White Flowers

September 29, 2009

Last night

in the fields

I lay down in the darkness

to think about death,

but instead I fell asleep

as if in a vase and sloping room

filled with those white flowers

that open all summer,

sticky and untidy

in the warm fields.

When I woke

The morning light was just slipping

in front of the stars,

and I was covered

with blossoms.

I don’t know

how it happened –

I don’t know

if my body went diving down

under the sugary vines

in some sleep-sharpened affinity

with the depths, or whether

that green energy

rose like a wave

and curled over me, claiming me

in its husky arms.

I pushed them away, but I didn’t rise.

Never in my life had I felt so plush,

or so slippery,

or so resplendently empty.

Never in my life

had I felt myself so near

that porous line

where my own body was done with

and the roots and the stems and the flowers


by Mary Oliver

Something I often try to inspire in my students is trying to get them away from goals into exploring the range of movement choices that exist in the body.

Vanda Scaravelli ‘emphasised the length of the spine, and gave freedom to the body to function naturally’. (She said yoga is) “not about stretching and bending in the conventional sense…not a static thing…feeling inside…undoing…how my body is here, now…assumptions take me away from my experience, from myself….A and B aren’t very interesting compared to what is in between…so much movement…(Here) there is no pose, so I never want to get to the end, to the pose. I always want to explore the movement of where I am and this might take me somewhere else, but I always enjoy where I am.’

Vanda Scaravelli – from When Movement Becomes Meditation article by Nan Wishner