28 November 2011
Back to a regular Ashtanga Vinyasa primary practice again.
Or so I thought.
My lumbar injury has been steadily improving over the last year and I've been gradually introducing my body back into the practice for the past few months. It seemed to have repaired enough for me to start doing the full practice with Renate again.
I have abundant energy and I love this practice.
I really missed doing it from start to finish, and felt great joy practicing again.
But now I'm convinced - it hurts me.
It is definitely aggravating my worn facet joints.
I did a careful practice alongside Renate on Saturday - no jumping, just gently stepping through the vinyasas, modifying some of the poses like Parivritta Parsvakonasana and all the Marichys, skipping Bhuja and Supta Kurmasana, no rolling in Garbha Pindasana etc...etc...
but still I ended up in pain and feeling crippled for two days. The inflamed tissues around my lumbar spine, sacrum and hips stiffened up, immobilising my joints.
Upon reflection, I realise that there are no particular poses that are aggravating the condition.
Its the repeated movement from forward bend to back bend that is characteristic of, and integral to the Ashtanga practice that's causing the tissue inflammation and the shooting nerve pains.
I noticed during the forward bend sequence how resistant my body was to Upward Dog in the vinyasas. I had to take an extra breath every time I moved into this pose to stretch open the front of my body after the forward bend. There is no elasticity in the tissues around my lumbar and hips. If I stretch them strongly one way, they don't bounce back in time to stretch the other way.
And the post-practice condition is excruciating.
Sadly I think I might have to stop practicing with Renate and her friends on Saturday mornings. It wouldn't feel right to be doing a completely different practice in the same room as 4 people who are all following each other through the choreographed Ashtanga steps.
Tonight I came home from work and spent over an hour on my mat:
7 minutes in Headstand
15 minutes in Shoulderstand and most of the variations
Virasana, Pryankasana, Supta Virasana
Janu Sirsasana for 10 breaths
Ardha Baddha Padma Paschimottanasana for 10 breaths
A passive backbend over a bolster
A passive inversion with a block in my shoulderblades (pictured)
It was quite simply rich, sweet and indulgent.
So I'm finally letting go of the Ashtanga dream...and doing what feels best for my body.
26 November 2011
Some days it all comes flooding back,
and tears are what come out when your heart is cracked open.
in that tender, raw, open state
I am fully in love with life.
This human heart that can feel pain, love, grief, joy, sorrow, sadness, ecstasy, compassion...
can also feel the intimate presence of God.
So I walk, and I think about Mark,
and Wandering Aengus
and I cry,
and I bless this moment
and every moment I get to live,
Words cannot describe the love I now have for this life I am in...
Image: The view from the ridgetop looking out over Gandy's Gully.
In our final two sessions (5 and 6), we'll be working on composing a ritual to commemorate Mark's death, nearly one year ago, on 13th December.
I could never perform a flimsy, superficial ritual to indulge in sentimentality or blind devotion.
It must be a ritual that has great personal meaning.
Whatever form it takes, this ritual on 13th December will come from the raw depths of my heart and be both evocative and emotional. It will be the first real ritual I have ever performed, and from this day forward I will honour the 13th December with the ritual...for the rest of my life.
The 13th December is the day my Wandering Aengus soulmate died.
Some ideas and images for the ritual have already started emerging:
It will be near Mark's cottage.
The first time I ever visited Mark's little cottage on the outskirts of Mylor he took me down Silverlake Road, through the overgrown bushland then down to the creek where he had a yabby net tied up. Buffy and I followed a little way behind him through the tall grass, and at one point he turned around and snapped a photo of me.After he died I found the photo on his computer and he'd named it "Sally, My Love".
On 13th December I'll visit the little creek near Mark's cottage.
I'll sit next to the creek and that is where my ritual will be held.
Mark was very organically connected to his surrounding bush environment and for me, the area around his cottage will always contains his energy and invoke powerful memories of him.
Already my heart palpitates at the thought of being there again.
22 November 2011
After some initial discussions around thoughts and feelings that had arisen after our first art therapy session, Rebekah decided we wouldn't pursue the direction of involving Mark in the sessions, nor would we work with grief as I was clearly over it and starting to move forward with life.
