On Valentine’s Day I awakened wanting to give myself love, but I wasn’t sure how. A yoga class would be a great start, I thought. I chose a restorative class since life has been hectic, and halfway through the class I relaxed so deeply that I felt like a different person. Why is it so hard to slow down? I wondered. My life is filled with doing. I don’t give myself enough time to just be. My mind’s default setting clings to the past or races ahead to the future. It does not often enough dwell upon or delight in the present moment, where opportunities for love and joy are most readily available.
Last week a beloved writing client, Patty, sent me a photo of a statue sculpted in 1941 by Gerhard Marcks. The statue resides in the Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture Garden on the UCLA campus. Her name is Maja. According to Wikipedia, a “maja” can refer to a main-belt asteroid, a boa constrictor, a crab, a mountain peak in Kosovo, a feminine given name, a river in Romania, or a traditional Spanish woman. This last reference is what I see most in Marck’s Maja—a traditional Spanish woman. Well, maybe not traditional. And perhaps not necessarily Spanish, but a hot, spicy, self-assured woman willing to stand in her glory—a woman, who like the jacaranda behind her, is in full bloom.