May 16, 2009

Invisibility Cloak

One of the things that emerged as I went through yoga teacher training was my fantastical ability to become invisible. Not actually invisible, but I have this ability to just become very unnoticeable. Barb said something like "I'd be teaching a class, and about 1/2 way through I'd think 'Wonder where Jude has been, I have not seen her lately' and suddenly I'd realize that you were right there, in the class. You have this strange power to become invisible, to blend in, to become unnoticeable."

And yes, I do have that power. Adopted as a young kid who was bullied and picked on - becoming invisible was a survival skill. Perfected in adulthood, during my major life event, when becoming invisible meant success and survival of a different sort. Unlearning that, becoming visible, was one of the challenges (and necessary benefits) of my teacher training.

So tonight, after kirtan at Vital Life Center, I became keenly aware of having pulled that invisibility cloak back on. A room packed full of devotees, chanting. The kirtan was pretty good - missing a few of our members, I think we all stepped up a little to compensate, there was a little more room to play, and we were a little tighter (physically) and a little more adventurous (musically). It was a birthday celebration, there was cake or apple crisp afterward, and the masses of happy chanters wandered into the next room to talk, to eat, to connect.

I found myself cleaning up, for the most part alone (not unusual) and though a few friends came up to say hi, I was mostly not part of the buzz, the community, the group. I quietly packed up my things, and left without a word or goodbye to anyone.

It was an act of both dysfunction and of consciousness. I was very aware that there was a room filled with people I could immerse myself in, but I was tired, I was cranky, and being alone seemed the more familiar path. Perhaps the large number of visibly coupled people in the space got to me - I'm feeling pretty alone and unlovable, and it as hard to see others so physically and emotionally connected. Whatever the reason - I could feel the protection and isolation of that invisibility cloak as I collected my things - microphones, cables, stands, guitar, amplifier - slowly carted them out to the car, and left quietly. All it would have taken was for someone to notice me off by myself, and pull me towards community. But of course, with my invisibility cloak on, nobody could see me.....

So, a bittersweet evening. I turned my back on community, on connection, on others. But I was quite conscious of what I was doing, exploring my feelings, my actions, my reactions. It's a gorgeous day out there, but I'm feeling kind of grey and lonely. Perhaps some time on the mat, with a certain inked yoga goddess, will pull me out of my darkness.....


sandy shoes said...

I think I know that feeling.

Withdrawing has its uses, but sometimes it can sour.

I hope you're feeling brighter soon. Keep going through the motions, in the meantime.

KG said...

Ahh, then, I was not alone in my feeling alone in the midst of folks who appear intertwined as couples, as a group. Warmly welcomed but always just on the fringe. I placed it in my empty pockets, driving distance category creating a relational distance...but I hear it emerging from the awkward little buck-toothed girl who could not see well and moved every few years. It carries a deep self-questioning hurt when the open accepting ones, not the "nasty in-crowd" ones, are the ones you feel alone amongst. I chose the other side of the coin and tried to immerse...and arrived at a similar place.
So we stand on the edge at times and observe. Find our balance.
Appreciate that a friend puts out there the very thing we felt.