... but I wasn't expecting the back spasms during yoga this morning. Those were new. (The flare of foot cramp was not, alas.) Fortunately, it was a very small class (four people), and silent (by design), so I didn't feel conspicuous easing into the poses I could and modifying (or simply dropping) the ones I sensed were too risky for today's practice. (I also managed one of my better toe-stands ever. Yay!)
The stiff back also made scrubbing the kitchen floor more challenging than it normally would have been. (The dog planting herself in the way is customary.) I took some time to rip up some old shirts and linens to use as rags, which was satisfying (especially the destroying of a pillowcase where I hadn't been happy about the seller's shenanigans, but backing out of the transaction would have been more trouble than it was worth. I did like the fabric and design of the set, and it served me well for something like fifteen years, but still, there was that frisson of pleasure in casting out what was left.)
Last night I sang lessons and carols with a subset of First UU
's chamber choir at Riverbend Maximum Security Prison. There was both literal and figurative warmth there (well-heated chapel, hugs between inmates and ministers...) but there was also an instance of institutional rudeness as well as broader reminders of it being a place where weariness and mistrust -- with reason -- seem to be in far greater supply than hope. Even with reminders every damn day about the messed-up-ness of U.S. law enforcement and penal systems, it's something to wait at and walk through all the checkpoints. To surrender one's ID. To be thanked for showing up because there would be no one else visiting.
One singer mused afterward about the balance that we must wrestle with. To paraphrase: "I was watching the faces of two of the men when we were singing 'Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming,' and of how seldom beauty must be in their lives, and yes, you know they're in there because they've killed people, and that matters, but you also have to think about how to help them so that they can return to society, and beauty is essential to that."
Nashville police chief Steve Anderson has been making headlines in a good way, with nearly 7200 tweets, Facebook links, and the like of his Christmas message to the department and a reply to a critic
. (Anderson earned my admiration earlier this year for speaking up against a judicial good old boy
's mishandling of domestic violence cases.)
Yesterday's mail delivery included a slew of cards (I was pleased to have so much company in the "getting it postmarked by the 24th will be good enough" ark [*]), and today a friend (who will next see me early next year) asked me what I wanted for Christmas. Maybe I won't pitch the wreath into the brush pile just yet. :)
(* And honestly, if you feel like exchanging greetings with me, I do that year round. No need to hitch it to a holiday central to a religion I don't happen to belong to, though I do like the glitter [dodges glare from the other biped in the household, who was brushing it out of his stubble two evenings ago]. I do need to thank the post offices [yes, plural] with cookies, baking being another must-do item on this weekend's list...)