“What do you want today?” our yoga teacher asked us.

“Beat us up,” we said, almost in chorus. And so she did.

The hardest post for me ended up being shavasana. Corpse pose. A peaceful resting pose, where you’re supposed to not think, a sort of meditation. Instead my thoughts swirled madly, without color, but full of texture. It was a mix between a snowstorm and a washing machine. Around and around, flipping over each other. “Shhhh,” I’d tell my brain, and it would do cartwheels instead.

In this time when I was supposed to have a quiet mind, I thought instead about silence, and what it means. The silence of shivasana versus the silence that….

And see, here is the problem, exactly. I don’t say what I think, most of the time. Except to one person, most of the time. I have two other people who hear just about everything on a few subjects. Another who hears a lot on a lot of subjects, but not everything on anything. But most of the time, in most of my life, thoughts and feelings and reactions build up and up and up, and I want to shout until my ears ring and my throat is sore, and yet this is what I say instead:



And if only you knew what it sounded like in my head.

I’m reminded of a line of ani’s, from iq:

i sing sometimes like my life is at stake
’cause you’re only as loud as the noises you make
i’m learning to laugh as hard as i can listen
’cause silence is violence in women and poor people
if more people were screaming then i could relax


I wonder if the other two women in class are as silenced as I am? I wonder if that’s why we demanded to be pushed until our bodies screamed the way our minds already were. Well, I can’t speak for them. I just know that’s a big part of what was driving me tonight.

charlotte at ps