A Special Layer of the Onion

Layers and layers, like an onion. We’ve all heard something along those lines at one point or another in our yoga practice. Bikram yoga helps us explore those layers, digging deeper, both physically and mentally. Some of the emotions that surface in the yoga room are tied to happenings from many years ago.

I was doing some digging earlier today. It wasn’t an emotional revelation in the yoga studio; rather, I had been digging in a literal sense, looking through some old papers in my room. But it was just as significant, because I stumbled across something really worthwhile.

Think back to your childhood. There is something really unique and inspiring about childhood–perhaps it’s because children see the world through such genuine and honest perspectives. There is a simplicity in their views, yet their simplicity can be at times so thought-provoking.

What I found was a poem I wrote in 6th grade. Though the storyline is direct, the flow truly mesmerizes me–it makes me feel like being wrapped in a blanket of rich memories and raw emotion, even as I read it years later. I thought I’d share it here, unedited, on the blog–feel free to interpret it however you need to in this moment.

an lz original

The last zippers are zipped;
the last padlocks are set
You lie down
and pull the covers up to your neck
The bedside window is opened,
you look out to the night sky
The dark sky decorated by shining stars
and a pale ivory full moon.

You try to doze off.
There are too many thoughts
running through your head.

You open your eyes, groggy
you realize you hardly slept last night
yet you force yourself to get up
Today’s the big day.

You push a heavy cart with your belongings on it
An airplane flies over your head
You enter the building doors.

It’s time.
Everything has been done
There’s the sound of sniffling behind you
You hug your friends and family as hard as you can
But we have to part here.
There’s a lump in your throat.
You force yourself to pick up your bag
and board.

As you’re rising higher and higher in the air,
something hits you:
it’s not that you’ve been running around the airport all day;
it’s not that you can’t recall when you last ate;
it’s the fact that you’re slowly going farther
and farther

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9 Responses to A Special Layer of the Onion

  1. catherine says:

    Wow. Is there some cosmic force this week, peeling onions and having us dig through papers? I just wrote pretty much the same title and first two paragraphs. This is truly touching; thanks so much for sharing it.

  2. bikramyogachick says:

    You wrote that in SIXTH grade? Amazing. So much emotion, so much depth. Like catherine said…thanks for sharing!

  3. louisianagrown says:

    What a talented sixth grader. I love the way that poems take on completely different meanings than what you ever intended to, and throughout your life what you take from it changes. Do you remember what you were originally trying to say? Is it the same to you now?

  4. catherine says:

    Oooh, great questions, LA.

  5. hannahjustbreathe says:

    I absolutely love going back and finding old pieces of my writing. It's that rush of the familiar wrapped in an entirely new emotion and response. Lovely.

  6. Yolk E says:

    Great post! Thank you for sharing that poem. You were so precocious! So sweet, and I second what Hannah said about rereading old writing.

  7. Anny says:

    Aww thank you for sharing 🙂

  8. Amber says:

    That is an incredible poem for a 6th grader, you had the writing itch from the get-go! I remember about a year back I went and looked through old high school poems I kept (one of the few things I did keep) and was completely mezmorized by how I felt and how I viewed the world. Thanks for sharing.

  9. lz says:

    Catherine – nice that we were on the same page earlier this week! must be the force of the yoga… 🙂 Michelle – awww thanks! My 6th grade teacher was very intrigued by poetry so we spent a unit studying poetry and its forms. It was a lot of fun! Anny – hi there! always nice to meet a fellow Bikramite. Thanks for reading! Amber – yes, isn't it incredible how we can still relate to our writing even years later? Writing has this incredible way taking a snapshot of our emotions at the time, preserving our intended meaning for us to rediscover again at a later time. Hannah – indeed, it is so delightful to go back and read our old pieces of writing. "rush of the familiar wrapped in an entirely new emotion and response" — that's a marvelous way of describing it! Yolk E – thank you! I was so happy when I found this poem 🙂 glad you enjoyed it!Lauren – thank you for your truly thoughtful questions, definitely something to ponder. When I originally wrote this poem, I was striving to portray and describe in detail the emotions that one feels through the physical process of leaving and boarding a flight. But as I reread it over time, I begin to see it more and more as a metaphor, symbolizing the sense of sadness and longing that people feel when they must leave a place, a relationship, or anything else that they hold very closely. Endings are never easy, it's only normal to be hesitant, fearful, unwilling to part. But when the time comes, we must take a deep breath, and trust ourselves, and face uncertainty with courage…

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