The final week of my daily Small Stones.
Reflections on writing Small Stones
When I was drowning in PTSD and depression, I wished away my days. I hoped that by doing so, I’d somehow magically reach the end of the seemingly perpetual torment I lived in. So I did everything I could to numb myself and withdraw from the world, noticing no one or thing. Every moment was painful, or so I thought.
This task of mindful writing – January’s Small Stones – tells me another story.
I’ve learned that even when I’m having a bad day, I don’t have to file the entire day under “C for Crap”, writing off everything about it. Even if the bad things that happened on a particular day only took an hour or two, I’d paint the whole thing black (yes, just like The Stones).
Actually, while I was in the deathly grip of PTSD, I’d paint entire months the same dark shade and did everything I could to look nowhere. Not in the mirror and certainly not in anyone’s eyes, or beautiful things in nature. It was too… hard.
So maybe I was noticing things. But I was noticing them only to squash them. To kill off any memories of any day because those days were plagued with a never-ending loop of terror and I lived every single one of them like I was fighting for my life.
Now that it’s years later, I am free from PTSD. Sometimes the period of chronic trauma and stress I lived through feels like a dream and sometimes… it’s this new life that that feels that way.
Writing Small Stones – as insignificant as it might seem, even to me sometimes – provides a practice of noticing. And noticing is something I ask of my yoga students. What do you see/feel/think while you’re doing your practice? How do you feel? Are you comfortable? What sensations are you experiencing??
So writing Small Stones, too, works hand-in-hand with the philosophy and practice of yoga. It doesn’t matter if you don’t do it but if you DO… then something will happen. Something will change and blossom within your heart and mind.
Your connection to the world and yourself changes. There’s a sense of respect and intimacy that develops.
This is indeed, yoga.
I’m not sure if I’ll keep writing Small Stones every single day. But then again, perhaps I will. Either way, I’ ll use this lovely tool of noticing the world and writing down my observations frequently.
Finally, I hope you enjoy the last of my January Small Stones writings below…
In the heat, everything expands, blows up, and blows out.
Overheating = chaos, Summer’s peril.
A new student of yoga
But an old hand in dealing with life’s messes
Dulled eyes at half mast as though
Sunset shines there instead of midday’s blazing glory
He writes: “Just crazy” on his intake form
I watch as midday returns brilliance to his eyes
As we move through the practice hour
Temporarily perhaps, for now.
A brilliant golden memory from the weekend…
His eyes expressing volumes
As he takes in her face
(How amazing, he marvels
The brilliance of your body
Produced our daughter
Our amazing, perfect little girl
If I loved you before, now I worship you
Because you’ve granted me this miracle!)
Expressed with no words,
Just a twinkle in his eye.
An internal day
The result of over-indulgence
And too much sunshine
Both depleting crucial moisture
Leaving me couch-bound
The cat is my only companion
Today I see my self-delusions in full flight
Turning one story into another
Making actions far more meaningful than ever intended
So I step away and shake myself awake
Trauma, it seems
Seals off the entrance to
The Great Womb of the Universe
That which engenders creativity
Life and light
And so the healing of trauma
Also heals the Womb of the Universe
Three brown berries
And squidgy with youth
Cooling off under shade cloth
In a small cerulean plastic clam
The manic-ness of broken-down trains
Learning to work without a net once more
And missing out on dearly held plans
Tests the boundaries of acceptance
They appear as clumps
Of gum leaves
Designing the tree top with
Small shrub-like shapes