Grounds for Sculpture

Grounds for Sculpture

Wednesday, January 28, 2015


My teacher spoke about how she responds to positive reinforcement like a golden retriever. It was a great moment of self-reflection and comic relief. I watched myself this weekend as I was receiving an experience which bubbled up inside of me in a way which began to overflow. It was hard to contain the joy. 

“Nothing thicker than a knife’s blade separates melancholy from happiness.” Virginia Woolf

When you grow accustomed to being without something for a long enough time, the experience of having that very thing, can topple a place inside of you which has been waiting in the wings to be dialogued with but perhaps never closed up. 

I thought I would fall to pieces upon seeing my teacher because I had missed her so much. But instead, I simply felt deeply happy. I felt my body, which had been so fatigued and so unready to work, dig into its roots and rise from its depths just to stand in its own center. And as that happened, my heart was exposed to news which saddened me deeply: the death of a friend, a recent diagnosis of another, haunting grief. The list was long, but my roots were deep and I did not grow dizzy. I was not distracted by anything. As fatigued as I felt, I was rooted. 

I have spent much of my life being very familiar with grief. I watched myself this weekend, however, moving continually toward what felt like love rather than what felt like loss even though I have been comfortable and accustomed to living without.

Coming from a history of deprivation, this really is groundbreaking and radical. But… maybe… just…


this is because the ones who truly love us really do instill in us the experience which we so naturally know is our birthright.


I realized that, I too, am like a golden retriever. But I would describe myself in this way. I am the type of Golden who is a Classic Jewish Grandmother. Those who know me well, know this to be very true about me.

Let me explain:

I am pushy without offending. 
I am just so happy to see you that I am busting inside (in other words, “kvelling”).
So much so that I will tell you I have traveled “Just to take a look at you and now that I have, I can go. No need to discuss. No need to ask you questions, but I hope you have eaten and that you will eat again before too long.”
I will look at you in a way that helps me remember because I understand the brevity of life and the joy of the moment. 
And lastly, I will of course, give you a zest of a squeeze as every good grandmother does. 


After the weekend came to a close, that same night as Viola Davis won the SAG award she said, “Thank you to all of the people who love me exactly how God made me.”


Thank you. 

With reverence and love in my heart, all I can say is “Thank you.”

Jill Bacharach

Thursday, January 8, 2015


Last night I read a tweet by one of the most beloved people on Broadway. She wrote: “I just had an uncontrollable sneeze during the saddest moment in the play. Oy. #fired” 

My immediate response was that this was the most human, no, dare I say it, the most EXQUISITE human moment. Because when I think of my own experience, I know that I tend to choke on my words in moments of trauma or terror or tremendous sorrow just as I am endeavoring to move through them. Just as I am sharing or receiving bad news and think that my head may hit the floor. 

I sat with this.

My aim is to be very intentional about how I approach this time in my life. To that end, I am seeking congruency in my thoughts, in my speech and in my actions. 

I knew that “Oy. #fired” may have been a joke but it made me a little bit sad and since I have absolutely no business and no say, and no agency there, I just hope that she moves through it rather quickly.

My teacher has taught about making your life your yoga (rather than making your yoga your life). And I am aiming to do this every day with every action that I take. However, where I must watch myself is here: I find myself getting stuck in a continuous observation which causes me to ask, “Why are you so angry?” when I see anger smack in front of me. The truth is, this is not really any of my business. I may need to just get out of the way. Or, maybe I need to be kinder to my own heart since it actually hurts me to be in that field. 

Back to the saddest moment:

What if we allowed ourselves to be fully human? Wouldn’t that mean that we would see more of who we are and who we want to become? What if we chose to love ourselves, rather than reject ourselves, during the moments which take us by surprise or frighten us, or disarm us. In moments where we find ourselves to be most lacking in poise. What if? Who would we be then? Might we be softer? More tender with one another and easier to understand as a result?

Isn’t the “Oh shit, I sneezed” just a made up version of someone’s version of what someone else thinks several someone elses wish to see? 

Real life can’t hit that mark. Isn’t it magical when it doesn’t? 

What if we never choose to be someone else’s story? But only choose to make our life our yoga. Each endeavor, a dedication of full heart to the best of our ability. And each endeavor a practice of forgiveness and kindness towards ourselves and those around us. And when it doesn’t work, we just try again. What if?

Why not? Because honestly, to your left she’s being diagnosed today with something hard to swallow, and to your right, she’s fighting for another day of life. So what if we tried to not hit the mark the way someone predetermined it was meant to be hit for today, but hit it the way we naturally hit it… and then love a little more, and laugh when it happens and we just #lovewhilewecan.



Jill Bacharach