Days 91 and 92: Yesterday's new thing was that I began using a yantra: a beautiful visual aid to meditation. Mine is by artist PennyLea Mackie in Idaho and I bought it from her after spending a lot of time online looking for a piece of art to create a sacred space in part of my writing studio. I did not know about yantras when I started looking, but when I found her site I loved her work. Other sacred images I had found were too literal and had no subtlety or depth. This surprised me, but I found it to be true. But Mackie's work moved me, and one yantra in particular spoke deeply to me right away. I had no way of knowing that it was a geometric (and botanical) representation of Saraswati, goddess particular to creative work, art, music and literature, but that is what my yantra is. It is so beautiful. You can see it if you google her work, as it is a print and in her catalogue. I look forward to continuing to use her yantra with my new prayer beads and the mantra PennyLea gave me to go with the piece.
Today, day 92 in my year of daily new things, I watched my daughter win a gold medal in fencing at the Montreal games. It was a heart-pounding duel in which I was glad I sat on the gym floor because I think I might have otherwise fainted. She won the gold last year too, but this year was a first for me because it was the first time I watched it. Last year I was talking to other parents during the tournament and somehow managed to be so negligent as to miss the whole triumphant victory. I wasn't going to let it happen again! Fencing is a beautiful sport - all the athletes look like mediaeval wood nymphs, with their exquisite posture and their face guards and white garments and swords. My nephew Leo, four, is visiting, and he and I jousted on the sidelines with a red plastic salad spoon and a Premier Moisson baguette. I believe he won that tournament as the baguette got bashed to bits and eaten.