Two Kinds of Stillness

For my first few sessions, I’m anxious about taking my clothes off in front of strangers, and this makes me fidgety, so I take muscle relaxers a half hour before I arrive at the community center. Luckily, the sculpture instructor guesses I’m a newbie and kindly suggests I do some lying-down poses. When the timer begins ticking, I take off my long, black halter dress and lie down on the cloth-draped cushions the sculpture instructor has arranged on the elevated stand in the center of the room. For the twenty-minute intervals that I lie there, unmoving, sun streams in the windows, catching the particles of clay dust that hang in the air, and I’m absorbed in the calm that comes from such unbound immobility. As I lie there still as a statue, it strikes me that what I always found soothing about the beach was not the waves or the sand but the feeling of a light, warm wind passing over my skin as I lay still without having to move or wonder what had to happen next.

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