Rebekah is highly intelligent and sensitive - I am amazed at how intuitively she can pick up on a word or a phrase and identify it as important, then take it somewhere using the most appropriate therapeutic tool. She sensed that her initial suggestion of revisiting the past events wouldn't be helpful for me and would pull me backwards into sorrow against my will.
So she suggested creating a set of symbol cards, to lighten the therapeutic process, create some art, and have some fun with it. Symbol cards are made by drawing or painting a simple shape or symbol onto rectangles of coloured paper (approx 12 x 8cm), then sticking them onto cardboard.
She gave me the subjects of: body, mind, heart and soul/spirit.
I could choose whether to create one symbol to represent my idea of soul and spirit, or I could create two separate symbols. For this exercise, I was happy with soul/spirit being embodied in one symbol.
I sat for about 5 minutes with the blank sheets of coloured paper in front of me.
I waited for symbols to magically appear in my consciousness for each of the subjects.
I asked Rebekah if I could have more time - we would be using these cards in future sessions so I felt it was important to get them right, to have symbols that were personally meaningful and spoke directly to me. Very graciously she said I could use the entire 90 minute session to contemplate and manifest a symbol if I needed that time.
My mind relaxed into the extension of time and although my mental processes seem to be more lingual than visual, it didn't take long for symbols to arise.
And when they arose, their insistance to be recognised as 'the chosen one' was astounding!
I realised then the potency of symbols to influence our subconscious.
The mind symbol emerged first - an EYE. As I drew the eye, I spontaneously placed a star in the centre of the pupil transforming it from an opaque black sphere into an entrance (en-TRANCE) or perhaps more accurately a portal. A star within an eye - a symbol within a symbol, it doubled the meaning. I'm not entirely sure where it emerged from, or how. The starry eye I had drawn stared back at me. It was looking into me. What was it thinking?
The soul/spirit symbol emerged next - I drew a pointy ended yellow STAR on white card. The metaphor was obviously of a bright, sparkling light, illumination, also a symbol for me of ascension, looking down from a higher perspective, a direction finder in the dark of night, I felt the incredible atomic and nuclear density contained within a star's composition...
These first two symbols had connected metaphorically...I had stars in my eyes....
Next the heart. It was too cliche for me to draw a heart shaped symbol to represent the heart, but it wasn't easy to get past this universally recognised symbol. What came to me in a micro moment of inspiration was a TEAR shape. Deep heart felt feelings are often expressed in tears, not just tears of sadness, but also tears of great joy. Overflowing emotion is let out through tears. I drew a yellow tear on blue paper.
And tears come from eyes...yet another symbol connecting to a symbol.
Finding a symbol for the body that I could intuitively connect with took a painfully long time. At first I drew a WAVE - for me a wave represents continuous flowing movement; it also portrays our separate sense of self because we perceive our self as contained within a separate body. But the more I looked at the wave the more uneasy I felt about it. It wasn't providing a direct link or connection for me with the concept of a human body.
I got a bit stuck...I tried some word associations: earth element, substance, ground, physicality, action, vehicle for mind/spirit....
Then I noticed the bunch of sunflowers in the corner of the room that my dear friend had bought for me on the weekend. Their huge happy faces were smiling at me, they were saying 'Notice Me, Notice Me'. There it was - the SUNFLOWER would be my symbol for body. I drew a lovely sunflower with two little leaf arms...perfect. And suddenly my physical body 'embodied' the essence of a smiling sunflower. Considering I eat a huge bowl of sunflower sprouts in my salad every night, its about time I started to manifest their metaphysical sunny properties. My whole body smiled as I drew the happy sunflower, I blossomed.
Rebekah suggested we keep the card with the wave symbol as it contained potent imagery for me - the individual wave rising up out of the ocean believing itself to be separate from the ocean. We don't recognise our oceanness, or that we ARE the ocean.
We don't recognise our sunflowerness either.
So there was my set of 5 symbol cards - creating them was such an interesting and fascinating (and fun) process.
Rebekah explained how we will use them in the coming sessions, but I'm hesitant to repeat this as I didn't quite grasp the implications of the implementation. Apparently the symbol cards provide a powerful tool to identify what areas we are ignoring or not accessing when making decisions or dealing with issues. Listening on all levels (body, mind, heart and spirit) leads to integration and a wholesome, full engagement with self and life. I'm curious to explore how they might work and will hopefully find out in our third session next Sunday.
