I stumble into most of the good things in my life. This happens in spite of my being a compulsive list-maker since I was 12, and one of those people who can’t help making life goal lists, however grandiose or futile. The latest happy stumble is into early morning yoga. It’s a kind of club thing, really, and reminds me of doing martial arts, the shared commitment, the little rituals, the doubts about outsiders.
Because I’m new and nowhere close to being as accomplished as many people who go (jaw-dropping, some of them are), I feel like a bit of an outsider. But the real outsiders are a couple in their fifties who should be on a golf course in the afternoon, not in a mysore yoga class at 6am. The first time I saw them there, I went home and said to David, “Think of the couple in town least likely to go to a yoga class.” They were the second couple he named, and we’ve forgotten the first so I think it must have been a joke.
Not that I think they shouldn’t go to yoga. Great idea, and I’m hoping David will give it a try this summer, when Jonas starts his new class. But mysore at 6am is advanced yoga, and most of the people there have been doing in for many years. They need constant attention from Jonas, the teacher, and while other people are quietly practicing an intense routine, for which they need occasion help from Jonas, this couple is doing beginning stretches.
I was baffled, until I saw the pattern. They are new rich, sun-bedded and over-dressed and lacking any sign of intellect or culture, from the Bronx or Brooklyn, and when they moved up here they first took over the synagogue, giving the land for a new building and generally getting in the middle of everything. Then, as their children grew, they moved on to one of the private schools and became donors there—to the extent that the wife was the school’s commencement speaker.
But their kids are grown now, and they are looking for a new community, amongst the yogis. I can sympathize with their desire, and will be exploring here why people like them keep failing to find community. The way they use their money to buy their way in is one reason, but there are probably other reasons that people like them, or don’t, ways they ruin their chances of finding the thing they are really looking for, a place to call home.