"It's as if a great bird lives inside the stone of our days and since no sculptor can free it, it has to wait for the elements to wear us down, till it is free to fly." Mark Nepo

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Rest of the Story

Two classes in a row now she hasn't shown up. At first, both times, I was a little disappointed because I've gotten curious about what's going to come next with her. Then I got focused on what I was there to do and forgot about her. It would appear that Late Woman school is finished.

Here's the back story, the facts that have fed my lessons with her:

Her name is Diana, which I learned from listening to the teachers, as in, "Well, Diana, at least you're predictable."

The first time I noticed her, months ago, it was because she came in late. She seemed familiar to me, but I couldn't figure out why. It took me weeks to find her in the recesses of my late-middle-aged brain. She was a mom at the school where I taught for nine years, a school not that far from the yoga studio. I remembered her as being a difficult mom, someone no one liked much because she complained constantly and stalked people like a hungry lioness. I had a vague memory of her son as being small, smart and sad. Once I made the connection (and I cringe as I write this), I tucked her in a box of someone-I-don't-like-for-a-really-good-reason. I also assumed (based on nothing in particular) she probably would not remember me fondly if she even noticed me.

That would have been that, except at some point she started setting up in my space every single class, and she was always there. Several blog posts later and hours of "what am I going to do with these feelings?" brought me to class a week ago Tuesday.

Diana came in late as usual. The class was small so there was space all over the room, even in front where she likes to be. I was in the middle row. She set up to my left, leaving me no room to  move my arms without clocking her (which, thank God, I wasn't compelled to do - this time). There was some room to my right, so at the end of warm-up, I shifted just a little. She. Followed. Me. Moved her mat to stay close to me. Like we were bound by some magnetic force field that couldn't be broken.

Pat noticed this time and mentioned it was clear to her that Diana felt some really strong attraction to me. And that's when a small bit of new memory rose to the surface. I was kind to her once. I remembered talking to her about her son and advocating for him with the principal and his teacher. Not much else, but enough for me to completely change my picture of her behavior.

So the story I told from her side of things is a very possible truth. It might not be, but that doesn't really matter at this point. What does matter is that my heart now sees a more complete picture - one that allows me the freedom to love both myself and her.

Photo from Flickr


Jerri said...

This is a totally Deb moment. That you helped her son; that she remembers you; that your kindness attracts her--all of it is vintage Deb.

That you worked through and tried to step in her shoes (or on her mat) is totally Deb, too.

You are amazing.

Janna Qualman said...

And isn't that what it should be about? Good for you. And lucky for us, you shared it.

Wanda said...

Yeah. Like that.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful either way.

Amber said...

I DO get the deeper point here, and it is a good one. But I can't help but giggle at the thought of her moving closer to you when you moved. hahaha! It is like something that would be on a sitcom...


Jessica Nelson said...

That's so beautiful Deb. Perception really changes things, right?

Little kindnesses matter so, so much.

Carrie Wilson Link said...

You get it. You touched the situation with gentle awareness. What a gift to everyone, thanks for sharing it so beautifully!

She Writes said...

I like it when things twist in a direction that frees you up unexpectedly! More and more of that in my life, I hope. Glad to see it is happening in yours ;).

Midlife Jobhunter said...

What an "evolution" to watch as you've worked through this. Funny how things work out and even more interesting is how the power of getting it into words can help work through any process. Most of the time.

Suzy said...

You went full circle. Amazing lesson for all of us.

Love you


Anonymous said...

Funny how that works. Isn't it amazing what kindness does?

fullsoulahead.com said...

Love the quote at the top. A miracle is just a shift in perception. You did it!

Doesn't it feel fab?

patti said...

Deb, you are SO COOL! Thanks for sharing this sequel, novella--one fine story.

Hey, if you have time, stop by my place today. I posted late but really want to share a poem by Mary Oliver called, "Lead" in light of the Gulf oil spill.

On a brighter note, Happy Weekend!


M said...

This one did bring the tears. I love how you're so transparent about the effect this woman had on invading your space...and now, you're ability to perhaps see the story-line from her perspective. Beautiful writing. And wonderful healing.


patricia said...

Sometimes, God gives you people to cultivate. Sometimes you don't even notice, sometimes you do notice and recoil. They are sometimes VERY unlovable. Whatever the case, you are destined to impact their lives.=)

kario said...

Love the ones who love you, even if you don't like them. Or, as Carrie told me once, "Fake it 'til you feel it."

I love that you didn't dismiss it as a pesky annoyance. That you looked deeper and thought about it. You are a treasure.