Tuesday, February 19, 2008

a room with a view

I just attended yoga class (hot vinyasa, baby--who's your momma now?) at the new building where my yoga studio is, and must say I was quite impressed. The old place was tiny, stuffy, and windowless. Certainly made for a lot of sweating during class, which was good to a degree, but I feared hitting my fellow yogis in the face with an ill-flung foot or arm during some poses.

The new place is fabulous. Large...airy...and views to die for. Huge windows line two walls, affording body-centering and mind-calming vistas of the local mountains, bathed in sunset light if you take the evening classes as I do. Meditation altars are set up around the room...candles flicker on the windowsills...incense tickles the nostrils...music plays, a little too loudly in my ears since I placed my mat right by the speakers, but I managed. I recalled how inspiring and necessary a view is to life. I surround myself with gorgeous natural vistas where I live, and have done so for many years now. I find them balm for my soul, and I imagine most others must as well.

And yet there are millions who choose to live in windowless boxes, enveloped by views of cinderblock and exhaust fumes. (And when I say choose, I use the term loosely, in the greatest stretching of the word's meaning possible. There is always a choice--it just sometimes seems like an untenable one, a fact with which I am quite familiar!) I wonder how truly happy those people are? I'm sure many of them are happy--I'm just wondering how many.

I have to quote Everett Ruess here again:

"I prefer the saddle to the streetcar and star-sprinkled sky to a roof, the obscure and difficult trail, leading into the unknown, to any paved highway, and the deep peace of the wild to the discontent bred by cities." --from his last-known letter, sent to his brother Waldo in 1934.

And that's 'bout all I have to say on the matter. Hoorary for views.


Laura said...

as one who literally has a view of cinderblock from the bathroom window, and experiences exhaust fumes on a daily basis, your post resonates with me. I understand your comments regarding choice. I know that I choose to live here, in my box with a view of the cinderblock walls. At this moment I choose this as a side-effect of my career choice. As I persue my career which I love, I learn every day, in addition to having the resource of UCLA just miles away. However, I made this career choice, in part, to one day have autonomy and, with the help of technology, enjoy the views you truly enjoy yourself. My path of self-discovery kept me in the city, in part out of fear. Your path of self discovery involved a lot of strength, bravery, guts and adventure, qualities I don't have, admire in you, and wish I had myself!!!

I love you!! :-)

Julie K. Trevelyan said...

Oh, shut it. You chose your place beacuse WeHo is cool. Even if you are sort of over it after living there since the 20th century. :)

But thanks. I love you too!

Laura said...

shut it?