One of the unexpected ways that my life has unfolded is that from time to time, I have the honor of assisting presenters at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health.
In this volunteer capacity, I’ve come to serve as a regular assistant to a few of my favorites, including the author Dani Shapiro whose presence is as lovely as her work…
Though I have assisted this same program of hers a half-dozen times, I never fail to benefit from the practice of writing inside the nourishing container that she creates with her presence to the space between the words.
Sometimes I write from the center of my current writing project, which alas, has been the same project since I began assisting in 2014. Often I write from the center of the present moment, which is quite familiar as a memoirist and as an instructor of yoga.
It’s always a bit of a treasure hunt to see what comes on the page in a room full of others doing the same; and there is often gold at the end, no matter if one is a professional author, an amateur, or someone without any writing practice at all.
A favorite prompt Dani offers comes in response to a poem entitled: It Could Have Happened.
Here’s what I found inside it this past autumn…
It Could Have Happened…
it could have happened that I, like my traveling companions, did not hear the knock at 4 AM
It could have happened that it didn’t stir me or cause me to wonder:
Is someone locked out of the room?
Was it a knock on the door?
Should I get up?
Let her in?
See what’s wrong?
Make sure I’m safe?
It could’ve happened that Sting did not begin to sing in my head…
“If you love somebody, go ahead and throw away the key…”
It could’ve happened that he did not continue…
“Free, free. Set them free.”
It could have happened that the singing subsided, and I fell back into a deep sleep
That I didn’t ponder why…
Why this song?
Who needs freeing?
It could have happened that I didn’t feel the urge to rise and run down the hill toward the labyrinth before dawn…
It could have happened that I didn’t pause with the birdsong and the pale yellow petals and the mountain range as the sun began to rise…
It could have happened that once inside the labyrinth, it didn’t occur to me, that it was…
I was the one
who Sting was singing to
The one who needed
Without a key
(5 months later and I’m still not sure what this means…)