A Book Review
by Leslie Hogya
A glass float used to hold Japanese fishing nets in the sea is fragile, but yet, not. Some make their way across the whole Pacific and land on our shores in British Columbia.
Glass Float is the appropriate title of the collection of poems recently published by Jane Munro. As we are living now without physical gathering and actual meetings, Jane held her book launch from her own living room to mine and many others a few days ago.
The image of a glass float from her poem stays with me. I am conscious of my breath, of making sure I practice pranayama daily. It is a time to be quiet and listen within. Of the glass float, Jane says, “…it’s handmade. Actually mouth made. Someone’s breath formed it and is inside it.”
This phrase strikes me and lands in my chest, at my heart. The breath of the glass blower is still held inside the glass ball.
In this time of physical distancing we are in, I seek support; the support of breath, of kind words from friends, of my asana practice, of reading inspiring words. I think of this glass float holding breath and holding me up.
In the book there are many references to yoga, to the members of the Iyengar family, to practice. In one poem called the “Scandal of Particularity,” Jane is preparing to go to the yoga hall in Pune with her clean handkerchief tucked into her shorts, and she says: “…looking forward to three hours of yoga practice, That’s the luxury here: in a hall with others, alone with your body and its memory. Time to make yourself visible to yourself. Stretch. Discover what you’ve got to work with, and work on.
Do what only you can do.” p.28
This message resounds with the messages we have been receiving from the writings in our recent Yog-e News articles, from Shirley Daventry French and Ann Kilbertus. We don’t have the comfort of others with whom to practice, but I can take out my own mat to make time for myself and work on only what I can do.
This is a book for all, that will especially appeal to yoga practitioners. We will have one in our library when we reopen, and probably for sale. In the meantime, it is available at Munro’s Bookstore.
Jane Munro is an award-winning poet, and former member of our yoga community here in Victoria. She had been one of our newsletter editors. Currently she lives in Vancouver.