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Tell Me A Story April 24, 2020

Posted by ajoyfulpractice in Books, Healing Stories, Life, Writing, Yoga.
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

(“Ramadan Mubarak, Blessed Ramadan!” to anyone who is observing Ramadan. I typically talk about Ramadan at the end of the season, so keep your eyes open.)


Tell me a story.

In this century, and moment, of mania,
Tell me a story.

Make it a story of great distances, and starlight.

The name of the story will be Time,
But you must not pronounce its name.

Tell me a story of deep delight.”

– Robert Penn Warren (born 4/24/1905)

Today, the anniversary of the birth of the winner of the 1947 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the winner of the 1958 and 1979 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, is also the anniversary of the Library of Congress. Established in 1800 and opened to the public in 1897, the Library of Congress is the official research library for members of the United States Congress and is currently the second largest library in the world. It contains over 168 million items, in over 460 languages. These materials, housed in four buildings, as well as online, include millions of books and printed materials, recordings, photographs, maps, sheet music, manuscripts, “incunabula,” rare books, legal items, and other items designated as non-classified or special. The general public cannot randomly and at will check out books from the Library of Congress, however, it is the de facto library of the United States and “the library of last resort” for all US citizens.

One of the purposes of the Library of Congress is to promote literacy and preserve culture. To that end, it is a patron of the arts, houses a concert hall and collection of instruments, and has established chairs, consultancies, and honorariums. One of the most well-known of those consultancies is the position of Poet Laureate, a position Robert Penn Warren held twice.

Most commonly known as the United States Poet Laureate, the position was officially established in 1937 as the Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress and is now officially designated as Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress. Technically speaking, RPW has held all the titles as he was designated “Consultant in Poetry” 1944 – 1945 and then “Poet Laureate Consultant” 1986 – 1987. He was the author of sixteen volumes of poetry, ten novels, a collection of short stories, a number of biographies, essays, and other works. He is (to my knowledge) the only person to win Pulitzer Prizes for Fiction and Poetry. In the poem quoted above, he tells a bit of his story as a Southern writer and then invites the reader to tell him a story.”

“Everybody knows a thousand stories. But only one cocklebur catches in your fur and that subject is your question. You live with that question. You may not even know what that question is. It hangs around a long time. I’ve carried a novel as long as twenty years, and some poems longer than that.”

– Robert Penn Warren in a 1981 interview

The Library of Congress contains all the cockleburs RPW managed to work out of his fur, as well as all those worked out by Anthony Trollope (b. 1815), Carl Spitteler (b. 1845), Sue Grafton (b. 1940), Eric Bogosian (b. 1953), Kelly Clarkson (b. 1982), and a number of other authors, artists, composers, and cartographers born today. It may even now, or in the future, contain your story.

This year, for Kiss My Asana, the yogathon that benefits Mind Body Solutions, I am asking you to tell me a story. It’s a natural request, not only because I tell you stories all the time, but also because our mind-bodies are like the Library of Congress – holding and preserving all of our stories.

Founded by Matthew Sanford, Mind Body Solutions helps those who have experienced trauma, loss, and disability find new ways to live by integrating both mind and body. Known for their adaptive yoga classes, MBS provides “traditional yoga” classes, workshops, and outreach programs. They also train yoga teachers and offer highly specialized training for health care professionals. This year’s yogathon, the 7th annual yogathon, is only a week long. Seven days, starting tomorrow (Saturday), to do yoga, share yoga, and help others.  By participating in the Kiss My Asana yogathon you join a global movement, but in a personal way. In other words, you practice yoga… for 7 days.

Come On, Kiss My Asana!!!

The livestream, all-humanity, Kick-Off gathering is (tomorrow) Saturday, April 25th at 10 AM on YouTube (in The Hub). MBS founder Matthew Sanford will share his insights into the practice, plus there will be live conversation with MBS students and mind-body practices for all. Get a glimpse into the work, the people, and the humanity of the adaptive yoga program and help raise $50K of essential support.

The yogathon raises resources and awareness. So, my goal this year is to tell 7 stories in 7 days and raise $600 for Mind Body Solutions. You can do yoga starting Saturday. (I will still host my Zoom classes on Saturday and Sunday, so consider doing all three!) You can share yoga be inviting a friend to one of my classes or by forwarding one of the blog posts. You can help others by donating or, if you are not able to donate, come to class Saturday – Wednesday (or request a class you can do on your own) and practice the story poses on Thursday and Friday so that I can make a donation on your behalf.

You can add 5 minutes of yoga (or meditation) to your day; you can learn something new about your practice; or even teach a pose to someone close to you – or even to one of your Master Teachers/Precious Jewels.

To give you some ideas about how you can spend this week, consider that in past years my KMA offerings have included donation-based classes and (sometimes) daily postings. Check out one of my previous offerings dated April 24th (or thereabouts):

30 Poses in 30 Days (scroll down to see April 24th)

A Musical Preview (scroll down to see March 24th)

A 5-Minute Practice

5 Questions Answered by Yogis

Answers to Yogis Questions

A Poetry Practice

A Preview of the April 22nd Practice (see “Poetry Practice” link above)


Another way to tell a story…


### MWAH ###


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