On perfect alignment

I very recently began dropping in on a yoga class (a good balance to the step aerobics class I take at the same place), and my instructor said something interesting this week, while we were in a pose–paraphrased: “See where you aren’t in line … everyone has things that aren’t aligned … if you’ve been living.”

Been thinking about this. Because while I like to think I’m generally more journey-focused than destination-focused in my life pursuits, I still tend to be forever trying to get to that place where everything is perfect–in line, together, stable, balanced–and then to stay in that perfect place.

But it doesn’t work that way. If you’re living, you’re not standing still all the time, in yoga class or anywhere else, putting all your energy into getting perfectly aligned with yourself in the universe. You’re out in the world, putting your energy into doing and being, and things shift about, as they ought. And it’s good to step back from time to time and adjust the things that have shifted too far; but it’s bad to do nothing but trying to make everything perfect.

When I mentioned this to lnhammer, he told me about an oddity of thermodynamics (because we’re writers, and we toss metaphors back and forth to each other): if you measure the temperature of something carefully enough, it’s not at all constant–it flutters up and down, too little for ordinary thermometers to notice, but without stopping–there’s no such thing as a constant temperature. Things that are constant, in thermodynamic systems, cannot change at all.

And I thought about the whole bending-but-not-breaking thing: it’s good to be in motion, constantly adapting in small ways. If you can’t move, you can’t move–and if you’re in a place of perfect stasis, you can’t get to anywhere else, even when you want to or need to.

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