Tuesday, January 6, 2015


For Christmas I received a beautiful yoga mat. It is seafoam green with a mandala illustration in the middle that helps me center and align myself, quite physically, as Rodney Yee tells me what to do with my body/mind. "For seventeen years I have started my day with yoga...," he says, which must be 32 or more years by now, based on the copyright on the VHS videotape, which was rendered in Roman Numerals, leading me to an online converter, because I am Roman Numeral challenged.

Uh, today I started my day shoveling snow, and A.M. Yoga with Rodney Yee will probably become P.M. Yoga with Layers On. Here's what it looks like, rolled up, and here's where you can get it. (Unless you are me. If you are me, you can just go upstairs and unroll it!)

Happy New Year! It's been a great holiday season of connecting and re-connecting with friends, family, my inner child, and my same old, yet, yes, renewed, outer self. I am re-reading The Gift, by Lewis Hyde, the same old 1983 paperback edition I got soon after it first came out with the subtitle Imagination and the Erotic Life of Property. It has appeared since with other subtitles, and the current 25th anniversary edition (?? are we all date challenged??) is subtitled Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World. (I am tickled at the coincidence of my own recent 25th anniversary, and, likewise, our numbers are screwy, too! 25 + 8 years of courtship = 33! Which, you will be glad to see, I did not attempt to render as Roman Numerals.) I like how this somewhat abstract Shaker basket of golden apples suggests endless abundance despite the ragged, woven boundary....

None of these subtitles seems to get at what the book is, which is marvelously hard to categorize! It explores "gift economy" as cultural anthropology and is part history, economy, comparative religion, literary criticism...and, in short, wonderful. It means even more to me now, more than 25 years later, as I've got way more life experience and it rings all the more true. (I see that the new cover includes testimonials from Margaret Atwood and David Foster Wallace.)

When the mat is unrolled, you can see how the mandala illustration has its edges "cut off" which makes it extend to the infinite in imagination somehow. And makes me feel kind of skinny. Despite leftover Christmas cheesecake for breakfast.

1 comment:

Susan said...

That mandala yoga mat is lovely! And I fully support the idea of cheesecake for breakfast.