"Jung believed that symbols are created spontaneously by the psyche. Our dreams are constituted entirely of symbols, which Jung differentiated from signs. Signs include names, emblems or images that point to something known. For instance, the name ‘wife’ is a sign that points to a known person, to this man’s marriage partner. But symbols operate on a different plane, and point to something as yet unknown. The ‘wife’ in a dream points to an interior, psychic reality that does not correspond with outer reality. For Jung, the same word can function as a sign or a symbol, depending on whether or not it is being used by the unconscious to point to internal realities.
A sign is obvious, manifest and can be understood by reason. A symbol, however, is mysterious and can only be discerned by intuition or poetic understanding. It is symbolic knowledge that Jung is concerned with, and he is attracted to what is deep, profound and obscure. The study of signs leads to semiotics, linguistics and discourse analysis. The study of symbols leads to mythology, religion and philosophy. For Jung, the unconscious is not speaking about the external social world, but about the internal psychic plane, which cannot be known directly. It is real in its own right, though not in the sense that we usually designate as real, and symbols are the nearest we can get to approaching this unknown realm."
20 November 2011
I got off to a late start for my three day retreat this month, arriving at Pondilowie Bay around lunchtime on Saturday. So it was really only two full days, not long enough.
For next month's 3 day retreat, I'll face up to my two fears (driving long distances at night and putting up my tent in the dark) and do the 4 and a half hour trip on Friday night.
Driving slowly into the Casuarina campsite at midday on Saturday I am welcomed by my favourite sight - its EMPTY (except for a few kangaroos)!
Its also HOT!
I put up the tent, unpack my bags, make my camp bed and climb in.
I sleep for most of the afternoon.
That's often how it is on the first day...I need that sleep. Exhaustion accumulates undetected and waits in all the dark corners of my body and mind, waiting until I stop to take rest tso it can rise up and ambush me.
Saturday passes in a haze of dreams, interspersed with a haze of reading.
Dinner is easy, I leave the dishes for the morning, and I return to bed.
Moonlight filters through the tent canopy; the deep rhythmic humming of the ocean lulls me back into a soft hazy sleep.
Sunday is more productive.
My morning yoga session in the tent stretches out to 2 hours. Its hotter than yesterday.
I do the full suite of standing poses starting with Trikonasana of course. How I love this pose.
I do it today without holding the lower leg. Instead the back of my hand presses the inner ankle, my middle finger barely touches the floor. I make sure the weight of my upper body is being fully supported by my legs and pelvis, not by my hand. Deep strong energetic roots forge up through my body.
It sets the flavour for a strong stable practice of standing poses, backbends, then a couple of long quiet seated poses to finish.
The rest of the day is spent reading, meditating and domestic camping duties such as preparing food and washing up last nights dishes in a tiny plastic tub.
Late afternoon, and the heat is everywhere. There's no escape or relief from it, no air conditioners or fans, no big trees or shady spots, no cool interiors or icy cold drinks. I love marinating in the heat. I take a walk over the bright white sand dunes, and along the beach to the Pondi surf break. The sets are rolling in clean and big. I watch for a while. There are 6 people out on the water catching waves.
Evening - another yoga practice: Inversions: headstand, shoulderstand, halasana, karna pindasana, supta padangusthasana, jatara, then the usual sequence of seated poses and padmasana poses.
Monday, my last day, so soon.
I wander out for a long walk early in the morning before the sun heat intensifies. Returning around 10am, I settle into half lotus, and sit in meditation on and off for 5 hours. It is fruitful. My meditation is clearly being influenced by the book on Advaita Vedanta (non-dualism) that I'm reading.
Years ago I experienced non-dualism in a very profound way, my egoself dissolving into the omipotent loving source. Re-union. Union. No-Self.
It is something that just happens by the grace of God.
The 'I' that experiences a non-dual state, doesn't exist - that is the Catch 22!
(which begs the question - to whom did it occur, and did it even occur?)
The non-dual state of consciousness is beyond all words.
"Whereof we cannot speak, thereof we must remain silent."
Sitting in meditation in the hot tent today I focus on the heart centre. Strange - it feels hard, like there's scar tissue. I breathe deeply to try and stretch it. I can feel the resistance. Am I feeling the metaphysical wound caused by Mark's death?
