Ankles & Thoughts

Ankles & Thoughts

Ankles & Thoughts

by Dunya Dianne McPherson


I drowse in space as in the adharaswara—the tanbura’s warm drone—while all the world moves songs to and from this constancy. Cardinals ululate, sparrows trill and chortle, the fridge hums then quits and the non-hum yawns. Cars whoosh faintly by on the road coming down the hill. This gentle room… Light seems to well up from the floor, from the Earth, from the darkest dirt. The wing chair’s hulk resembles an enormous stump of fallen oak. On the broad windowsill, a wintering garden grows a cacophony of design—leaves, fronds, blossoms, stems bend and twine, arc and drape, in ever-shifting shades of green. Their rhythms, and that of the spines of books in the bookcases sing music between the birdcall. This spaciousness is friendship,  by which I mean the presence within all that surrounds me befriends me.

I unfold my leg gingerly, let it drape off the edge of the sofa. The front of my ankle, which had been stretched underneath me, complains a bit. What color is this complaint? Mauve? Pale lavender? My ankles, when in a neutral position, which they usually are when I walk around, are nearly translucent, a sort of fogged glass shade. They go about their business, hinging back and forth as I pass from room to room, up and down stairs, along a sidewalk or woodsy path, largely unnoticed. Then I climb a steep hill and feel—feeling is noticing—the deepening hinge. I dance and feel many small angles and the swoop of energy through the narrow bundle of bones. In rest, the front of my ankle is open and the thick band at the back is slack. In rest, my ankles are nearly transparent. I gaze through them as I cast my thoughts down to the floor. They wait. They rest. Soon I will stand and again they will hinge. 

To Be Still Yet Not Stiff

To be still yet not stiff. To live in gentle waiting-ness. It is not only my ankles that do this hour by hour. All this time, while I have been pushing my pen across a page, my head lives in air. A head is heavy thing. My neck, rubbery and thick, maneuvers this bulbous vessel, tipping the brain-filled skull this way and that, like a hand and wrist moving a crystal ball full of fortunes and forecasts. Words surge from behind my eyeballs, sluice down my neck, and out of my pen. Thick bands at the back of my neck labor while the thick bands at the back of my ankles sit slack. Every morning, writing in a journal is this or some version of it—a physicality which no thought is without.

The mauve, or lavender, in my ankle, which was the color of my complaint, has passed. The morning’s word faucet dribbles as my viscera draw their deep-blueness—for this is how they look to me today—into motion. Writing. An effluvium spilling onto paper, chasing, chasing, chasing inner ebullience. Words yearning to move as deftly as the perfume of cells. 

I am delighted that you are with me and appreciate your sharing these writings friends. Thank you!

My work and writing are sponsored by Dervish Society of America, a nonprofit organization helping people realize their human and spiritual potential by honoring their body and its movement ways using evolutionary Sufi Dancemeditation practices. Thank you for your gift. It’s tax-deductible! Contribute Now

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David Hammond
David Hammond
10 months ago

On the bus back to Vermont, the sun shines on my phone as I read Dunya’s Ankles (and Thoughts). A fine accompaniment on the journey home.

10 months ago

glad that you write about such particles of experience

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