Saturday, July 10, 2010


Poem of the Day:
"Legend" by Craig Czury
What Have You Lost?

It is not until the close of Czury's poem that I begin to sense the spiritual nature of his subject. He begins "Legend" with an address: "Even while you were looking straight at me/you were always somewhere else, very far away" (lines 1-2). Immediately I think, "Lover's quarrel; this poem must be about a lover's quarrel." But Czury ends his poem with the line, "And your breath was so warm/and sweet that it took me very far away inside me/to a place where I was born, growing up before I was born" (lines 8-10). And, I begin to rethink.

This morning I attended a Kundalini Yoga class, my very first of its kind. I should have been skeptical when my classmate, in place of a standard yoga mat, rolled out a white bearskin rug. And I was. The moment the fur hit the floor I began to reconsider my decision to attend the class.

After doing 26 variations of a squatting pose meant to awaken my sexual organs, inhaling with my tongue curled, and envisioning my own birth including my 'trip down the birth canal,' I was, according to the instructor, reborn. Because I had breathed like a laboring woman for seven minutes (yes, I did that) I had, in some sense, given birth to a new version of myself.

Excuse my cynic tone, but I am cynical. Yoga to me has always been a focus on the physical that brings me closer to a spiritual space; the harder I push my body, the more my mental energy fights back and when I can ignore my mind and work only within my physical self I feel that I have reached what I believe to be a spiritual place. I have yet to find personal benefit from a yoga practice that is solely spiritual-based, though this is not to say that it is not this way for others.

The last words of Czury's poem, therefore, forced me to rethink this morning's Kundalini Yoga encounter. My previous views remain. But, I don't ignore the fact that there is a divine place to be reached and in quite unique ways. Czury's speaker has found it in "the trees,/the air that brought me the trees, the stones/and everything I walked in and out of" (lines 5-7). This love that I presumed he spoke of in the first few sentences takes on a more ethereal quality, a love for a divine being cultivated by the natural world.

In the end Czury feels reborn because of his spiritual encounter. Kundalini Yoga, though it tried very earnestly, did not provide for me the feelings of rebirth.

Elsewhere looks promising.

Bearskin Rugless,
A Poem A Day Audrey


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