Meditation becomes a process of staying fully aware of and 'in' this heart area, focussing on it through the magnifying apparatus of my curiosity, opening it softly into love, expanding the seed of love held in the tight kernel.
I KNOW that the love I felt for Mark came from a source that is waiting to be tapped again, longing to be tapped again. We all hold in our hearts the seed energy of extraordinary love - it longs for expression, for release from its nuclear prison. Love wants to spread wings and fly.
For a short time, Mark was the very lucky recipient of this love.
And all that I gave to him, he returned to me.
The energy exchange was powerful and intense.
My lesson is to understand the fullest and highest potential of this love.
My practice is to keep the raw wound open so the heart remains vulnerable, receptive, a channel for the flow of love. I am peeling away the protective layers, allowing the raw wound to stay exposed...this is the wound of my existential aloneness, my separation from the loving Source.
Our hearts hold the most extraordinary potential for awakening into a loving universe.
Renate and three of her friends get together every Saturday morning for an Ashtanga Primary practice - I joined them recently for two practices and now have made a silent commitment to this new Saturday morning routine.
Renate and I practiced Ashtanga together religiously every Tuesday and Thursday morning at 6am for about 8 years. It started as a commitment and support for our Ashtanga practice, and became a sacred and special ritual for us both.
I was the one who ended it when my lower back injury made every yoga practice excruciatingly painful. I had to stop practising to give my back a rest so it could begin to heal.
The injury was 3 years ago. Our last practice together was possibly 2 years ago. The years are passing by in a blur...
Anyway, its been a while since we practiced together. And it's been 6 months since I've seen her.
Renate's new yoga buddies (three of them are my ex-students) practice together at 7.30am on Saturday mornings. Renate leads the group in silence, simply making her way through the Ashtanga Primary sequence, missing out a few of the difficult poses. The others follow, doing what they can, modifying poses, taking short rests when they need to etc.
The women are strong individuals, but the group energy is relaxed.
Renate is still an amazing powerhouse of energy, her practice pace is a lot faster than mine, so its an energising start the weekend.
Last Wednesday I went to my second early morning (6.30am) led class at Kosta's studio.
I can go straight to work from the studio.
Kosta gave me a free card for 10 classes last week, to repay me for the bolsters and yoga blankets I lent (gave) to him all those years ago when he was starting up his own studio.
Funny - he used to come to my classes back then!
I'm loving Kosta's class...and I'm loving doing yoga with my old friends again.
A big block has shifted, there is an open space, wheels are creaking and rolling again, I am moving forward.
9 November 2011
The session started - Bek asked me to identify any outcomes I wanted or expected by the end of our 5 sessions. There were none really, just journeying, exploration, and perhaps uncovering any issues that are so deeply buried that I am oblivious to them.
I told her that my partner had died last December.
She was incredibly sensitive and intuitive and selected chalk pastels as the medium for me to start with as she felt me to be a very soft, fluid person and the pastels can be blended (oil pastels are better for people with anger, resistance, and hard core emotional issues).
She asked me to use my non-dominant (left) hand and draw the journey from Mark's death to now.
It started as a fuzzy mess out of which came a loopy line that twisted and turned a few times before heading diagonally upwards.
We briefly discussed the journey of grief. It wasn't unfamiliar to her - she had lost her dearly beloved dog a year ago (he was 15 years old) and had experienced wave upon wave of tumultuous emotion over the loss.
In art therapy there is some talking to discuss the issues, the expressive process, the analysis of the art, but it's not intended to be a fully verbal counselling session.
We shifted to gouache paint.
"Where do you want to go from here? Reflect on this for a minute then allow whatever images that arise to find expression through the hand and the paint." (These were not her words, but my poor interpretation of whatever it was she said)
All I could think of was towards the light.
I chose yellow, orange, mauve and a sky blue.
Thinning the yellow with a bucket load of water, I created a pale yellow wash over the entire page, allowing the brush to flow gracefully back and forth rhythmically over the paper in wavy lines. The process of washing the colour over the page was therapeutic in itself - Bek noticed my smile as I let go into the flow of the process.
After covering the page, I added a darker (less diluted) yellow band of 'sky' across the top of the paper. While blending it into the pale yellow wash, it took on a different life and I found myself spreading it down the sides and around the lower corners into a semi circular border.
That was all I wanted to do, any other colours would have polluted it.
