salutations for the first time in years and watch an animation of a stick figure going through each pose. It starts with the hands pressed together in praise, standing upright. I throw my arms up and lean back, fold down, throw a leg back, look up, go into plank, lower, rise like a cobra. Downward dog, the other leg comes forward, fold, end as I began. Clasp hands, exhale.
I walk to the lake and remember the poet we met in that small town in Scotland. The poet’s eyes were glassy but clear like a stone you see things in when you hold it to the light. He was practicing yoga in the house that adjoined ours and I never saw him until it was time to go. We were heading to Inverness, where we’d spend Halloween. He was doing sun salutations facing the direction I came from, in the woods. I thought just by going there I could make a book, a painting you could walk into, step out of, and create. But you don’t have to go away to go somewhere. The space between us closes by the words we exchange and how much of ourselves we share, however small.
I flipped the calendar and there were 29 more days on the page, a whole lifetime.