Rachmaninov and being still [October 2011]

Why is it that beautiful things make us feel vulnerable?  Why is it that beautiful things make ME feel vulnerable? I have one of those mile a minute, permanently distracted brains that makes things like yoga and enjoying a once in a lifetime moment less impactful.  Always ready for the next thing, usually reacting to my surroundings (hating on the air conditioner or a loud breather nearby or a weird twitch going on in my thigh) . Yoga and Buddhists advise on how to calm the 'monkey brain' and I frequently aim for and miss whatever that process is supposed to look like.  I believe in the power and importance of a meditative state of mind, for everything from prayer to sanity, but it's hard for me to just BE. Every once in a while, though, through no effort on my part (maybe that's the secret, eh?), something sticks and I feel it.

Last week it happened at a group visit to the Seattle Symphony's go at Rachmaninov's xx.  Most of the show (or do you call it production? Presentation?) was pretty great, but there was this moment somewhere in the middle where I Felt it.  It's that same feeling I get sometimes when I'm driving across the I-90 bridge at sunset (or sunrise, as is more frequently the case) and almost forget to breath for a moment because the view is so striking.  I had it once looking at a Kandinsky painting (looking at it again i have not been able to replicate the first experience).  Oddly enough, I've felt when I've gotten into yoga's Camel pose, where, on your knees, you drop your head and shoulders as far back as you can and open up your chest (heart) for a few breaths. It almost feels like that moment you realize you want to say 'I love you' and you kind of want to cry and smile at the same time so you have to just stop and do nothing so you don't explode. I can think of one specific high-stakes conversation with God where it was this exact feeling.  Vulnerable to my bones and paralyzed by something beautiful.  Art, love, connection... Peace in a very tangible and terrifying way.  Like if you felt like this all the time you would, I don't know, burst into flames. Or may it's that you want it to not go away, so you have to stop, just in case moving brings in some other distraction.

I don't know, but I'd like to get to a place where this happens more often. I don't think increased frequency of awe-filled vulnerability Would cheapen it, would it?  Or would it be a total overload to feel so much all the time? Maybe I like mostly robotic or surface-level connection to all things good and beautiful because it means I don't have to ... Be so invested?

Anyway, here's a clip.

Also the theme song to Somewhere in Time

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