There are certain points in a person’s life that act as dividers between two stages, two eons. I think that I will look back on the week of March 12, 2006 as one of those weeks. Work and life came colliding together in a week of exhausting firsts and finals.
Last Sunday, I participated in Guruji’s first led practice in San Francisco. AshtangaNews blogs about the first day of the tour here . In an earlier blog post , I talked about the community and the history that resonated through the first day’s practice. I questioned whether work would interrupt the week.
Well, work did intrude. Knight Ridder (KRI ), the company I have worked for since 2002 was sold to another smaller media company. For many of my colleagues in the newspapers it will be a wrenching change, for others the new owner looks like a white knight for now. For me, it means the end of a goal. I have worked on the edge of the newspaper business since 1992. In that time I have seen many attempts at reinventing the newspaper, many sponsored by companies and executives that I have worked for. I believed naively that we could reinvent an institution. I know now that I was wrong. Too much infrastructure, too much scale required to succeed. Too much legacy inertia to make the changes needed. People want the news, they respect and I think are comforted by the knowledge that someone is out there investing in covering the difficult questions. But I am afraid that the public’s interest in journalism has been diluted to something similar to their interest in the environment. Consequences must be immediate and personal before anyone is willing to pay for information relevant to the issue. Like the environment, the absence of a public journalism will not be realized until history books are written. More has to be written before this chapter is over. New models like New West may suggest answers.
At the same time, the week confirmed some things that I had worried about. Yoga and the confidence to pass up some big opportunities to go to India and practice with Guruji. If you read my earlier post you knew that I was anxious about the practice. What if Guruji was too tough for me? Well to paraphrase some of my teachers,”It’s just practice”. The asana has to recede into a habit almost biological, like eating or brushing your teeth. The other thing is the whole “Guru” thing. On Sunday I stood in line to thank Guruji and touch his feet. It will be whatever it is, just go with it.
Then there is the community. We have our issues, politics, gossip, but I would trust anyone in that room today. This morning we saw a movie Guru at the Victoria in San Francisco. It’s creator has given the community something – a snapshot of the traditions that hold us all together. Maybe in the weeks ahead I can find some way to make a small contribution to my community in Mountain View or more.
As always more to come.