Saturday, April 27, 2013

Travels, a chance meeting in not-quite-Denver

Hmm... it's been a while, hasn't it? As you can tell, I haven't been blogging much lately; my last post was ten days ago, which is, to date, the longest length of time I have spent away from this blog... well, this is actually not entirely true: I have been checking in here at least once a day. I just haven't found the time or energy to actually write a post, due to a lot of work-related travel, and preparing for the things that I have to do during these travels.

Anyway, I'm back, for now at least. I don't really have much to say about my practice, or about much else, really. I brought Sharath's led primary CD with me during my travels, and just did my practice in my hotel room in accordance with his vinyasa count. It's very nice, actually; no need to think, no excuse to procrastinate or faff about practice. Just listen to Sharath's count, and practice along. Having Sharath's voice to listen to is also a good way to anchor yourself in a sort of timeless present when you are in a foreign place.

But actually, here's an interesting encounter I had yesterday that might be worth sharing here. On my way back home, I had a layover at Denver International Airport. As I was hurrying along to the gate to catch my connection, I glimpsed, out of the corner of my eye, a familiar face passing by. I couldn't be sure if he was who I thought he was, as I hadn't seen him in a while, and his face was buried in his Iphone, making positive identification that much trickier. But I decided to take a chance anyway; I extended my arm across that little fleeting expanse of space that separated us, and punched him lightly on the shoulder. He looked up, and a flash of recognition spread across his face, followed by a smile: It was indeed my friend and fellow Ashtangi Bill, whom I hadn't seen or kept in touch with for a couple of years since we attended Matthew Sweeney's workshop together in Minneapolis (for more details, see this post). What are the chances, meeting like that in not-quite-Denver? And imagine what would have happened to me if he had turned out not to be Bill?

Anyway, Bill, it turned out, had just flown into Denver (where he is presently living) from Sharath's workshop in Encinitas. As we chatted and tried to catch each other up on the course of our respective lives in the ensuing past couple of years in the few minutes I had before I had to run to catch my connection, I learned to my great pleasure (and frankly, also a bit of envy) that since Matthew's workshop, Bill had been to Mysore a couple of times, while I have yet to make it there. But well, it is what it is. No point fretting over things that did not happen. But it was also a very nice feeling to learn that both Bill and I were practicing to Sharath's count that same morning (he to the real Sharath, and I to the CD).

My chance meeting with Bill, as I mentioned, lasted only a few minutes before I had to go catch my connection. But it was a very pleasant surprise, nonetheless. There's something very magical about meeting a fellow Ashtangi in such totally serendipitous and, in some respects, totally incongruous circumstances (he was dressed in post-practice T-shirt and jeans, I was wearing a suit), especially in light of the fact that we could have just as easily passed each other by without even being aware that we were just within a few feet of each other. (Moral of the story: Don't bury your face in your Iphone when walking in airports?).

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