Dance shows us how the body, encumbered by all its politics, is art. Why should yoga be removed from this exploration? Phrases, sentences, tales of contortion, of form, of aspirational mindfulness—all worship the god that is the human breath. A breath as strong as it is fragile, as predictable as it is erratic.
“Consider,” the novelist Brandon Taylor writes in his recent book Real Life, “the act of breathing, which comes regularly and without effort — and yet the great surge of air that must enter and exit our body is an almost violent event, tissues pushed and compressed and slid apart and opened and closed, so much blood all over the whole business of it.” Yoga invites us to look past such processes, past the banal, and move towards the extraordinary.
What more can we ask of art?
In this time of pandemic, when the breath is challenged in every sense, it felt fitting to go on the voyage suggested by this image by the Trinidadian photographer and yogi Emily Sanowar of yogi and doctor Vasant Basdeo at Mayaro Beach. Like much of the contents of this issue, it gives permission to dream, to dream of distant lands within.
Our November issue (we are back to our regular May/November schedule) embarks on voyages — through language, through politics, through space. Mervyn Taylor’s poems set the tone, placing us at the crossroads. Loretta Collins Klobah and Maria Grau Perejoan’s essay on their new bi-lingual anthology discusses translation as something which cannot be tamed, itself resisting the normative. Such truths are perhaps implicit to the work of translators like Ariel Franciso and Timothy Adès also included here under a special section ‘Translating in the Tropics’.
A similar message is loud and clear in the photometry — work fusing poetry and photography — of Jacqueline Jiang and Héctor Gónzalez. They look back, optimistically so, on #RickyRenuncia the movement that resulted in the resignation of Puerto Rico’s governor Rickey Rosselló in 2019. With so much political turmoil looming, to look back is also to look forward; to imagine destinations previously beyond imagining.
—Andre Bagoo, managing editor
Emily Sanowar is a Trinidadian photographer, yogi and teacher. Follow her on Instagram at @yogawithemily_