Vessels

Painting by Andrey Remnev

A piece I wrote for my writing class with The Writers Studio Amsterdam. Thought I’d share it here as well. A moving meditation.

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I have many thoughts while upside down, head below heart,

in downward dog.

 

Some of them might be: I wonder if my underwear is showing?

How long are we holding this one? Why are yoga mats so goddamn slippery?

 

Or, on more enlightened days, I may have a brief moment

of “zen”, honing in on the breath, letting it flow through me — in and out.

 

The Ancient Egyptians thought of the heart as a vessel. A great clay vase

through which blood moved like a river, a vast container encompassing both body and mind.

 

A more practical conception of our vital organ.

No red, sparkly emojis or velvet plush toys, but instead, a container, no different than a cup, drinking up experience and

 

spitting out all that is not necessary. These are the thoughts that may arise as a result of all of the blood rushing to my head, when I let my mind

 

stray away from the instructor and back thousands of years

to that time my heart led me to a boy with a yellow cap

 

and awkward legs, too spindly for ice skating or for becoming one of those Buckingham Palace guards.

Oh, how his words matched his great vessel! but somehow his actions failed to comply.

 

Move your left leg up and through to your hands.

He moved to Arizona and left me to pick up my broken shards, cradling them

 

across an Ocean, letting the salt lap against my wounds

and create space once again—breathe into that space,

 

see if you can create space, she says, you may be surprised by what emotions

come up, as if emotions were bubbles, sparkling water held by my

 

patched together container. With my legs out wide, head falling between, I

watch them explode, miniature fireworks bursting under water

 

sounds are muted as I wait for them to wash through my veins

breathing out, I rise up, hands on my hips, for stability, don’t forget

 

that time I called my heart out for what it really was

a small toddler, taken with the first shiny thing

 

swallowing what it’s given, drinking it up like

the tides pushing Moses down the Nile and into

 

the promised land he never saw. Hands up and

overhead, press them together.

 

Bow your head down, try to fight the urge to wipe away the beads

of sweat pouring with my pulse, hands to heart center,

 

take hold of the handles, grip tightly, remember to release.

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2 Comments

  1. Amsterdive February 13, 2017 at 12:26 am

    By the way, I read this one too. And I got speechless ( until now) because, what to say after this poem? I read it once, I read it twice, I read it three times, I read it aloud – yes, I’m serious. I’ll just say this, and it is quite simple. Please keep on writing.

    Reply
    1. esensky7@gmail.com February 13, 2017 at 9:02 pm

      Oh my, I think you just made my month, maybe my whole winter even! Thank you so much for your kind words, Ana. Words cannot express how gratifying it is to read this. It makes me so happy to know that someone else is gaining something from my work.

      all the love,

      Elizabeth

      Reply

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