Just a friendly reminder that there’s no practice at William Penn House or the house next week. I’ll be off exercising the civil liberties currently available by traveling with my beloved to upstate New York to participate in tantric yoga philosophy camp (I know that’s not everyone’s idea of fun, but for those of us who love philosophy, it is quite wonderful to have found a group of people mostly outside of academia who truly relish such a conversation). An afternoon and dinner in the City and a visit with my sister and brother-in-law who are only an hour out of the way will further emphasize just how much freedom I have to come and go and to gather in groups and talk and write. For me to be going on such a vacation was partly good fortune and partly a lot of hard work and partly my balancing many conflicting desires, needs, aims, and possible outcomes, shaped by both the freedoms and strictures of this society.
With regard to the strictures, I’ve seen and experienced just enough work-place harassment and discrimination and scholarship student financial struggle and their impact on my well-being to know that, as many challenges as I have faced, life can be far more burdened and limited by hardship and challenge. I know from what was given to me and what was denied or only came after much hard work, how important it is that we make the safety nets of education, health care, housing, nourishing and tasty food, and a healthy ecology for all in our society. I go on these trips to study philosophy or to practice yoga or to surround myself with beauty and flavor not ignorant of how much I have and how much it depended on scholarships and a decent public education and student loans and millions of women (and many men) before and with me seeking autonomy and meaningful choice as to how to live their lives and care for their bodies.
I head out on vacation because I need both rest and inspiration, but I go knowing how much there is to be done at this, as Marge Piercy called it, “cruxtime.” I go to study and talk, not just for anticipated pleasure, but also with the intention to open up new insight on how, since participation is unavoidable, to navigate more skillfully this volotile time in human history.
I wish you a holiday week in which you are able recognize and experience your truest freedom–even if it is just the freedom of how to respond in the face of outrage or crisis or tragedy–and invite you to come join us for yoga some Tuesday night at William Penn House (click here for info) or the house practice on my return to nurture your body and join in community and conversation.
Peace and light,