The other day I went to see the tree that has been important to me ever since I moved to Uppsala. I think she is a willow tree of sorts. Already in 2000 she was a green manifestation of two in one.
So here we were ten years later. For some reason the people taking care of trees in the city park cut off all her limbs. At first glance she looked naked and pretty much dead on the outside but new branches covered in soft green started shooting out towards the sky and proved otherwise.
The trunk now was definitely split in two, both parts leaning backwards and at the same time were rotated out as if to take a better look at each other and to see more of the world around.
One of the trunks could be used as a seat but to get support you had to lean back. This way your eyes would be gazing upward towards the top of the tree across the water and the piece of sky peeking through its branches.
Inside she was warm and dry and I felt safe and protected. Still I could not help thinking that she was dying. Was I not?
Standing in front of her, on the ground covered with the dry spill from her inside my head was emptying of thoughts. A strong gust of wind pushed me to the left and I felt my own trunk rotating and following the wind as far as the spine allowed. At the same time I noted the desire to hold my breath but continued to breathe consciously through the building tension. I think part of the tension was coming from holding back, from not willing to go all the way. The challenge then was not just in rotating the body and finding myself in a new situation. I had to keep breathing and expanding through it, filling in this new shape that I now was. From that place I could see more of the park and noticed that it was full of people walking, jogging, playing. I stayed like that for a while, listening in, acclimatizing to where I was.
Mobility is not necessarily about going anywhere.
Strength comes from standing firm in what I truly am.
The sense of stability comes from knowing I will be alright no matter how strong the wind blows and how many external layers are peeled off.
To change the perspective just turn around! What has changed?
Whatever happens keep breathing smoothly, deeply.
Twisting feels good!
I have believed that the existential tension had to be resolved, not carried around. Standing next to this magnificent tree, I suddenly realised that creative tension might as well be something I have to live with for the rest of my life, a condition rather than a flaw. Turning around offered new perspectives but to do that I needed to empty myself of all ideas of what it is I should be seeing right now and be ready to fearlessly inhibit this new shape, allowing it to stretch its new branches into the world, come what may. This brief visit to the old tree friend gave me something to think about so I thanked it and headed home. It happened so I was not quite done yet.
On my way home I stopped by the liquor store to get a bottle of red wine for dinner with a friend and while standing in line to pay for it thought that – who knows? – we still might have some warm days this summer and wouldn’t it be lovely with a bottle of refreshing and crispy white? While debating with myself I turned my head to the left and read the description of the wine at the eye level: “…taste of lemon, pear, yellow apple, and subtle hints of cinnamon spice.” That would do! I grabbed the last bottle left on the shelf without leaving the line and glanced at the label: it was Pinot Grigio from California and was called Twisted.
How twisted was that?
When I finally got home and checked my e-mail, one particularly drew my attention. It was the newsletter from yoga teacher Susi Hately at Functional Synergy with special focus on asanas and anatomy. The topic for this particular send-out was “Twisting is Profoundly Delightful” and contained information on the benefits and mechanics of safe twists. Another delightful twist in this story! Would you blame me for putting twists into focus these comings weeks, on and off the mat?
Where am I forcing too much causing myself misery? Where am I holding my breath again, holding back? How can I expand in this form and place, in this ongoing dialogue with reality?
All twists aside, I love these small syncronicities in life that illuminate something we already knew but were not aware of.