I was lying on a mat after a yoga class at Sacred Sounds Yoga. Savasana, corpse pose. It was the pose of relaxation and rest that, two years ago, I had scorned. I used to watch yoga videos online and as soon as the teacher called for Savasana (lying down on the floor), up I got.
Looking back, I had no idea how to relax.
But here I was, lying on a mat after a yoga class, closing my eyes. As I breathed, I heard a voice–an internal one, but one that sounded crystal clear–calling my name.
It was my own voice. A Mona, calling me.
Then, in the span of a second, a thousand voices–all different, all of a timbre that I recognized as my own. “Mona! Mona. Monaaaa. Mona?”
“Mona” – a single word, my name, a single moment, with a thousand echoes of a thousand voices, all in love and joy and excitement and respect and above all, love. I felt tears coming to my eyes.
When did I last hear my name, said in such love? It was rare, and is still rare, for one to speak another’s name directly to them; it is normally assumed. It was rare for me to notice my name being called; it is simply a reference or category, like how I call that book over there “book” – but never Book, and never with such love.
I was happy. It was a gift. I spoke back to this magic, this underlying subconscious with so many inner voices and hidden memories – who else have I heard call my name? I heard a thousand voices, one after another. My mother, my father. Friends, family. I heard my name, again and again, in love. Some from memory, some as if they came from afar, some as if they came from something greater than memory.
I walked home that evening, but I do not have words for what I experienced. I found myself lost in time, and in possibility. It was as if everything were arrested, as if time stood still and my consciousness soared into every little thing–I noticed a golden leaf falling from the sky, and as it fell, I sensed an eternity in the moment. As I walked, I thought a thousand thoughts, I wove a thousand theories, I realized a thousand truths about myself and others, I wrote a thousand books and songs in my head – all within the frame of one step, two steps, a breath, one more.
I almost wanted to laugh, because the truth of the matter was, although my mind (and body? and soul?) was swimming in a sea of possibility – potential – all I could do was take one step at a time. No books would be written as I walked, no matter how its chapters flashed into my mind.
I felt as though I was in the sands, utterly unable to build a sandcastle because I was one with every grain, lost in the multitudes. As I tried to put it down into writing, to build upon the sand, the sand shifted and I was shown even more. There was one night in 2017 in which I was unable to speak a sentence. The moment a word left my lips, a thousand potentialities jumped to mind, and I could not pick. I was overwhelmed. My mind jumped from logic, to spirituality, to neurons, to who knows what else–and then, it passed. All of this happened in 2017. Infinity came and went, and came and went again. During moments like those, I wanted to cry in joy and frustration and sheer wonder, because I had no idea that this was what life was all along – something bigger than what we could ever hope to build, greater than the words I had in my vocabulary, an infinite pool of that which could be.
In moments like those, I had to learn to be kind. I had to learn to dip from the wellspring, and not get drowned. I had to learn how to hold grip on reality. When your brain decides to show you everything that could be, that is exactly when reality–that which is–teaches you a lesson. During that time, sometime in 2017, I lost my keys and wallet more times than I can count. I missed appointments. I reminded myself, when crossing the crosswalk, to remember what was at hand–that I could not go flying off into potential. I had to remember that, although potential is beautiful, I could only take one step at a time, speak one word at a time. That it would be a lifetime of building castles out of sand.