I hadn’t seen you for months; hadn’t seen you for so long that I couldn’t remember the last time. Yesterday, I heard your voice before I saw you. Behind the studio door, you sang to conclude the previous class.
I left the home reluctantly, mainly because, one ought to get out of the bed and show up; in theory. Hearing your voice made me smile, almost giggle. I forgot how wonderfully terrible your singing was. Not even terrible. You can’t sing, terrible or otherwise. And yet you sing with heart and joy. You voice carries through the room, through the door, into the lobby.
Ah, being away, how could I remember. Your singing, the off the charts mysticism of your “dharma talks”, your outrageous rants in the newspaper, your leather jackets, your swagger. Your manic energy.
I am still laughing at that one time when in a hot tub (hot tub being just another place for a conversation like that), you argued with me vehemently about which constellation in the August sky above us was Ursa Minor. You were wrong. You were still muttering to yourself about that for a few minutes after I proved you wrong using that app on your phone.
I am still laughing at how you started our class by getting us into a “tripple diamond” supta baddha konasana and declared, with straight face and great enthusiasm, that was a “triple yonic” shape. Who else would?!
And with all that, there is your love for your students, your taking care of those in your charge, with full integrity, unwavering, over the top, as if convinced you know what’s good for them better than they. (You are often right then.) Like your singing, you put it all out there, bare, whole, exactly as it is.
When I first met you, I had already learned how to be a good student, thankfully. When I saw you yesterday, after a long while, I remembered that. Being in your presence, I also remembered what it was like to be fearless, what it was like to be alive, what it was like to feel joy. You saw me before the class and chit-chatted, you remembered it had been a while. It felt good to be seen. When it was the time to contemplate an offering, I opened my palms up and I made one not to you, but to all you stand for.