Raw, idiom: 14a. in the natural, uncultivated, or unrefined state: nature in the raw.

Last night I went to a modern dance show down in a performance space South of Market, and while the dancing was fantastic, the space itself was stifling and airless. I waited until the last possible minute to come inside from the briskly windy June twilight, and rushed outside as soon as possible when the show was through to catch a deep breath of fresh air again. Inside, the still, hot, stagnant air must have been misery for the dancers onstage, let alone those of us sitting in the audience.

It reminded me how important fresh air is - pranayama, circulation, breath, all of those ideas so central to the yogic project - and it reaffirmed my commitment to spending as much time outside as possible (hello, geography of prana), and it made me think of this quotation from Indian philosopher Krishnamurti, which I read the other day in passing and thrust into my bag, knowing I'd be glad I'd kept it:
"It is essential sometimes to go into retreat, to stop everything that you have been doing, to stop your experiences completely and look at them anew, not keep on repeating them like machines. You would then let fresh air into your mind. Wouldn't you?"
I like this idea of letting fresh air not just into your body, into your breath, into your living room, but into your mind. We could all use a dose of that mental fresh air from time to time. (And aren't the arts a good gateway to that?)


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