On the Inarticulacy of Bliss (Part 2)


Today was one of those days that go so exceedingly well that you’re left with the faint suspicion that the universe simply hasn’t gotten around to giving you the bill, and when it does, the interest charged will take at least two dozen lifetimes to settle.

In any case, it was a perfect day with most of the time taken up by a paraw-sailing picnic with my fellow yoga teacher trainees.

Not much happened, frankly speaking, but when you’ve got the breeze on your face and your toes in the water, and just enough clouds to take away the sting of the sun, and just enough food to permanently end all the hunger in the world, then conditions are right for a spontaneous experience of that quality of mind yogis call santosha or contentment.

Surprisingly—or unsurprisingly—it’s not an experience that lends itself easily to words (something I’ve talked about before in a previous post of the same name). And it’s for the exact same reason that I’ve struggled a bit with my writing these last few weeks. Most of the time I talk about the peripherals, the marginalia, the trivialities and the nonsense, because they lend themselves exceptionally well to the transparencies of language. I can talk about the constant laundering, the unrelenting heat and the perennial soreness—and talk about them in stifling detail—but they hardly constitute the bulk of my life as I’ve experienced it on this island the last four weeks. Most of the time what’s really there is an inchoate, ineffable, incredulous sense of what people have called by the name of happiness—and it’s tenuous and fragile and I distrust it immensely for precisely those reasons.

But it’s there—much as it embarrasses my black little postmodern heart to admit it.

And—I’m grateful all the same.

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