For many years, it was thought that glass is always moving. I didn’t learn this in school. I don’t remember where I first heard this exactly, but this concept remained with me, because it was so strange. And just like that, it was shattered.
The concept of glass moving fascinated me so much that yes, I decided to blog about it. Within an hour a friend who just so happens to be a former glass blower enlightened me that this theory has long been debunked. I admit I am more than slightly disappointed because this has reduced my fascination. Before that moment, I would look at everyday household items and buildings wondering, what’s really going on microscopically? It began to imagine all that’s moving in the universe, the light and energy that we may not understand or physically see.
I have swept up my fair share of tiny shards and slivers from apartment floors, yet somehow I maintain a set of glass dishes and drink ware and several of those tiny hanging glass air terrariums that look like floating bubbles. Perhaps that isn’t enough to qualify as a My Strange Addiction level of obsession (I’m not eating it), but a fascination. Why? It isn’t just because glass is pretty. Or sustainable. What fascinated me, is that until a few years ago, it remained a debate whether or not glass is always moving. And, until after that former glass blower friend enlightened me that this theory has intact been debunked, I had imagined this subtle movement, a force of nature quietly taking place as you sip your drink. As you slide your shower door. As your eyes glaze over staring at a red light out your car window, watching passersby behind foggy lenses.
What’s in motion remains in motion… (I remind myself to get back to the basics when I don’t want to get out of bed.) When our dreams feel at a halt, what is the reason? Did an opportunity close? Was that the only door? Or, did you stop? Where did you shift your focus? What keeps you going? What keeps you in motion? The answer may not be obvious at first. We have to work our way through.
A yoga teacher once guided me to move my side body forward to the front of the room, while stepping my back leg further behind me to kick the back wall, as if I was moving through a pane of glass. As someone who daydreams about pizza, contracting my body through a window pane was quite the visual. Lengthening the body this way was unfamiliar to me, but has transformed the alignment of my postures. When you stretch yourself in opposite directions, it is surprising where you find yourself grounded. Someone observing may say stretching this way looks very simple, like no work at all. Just like glass, appearing still, my body was solid yet fragile. What you don’t see is the abdominals firing up inside to maintain the posture. Stepping my leg back was critical to lengthen further and move forward.
To gain momentum, we have to step back, right? I hear this all the time, and am learning to apply the concept. Does life feel stagnant? Or is it moving so fast you need to slow down? Are you stepping back? Or are you just on hold? Neither is wrong. Understanding where you are is simply helpful to know where you are going. Not everyone thrives off a plan, while not everyone is comfortable flying by the seat of their pants. Taking a step back to reflect on where you are and where you aim to be may just be the step to prepare you for a great leap.
So what gets you moving? For me? Music. Not dancing, but just out of my current thought pattern. Particularly for yoga, relaxation, and a boost in mood, music remains my go to.
I was listening to World Cafe on NPR when I heard Danish artist Agnes Obel discuss her latest album Citizens of Glass. She got the idea from the German phrase glaserner mensch, or glass human, which she said, “is the term you use when an individual in a state has lost all his or her privacy.”
Maybe some of us already feel this way, but imagine every angle of your life is transparent. Technology is just the beginning. Your every step traced. What would that be like? How fragile and vulnerable can one feel? How terrifying would it be to do anything?
In sharp contrast, how uninhibited can one feel? What is containing you? Where can you let loose? How good can one feel? If you were an animal, what would it be? Just something to think about.
Zaba by Glass Animals is a favorite album of mine to unwind to, especially in airports.
(I can’t do a yogi post without building your playlists.) Do you have any music that gets you through creative blocks? Is there a style of music you prefer to practice yoga to? Let me know what you’re listening to in the comments below.