When Bek held the little yellow on yellow painting up from a few metres away, I was awestruck.
It was a golden yellow cave - I (the seer of the view) was looking out from a golden cave into a vast and luminous space.
That was all I could see in the painting at the time.
(Three days later I would look at the little painting and quite clearly perceive a glowing orb or sun in the centre of the page. It was no longer a negative shape in relief where the shape of the central area was defined by the surrounding 'cave' shape - my perception was now of a positive spherical shape 'a sun' defined by its own formalist properties.
I'm suddenly experiencing the Rubin vase/profile illusion!
The painting had taken only a few minutes, and when I put down that first wash I had no idea what I was painting or where it would go. It had almost painted itself!
Letting go into the creative process allowed my subconscious desire to move into the light of awareness to manifest symbolically onto the paper.
The painting prompted some discussion about light and love.
I spoke a little more about Mark, and Bek suggested bringing him into the process, using the paint to describe Mark and me together and his presence in my life right now.
This didn't work for me. I ended up painting a heart shape (which mirrored two souls joined together) but didn't feel it was working as a manifestation of my feelings, or my truth.
It was there that I got stuck. I'd run out of steam.
Luckily the session had gone overtime so Bek wound it up.
I can understand how art therapy can facilitate insight so I'm curious to see what will evolve.
As the anniversary of Mark's death is coming up on 13th December, Bek suggested we create a ritual for this over our next couple of sessions.
Talking about myself and my feelings was both challenging and exhausting. It draws upon the Ego, and I'm not at ease with that. I got tired very quickly of listening to my 'self' talk about my 'self'.
But I'll do the rest of the sessions with Bek.
Our next art therapy Sunday session is in a fortnight because I'm heading off for my 3 day retreat to Yorke Peninsula this weekend - which (for me) is much more beneficial to the healing process than art therapy.
I am not obsessed with death.
I am just profoundly in touch with the ephemerality of life.
There is a big difference.
The ephemerality of life (which death makes us notice) has come starkly to the forefront of my life for three reasons...
In my early-mid twenties, I visited a psychic for a reading. She very accurately described my situation at that time, the characteristics of my husband and children, as well as the future disintegration of my marriage at the age of 34.
She also predicted that I would die by drowing at the age of 54.
I am now 51.
Whether her prediction is accurate or not doesn't matter.
Whether my fate at the time of the reading, is still on the same track now doesn't matter.
Whether I have the power to alter that destiny or not doesn't matter.
What matters is how I live my life, in every moment.
When I was 35 years old, I began to seriously study and practice in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. We were taught that death is close, it is our shadow.
We meditated on the meaning of death, the feeling of death, the experienced of death.
I vividly remember being led through a death meditation, experiencing the gradual dissolution of the body, the senses, the eyes becoming dim, observing the voices at my death bed fading into silence as my hearing withdrew, my mouth becoming dry as bodily fluids began to dry up, the circulation slowing then stopping, the exhalations becoming longer and longer until that poignent moment when no inhalation followed... It was the most powerful meditation I had ever done.
Needless to say, one rises from this meditation with great relief that one is still alive.
And a renewed desire to live fully.
My Buddhist training hammered into my psyche the cold hard fact that death is our birthright. As soon as we are born we are one day closer to our death, and the countdown is on.
And finally, Mark's death last December, which has led me into the deeply transpersonal inner realms of life, love and death.
It is a heady mixture of tragedy and joy that I am now living with.
I was beginning to worry about my morbidly obsessed psychological state...
That is, until I came across a book in the library a couple of weeks ago.
Funny how that happens...
The book has been a revelation, and perhaps the most profoundly important and life changing book I've read since Halfway Up the Mountain.
It is a masterpiece on the spiritual transformation experienced by those who are dying.
The process can occur over a period of months, or days, or in the last few seconds of life.
Kathleen sits with people who are dying, mostly people who have a terminal illness, and she observes intuitively their gradual transformation from the massive shock of their prognosis through to an all consuming luminous peace.
And she clearly points out that we can effect this shift during our lifetime.
We don't have to wait until death is upon us to ascend the ladder and re-merge with the Ground of Being (a Shambala Buddhist term describing that from which we came and that to which we will return upon death - it can be translated as the Divine, the Source of Life, God, Allah, Brahman...).
