What wakes me up in the morning is anticipation: sometimes it’s a nervous anticipation of everything that must get done in a day, but most days it’s a calm anticipation of everything I want to do in a day. I am someone who tries her very best to be still and patient with herself, and with everyone and everything around her. But when this gets hard, I always have places to go. I can go to that little farm in Orvault, France—I can go to the Randolph Hotel in England—or I don’t have to travel so far. I can go to my yoga studio at home, which has a tin roof so that when it rains during evening classes in the summer, the sound is deafening, and even in a room with fifty other people I am only with myself. I find it hard to slow down and be still and simply be, and this keeps me up at night from time to time. I am someone who wishes I could reposition my necklace in this picture so that it would be centered: I am someone who does not like to let go. But the more I get to know myself, the better able I am to find stillness wherever, and to only hold on to the things that should be held onto.

5 Comments on “Erin”

  1. Erin, I share so many of your goals, trying to settle myself and be content with off-centered things. I try to embrace Wallace Stevens’ words that “the imperfect is our paradise” and lies in “flawed words and stubborn sounds”—yet he said it so perfectly! Yoga and meditation help. Do you have a copy of Thich Nhat Hahn’s “How to Sit”? It’s a lovely little book full of short meditations and simple illustrations.

  2. I love how you play with pronouns here and switch from using “I” and the personal to “her” and “herself”. It places you in this box in front of the reader to examen while, you, the writer, are also still examining yourself. Also, my home has a metal roof and falling asleep to the rain is the best feeling but I have never thought of the sound as deafening but rather as a white noise.

  3. I am a huge supporter and active participant in finding places to escape. In fact, I like to think I am skilled at it. Discovering a place that makes me still is one of the most satisfying things. My favorite places usually involve a sunrise or sunset as well. Also, I understand your appreciation for deafening rain. I grew up in a home with a metal roof, and sitting on the porch during a storm that beat upon the roof was one of the best feelings. Being still is one of the things that I think many people laugh at or overlook, but I agree that physical separating is one of the best ways to let go of what we mentally latch on to.

  4. It’s amazing how beneficial a short period of stillness or mindfulness can dispel nervous anticipation. I like learning about the places people go to to regain energy and find the calmness they need. Your yoga studio with the tin roof sounds like an excellent example, but it also sounds like you have learned to find that peace and stillness in yourself, no matter where you are. I like how reflective this piece is; I feel more centered and self-aware just by reading it.

  5. Your yoga studio sounds wonderful–I’m the kind of person who throws their windows open when it rains because I love the sound and the smell and the cold air. I think its great that you are motivated most mornings by anticipating what you want to do, (even if some mornings that does get overtaken by what you have to do). That’s a wonderful way to take on the world and a surefire way to achieve some really amazing things, and your progress toward finding stillness and simply being is really admirable.

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