From the Editor – Inner Health & Wellness
“You just aren’t the person you thought you were,” says the late guru Ram Dass on the stellar new single “Sit Around the Fire” by Jon Hopkins. “The real work you have to do / Is in the privacy of your own heart.”
I listen to this song almost every day, driving on errands. It’s a meditation set to music, which Hopkins played in real time, listening to the recording, in a single take. (Neil Young did the same thing when scoring the 1997 Jim Jarmusch film Dead Man, sitting in a theater and watching the film with his guitar.) “Sit Around the Fire” is beautiful and moving, but it also helps me center myself and empty my head.
Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about health and wellness. I’ve started eating better, working out, taking my dogs for long walks along the river. Prone to frustration while driving, I’ve been reminding myself that we are all on the same journey. It helps. Working out and eating better has been transformative; I bought a set of 35-pound dumbbells and they’re wonderfully versatile. Walking in nature is, of course, its own form of meditation.
If the pandemic set you back on your health and wellness goals, that can all change inside a week. Trust me: if I can do it, almost anybody can. My habits were abysmal.
Camping is also a tremendously effective method of psychological and emotional reset. There’s something about the sights and sounds of the woods (I recommend booking a private site on Hipcamp to avoid noisy crowds), building a fire and just sitting there listening; fun fact: barred owls are attracted to campfires, and their call is gorgeous.
“All of the external forms are lovely,” Dass says, “But the real work / Is your inner connection.”
I’ve spent the last few months getting to know and caring for myself. I highly recommend it.