9.13.2010

freedom


This weekend was a heavy one, friends.

I pulled myself out of bed on Saturday morning, heart-heavy and anxious, and somehow made it to my 8 o'clock yoga class. The usually chatty class was quiet + withdrawn; everyone tucked into their own thoughts + delicate lives, a million miles from the sun-filled yoga studio. My teacher had prepared a beautiful class, lots of hip + heart opening poses - supportive, loving, understanding, and gentle. I, however, spent the majority of class curled up in child's pose, my forehead pressed firmly into my mat, just trying to keep it together.

Life has been intense these last few weeks. So much of it has been good. Better than good, even. But the day in, day out "please, please just make it until bedtime" work has felt huge lately. Too huge.

What was it about this September 11th? Did you feel it too?

There seems to be too much confusion, too much hate, too much noise, and too much fear chasing us around these days. I think many people are looking back on what has happened since 2001 and trying desperately to rebuild important + necessary relationships, but find their faith failing. We are all wondering what we've learned + how we've grown in the past nine years:  Are we more willing to reach out with acceptance + understanding, or are we ruled by fear, turning our backs + separating ourselves from those different from us?


This weekend was also the second anniversary of the death of David Foster Wallace, one of my favorite authors. I recently reread this beautiful commencement speech he gave in 2005 and felt  it was incredibly poignant during this quiet, unsure time.

Favorite passage: 

"The really important kind of freedom involves attention, and awareness, and discipline, and effort, and being truly able to care about other people and to sacrifice for them, over and over, in myriad petty little unsexy ways, everyday."

 
Read the speech and tell me what you think, I would love to hear your thoughts.

image from google. lovely abbey reminded me of the wallace speech here. also, I made her delicious carrot cake whoopie pies last night and they are fantastic!

4 comments:

BriannEm said...

I just found this. Thought you might be interested!
http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/09/14/unfinshed-david-foster-wallace-novel-gets-cover-and-release-date/

Emily said...

gosh I like him. I have Consider The Lobster on audio read by Wallace and its my very favorite thing to have on my ipod when traveling.

It's a great speech. A really great speech. I vividly remember listening to NPR the morning after he hung himself. Reading these words, knowing just a few years later where Wallace's story ends, there is a real sense of urgency. He means it "This may sound like hyperbole..." but in the most sincere way he means exactly what he says. It is a choice. In the most crucial sense, one Wallace later decided wasn't worth making anymore... "Stated as an English sentence, of course, this is just a banal platitude -- but the fact is that, in the day-to-day trenches of adult existence, banal platitudes can have life-or-death importance"

I'm so glad you posted it. Self-awareness, every day choices to accept and enjoy my life despite of the day-to-day banalities, is something I am totally trying to work on right now.

Rachel Swan said...

B: i heard about the Pale King this weekend on NPR, and I'm incredibly excited to check it out. i loved this article, btw. thanks for the link!

E: I get teary every single time I read this speech + think of how his story ends. You can hear the same urgency in his past NPR interviews, which i enjoyed listening to this past weekend.

I'll have to see about getting that version of Consider The Lobster, I would love to hear it read by him. His voice is so gentle + sweet.

Design Scouting said...

so glad you enjoyed the whoopie pies! and DFW speech is amazing -- i love that quote too