Illumination: 77%

Focal Length: 200 mm, cropped

Qi flow yoga

A while back, I found a copy of the DVD Presence Through Movement: Qi Flow Yoga at a thrift store and paid $2.99. What a find! The DVD is divided into three segments, which is perfect for alternating sessions on a daily basis. At first, I was unable to feel and build the Qi. However with patience and practise I am now able to work with and expand this beautiful energy. Qi Flow yoga has become an integral part of my spiritual practice. 

Kim Eng’s gentle voice guides you through shaking blocked energy in the body, clearing (combing) your energy field, balancing the chakras, grounding, etc. The results from practising daily Qi Flow yoga are nothing short of miraculous. It aids in calming the mind—making it possible to feel the radiant energy that always flows through the body, but is usually obscured from too much mental activity. From working with this energy comes a sense of aliveness, wellness, fearlessness, and inner tranquility.

road trip songs (continued)

Recently, I signed out a book called Walk Like a Man: Coming of Age With the Music of Bruce Springsteen. Its memoir-like style with ample and often humorous footnotes makes it an entertaining read. Hope and I were talking about Walk Like a Man and she asked to hear “Radio Nowhere” from Springsteens 2007 album Magic. I wasn’t into Magic when it first came out. I remember Hope was in her car seat as I impatiently peeled the plastic off the CD cover and inserted the disc into our car’s CD player. We drove around until we had listened to the entire album. If I felt anything at all, it was irritation. But as often is the case with Springsteen CDs, Magic grew on me. “Radio Nowhere,” for example, was played at high volume many, many times.[1] Today, I felt that familiar rush of nostalgia while listening to Magic. “You’ll Be Comin’ Down,” “Your Own Worst Enemy,” and “Last to Die” are all catchy tunes with lyrics that leave you feeling somewhat uneasy. In particular though, “Last to Die”[2] is on repeat as it just happens to be another contemplative song from the perspective of a driver behind the wheel.[3]

Oh, and today I heard a fine new release called “Way It Is, Way It Could Be” by The Weather Station.  Mentioned here because it’s another pensive road trip song. Hmmm, this mental playlist is expanding.

[1] Before Hope was even two years old she could sing “Radio Nowhere” word for word. Well, kind of. She called the song “Nobody Right There.”
[2] Did you know that the Pet Shop Boys covered “The Last to Die” on their 2013 album Electric? What?!
[3] Read my blog post “Valentine’s Day.”

Valentine’s Day

I realize that I’m early for Valentine’s Day, but it’s on my mind and it’s sneaking up anyway. To treat myself, I picked up some variegated sweetheart roses and mixed them with Yoko Ono button poms that are a lovely apple green colour. I’ve also selected two tender, overlooked songs... Both are about longing and lonely car rides and would be perfect for a moody, winter road-trip playlist.

In Bruce Springsteen’s “Valentine’s Day,” a thoughtful, homesick man is travelling along a “spooky highway in a “big lazy car.” The solitary drive seems to provide the clarity that his active mind seeks. I’ve liked this song since the first time I heard it. I have a memory from my early 20s of heading north on some dark Ontario highway listening to “Valentine’s Day” on cassette tape. There were snowflakes hitting the windshield and I had a feeling of excitement in my chest.

Life Short Call Now” by Bruce Cockburn is a song that I only recently started obsessing about. The music’s almost relentless rhythm is like a long car drive and the lyrics capture that universal feeling of yearning so perfectly. The driver is passing by a depressing landscape of billboards and signs that “promise paradise” and more. He stops at some lonely hotel where the walls are too thin and sadly ruminates about the one that he loves. (An added bonus is that it’s easy to play on the guitar—Capo 4: D, Dmaj7, E, A.) I like the song’s telegram-like refrain, as well. It’s urgent, desperate, and true.

never lose hope

Never lose hope, my heart;
miracles dwell in the invisible.