July 2022

Postcards, postcards, postcards

I enter July thinking about reversals.

After the recent Supreme Court vote, I’m working to reject and respond, to thwart further reversal and denial of human rights.

This morning on my way to yoga at Prema Studio, someone on the radio noted that we’ll lose 50 minutes of light in July, 14 minutes during the coming week. The inevitable reversal of light. My first thought was to set an intention for today’s yoga practice to receive and hold on to light. Then I wondered how I might experience this seasonal change differently if I focused on letting go instead of holding on. What if I create space for longer darkness, more stillness?

As a rhetoric teacher, I think a lot about different responses for different purposes. This morning’s question was a reminder that I can gain energy to respond to one reversal by embracing other reversals.

We began our yoga practice with legs up the wall, reversing the flow of fluids, taking pressure off a complex system of veins and arteries that I too often take for granted. I felt restored and energized by the end of that segment of our practice.

As a writer and visual artist, I switch between words and images to let one energize the other. Sometimes the two come together, as in the visual poems in Heron Tree posted last month. At other times, I stay in one medium–book arts, collage, or fabric postcards, pictured above. I love postcards of any kind. They were the artifact and genre for my chapbook This Space for Message. I favor them because they are small and they invite fragments. And they are reversible. One side is typically the image, the “I am here” of the moment. The flip side is blank space, but not so much that it’s intimidating. It’s just enough for a few words to connect with someone.

We began and ended our yoga practice with this quote, paraphrased here: “I reflect in stillness before moving into purposeful action.”

Light and darkness. Word and image. Fullness and blank space. Done and undone. These pairs seem like binaries, but only if we ignore the immense gap between them. I’m living in the gap this month. Where are you?