3.26.2008

If I feel like turning cartwheels--and I do....

I've been reading a lot of Annie Dillard lately, some of you may have heard me talk about her before, maybe I've done so as if Annie and I are old friends. We are not, but I wish we were. If I were to write a novel, I would want to write a kindred spirit to For the Time Being. In my wilderness writing class we were out on the campus lawn discussing chapter 6 of Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, I read aloud my favorite lines, which are these: Why do we lose interest in physical mastery? If I feel like turning cartwheels--and I do--why don't I learn to turn cartwheels, instead of regretting that I never learned as a child? I proceeded the reading with my own experience as of late with absolute fascination and perhaps obsession with headstands, cartwheels and the like. It may have something to do with yoga, but it would not be uncommon to come into my apartment and see me standing on my head in the living room. It is so fun. I remember one night, perhaps two, Davey and I spent a great deal of time working on round-offs and handstands, and when I think of a lot of happiness I come back to those moments. Someone from the class circle asked me to read the lines again, so I did, then my teacher suggested I demonstrate one of the cartwheels I'd been perfecting for the class. I did so on the premise that everyone else try one as well. Within seconds the quiet lawn was filled with the 25 members of our class jumping and balancing about. We didn't stop for the next 45 minutes. Passer-bys joined in and one stranger helped me with my handstand. It was delightful to say the least. At the end of the class period we all gathered together in a circle with our arms around each others waist, even the people we didn't know were among us. I thought to myself, this is how I imagined education to be.

4 comments:

Nicole said...

I love that book so so so much.

Thanks for reminding me to read it again.

Little Lisa said...

Love it. I wish I had been there. I never learned how to do a cartwheel.

Lindsey P said...

i'm a pretty amazing cartwheeler if i do say so myself- and i do. But, i don't know how to stand on my head. Will you teach me?

Thanks

Club Narwhal said...

oh my goodness, that just brought tears to my eyes (it was so joyful and lovely)