I have been profoundly moved by this book, and continue to wander around in awe of the simple truth that it reveals.
I urge anyone reading this blog entry to get your hands on a copy.
Here are some excerpts:
"As we deepen our understanding of the entire human journey, from conception through death, we deepen our capacity to live more fully and freely, awed by the fact that we ARE alive. We become different beings through the transformative power of our insight into the dying process. We become larger, more integrated, and somehow more real with this expasion of our horizons and remapping of our boundries. We enter levels that allow our now deeper being to open to WHAT IS - giving and taking, in living and in dying, with fewer gimmicks and simpler truth, with less frivolity and more joy, with less suffering and more gratitude."
She describes the majestic psychospiritual process of dying as a vast evolutionary process of the return of a particular human being to the Absolute Ground of Being, of increasingly higher or deeper levels of consciousness, each more enveloping than the next, through which each of us will pass as we complete our experience in the human body.
The Nearing Death experience is characterised by certain subtle signals or qualities:The quality of relaxation - the end of struggle, a letting go, where a boundary is crossed.
The quality of withdrawal - a detachment from all worldly concerns and previously held identifications, a turning inward of all one's psychic energies, back to the centre of being. It is positive, purposeful and transforming.
The quality of radiance - the skin becomes opalescent, facial muscles relax, an inner illumination
The quality of interiority - a threshold, a liminal experience, that facilitates the path into within and on to beyond.
The quality of silence - communicaiton is only what is essential and deep, often symbolic or metaphoric pointing toward the ineffable, it is the language of love and poetry. No human language or concept can express this experience.
The quality of the sacred begins to emerge - the heart fully opens and it can be felt like a shift in the air, an intensification of energy.
The quality of transcendence - the development of a transpersonal consciousness beyond the identity of the personal self
The quality of knowing - a recognition of an inner momentum of deeper unfolding, an immediate knowing that one is a passenger in the body.
The quality of intensity - the energy field itself can often be perceived to 'open' to enlare, and intensify.
The quality of merging - an end to separation and duality, suggesting they are finally coming face to face with the Source of all Being, a melting into God.
The quality of experienced perfecton - of absolute safety, of finally allowing themselves to say good-bye, and letting go into that perfection.
"These qualities ... characterise the Nearing Death Experience. They are qualities not ordinarily known to or experienced by our separate sense of self. They are the qualities of grace. The very presence of these qualities suggests that Spirit is their source."
"The process of dying has been emulated for millennia by contemplative and meditative practices precisely because of the liberation it offers. Plutarch states: "At the moment of death, the soul experiences the same impressions and passes through the same processes as are experienced by those who are initiated into the Great Mysteries."
"Meditation goes far beyond the contemplation of death.
Meditation attempts to imitate the process of dying.
Meditation works to loosen identification with the personal self and with the current level of consciousness.
Meditation slowly and progressively purifies the ordinary mind, unmasking and exhausting its habits and illusions. With the purification comes insight into the self and the beginning of the healing of boundaries.... the healing occurs in the experience of the pain of the boundary."
"When meditation clears the ordinary mind, Original Mind shines through."
"The direct experience of truth comes from the radiant absorbtion in Spirit."
and how beautifully inspiring is this...
"We take ourselves to be so much less than we are. We know best the confined and anxious spaces of the mental ego but each of us has experienced each level of conscousness at some point in our lives, if only for a fraction of a second. Because we are multidimensional, because we have access - if just for moments - to greater dimensions of depth that arise when we move inward toward the Centre, we witness the humblingly beautiful human qualities of joy and wonder and loving-kindness and mercy and playfulness. The qualities of grace, of Being, arise in moments of self-forgetfulness. The Light reveals itself when we take off the blinders."
8 November 2011
My front verandah is still warm, my garden is glowing,
summer rain trickles slowly, consistently,
gently patting the leaves
and cooling the earth.
The sun has just slipped down behind the ocean curve again
a quiet, stealthy exit
no flashy colours tonight.
I bathe in,
and breathe in,
the pink air of dusk.
Evening is darkening
and the noise of distant traffic fills every audible molecule.
People are going home, or going somewhere,
mostly they are going in circles,
mostly going nowhere.
Me…I sit on my verandah
listening to the soft, summer rain in the diminishing remnants of twilight,
my Self gently fading,
(was that prose, or have I just written my very first pooem?)