• Crystal Oliver

Where is freedom?

Yesterday as I prepared for a yoga class I pulled out my trusty Dana Faulds book of poetry, knowing that I would, as I always do, find words of inspiration. But in this book that is tattered and coffee-stained from years of use, I opened directly to this poem. It is a poem that over the six or seven years I've toted this book from class to class, never saw before, never read. Preparing for class I read it for the first time, hoping to find something to comfort students during this pandemic. As I read it during class the heart of this poem gave me hope, great hope that no matter the adversarial situation we find ourselves in, eventually, there is always an opportunity to drop the armor.

This poem continued to teach me. This morning as I prepared a class on cultivating sympathetic joy - happiness for others accomplishments, I reviewed the barriers to this type of practice - judgment, envy, comparing, demeaning, avarice, prejudice, and boredom. It occurred to me that these too were types of armor and how good it feels when we can drop them on the ground - how much taller we stand.

As we start to contemplate returning to face to face interactions, perhaps there is something more we can leave behind, choosing to come into this restart taller and oh so much freer.