Yoga is an excellent platform from which to study the surreal.
Yoga teaches both awareness and humility (we are all matter, matter is the universe).
Surreal is defined as having the characteristics of surrealism/bizarre; and bizarre is defined as something unusual or strange, especially causing amusement.
I think practicing yoga grows our ability to embrace the surreal. Picture an entire room of adults sitting on the floor attempting to put their feet behind their head? From the sidelines, that would take on a sepia tone of incredulity. When in the moment, it's putting to rights what the unbelievable corporate and corporeal punishment of ridiculously cruel long hours with our eyes glued to screens and poor bottoms glued to our chairs has brought us. What is surreal is that we clamor for grounding, connection, and reality.
Recently I had the supreme pleasure of attending the local Creative Mornings chapter to hear Chris Pennington speak on the topic of "Surreal". I hadn't been to a talk since August of 2017, the auspicious Mary Jo Hoffman talk that kicked off my journey round the sun with poetry. So I was eager and attentive to everything Chris had to say, and it was, surreal. Strange and amusing and glorious. In the circuitous and disparate paths Chris' story would take us upon throughout his hour long talk Chris name dropped Salvador Dali, Derek Jeter, Banksy, the FBI, and Chris Cloud. I was especially excited about the Chris Cloud name drop as I attended undergraduate classes at the University of Minnesota with Chris. What'up, Chris (that's me hoping/pretending Chris Cloud might read my blog). Additionally, he used the word "ass-ton" which I haven't had the pleasure of hearing in a key-note address before (yet another reason I love Creative Mornings), and he coined the word "catacomby", right there, live! As we were listening!
It felt surreal and so right sitting in that room with open and creative minds. I listened to him talk as I watched a construction crane gracefully moving a large rock outside the window of the Science Museum with the gorgeous backdrop of the wintry Mississippi River. I felt connected to everyone around me in our amusement in Chris' harrowing tale of exploring a "catacomby scary-ass basement" armed only with a bic lighter and borrowed courage from a chained man in a suit doing performance art in the floor above. Laughing along with Chris at the hilarity of life, I realized what was different about his talk, humble candor. Most speakers talk about their hard work leading up to success, Chris had us holding our sides as he explained the query "what chicken video?" and why he can't go back to New York City.
Through all the chuckles and the laughs he also managed some great messages. I heard the message that failure can lead to relationships that leads to success; that being smart about how art is funded is vital; that we are already connected through art and we can connect even more to each other. As a parting encouragement, Chris called on us to ask what we could do together to add to the greatness of the Twin Cities. Which brings me back to yoga. To yoke. To join. I so much agree with Chris Pennington. It is our responsibility to enhance our world because we are connected. We can appreciate the strange. We can emphasize what brings us closer. We can embrace with humility our small stitch in the fabric of time. We can laugh and share the joke that it's all surreal.
Creative enthusiast, gregarious naturalist, opinionated activist, RYT 200. Amy Kay Czechowicz completed a poetry challenge for 2018 by posting an original poem daily to this blog and she's doing it again in 2020! You can read those and more by clicking and exploring below!