Welcome to MissouriBendStudio!

This is an online journal of my artistic investigations and a way to communicate about my work, ideas, quandries and queries! I welcome comments and conversation and do hope you enjoy these musings. My artwork is available in my shop MissouriBendStudio on Etsy.com or on my website.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Wednesday Words: Proust and Yoga

It does seem an odd combination...Proust paired with yoga....but there are times when I'm reading Proust that it feels like the practice of breathing during yoga....long, even breath in, long even breath out...lungs filling, oxygen and fresh air pouring into being.  Engaging with those long meandering sentences, with their lovely cadence, is like stretching into a pose, relaxing into it and holding until the end finally comes and astonishment washes over...the connection with being one with everything.  I'm very much a yoga novice, and a Proust novice for that matter, but for me these parallels are quite real.  This language is like a nourishing breath to me.

Here is a famous Proustian moment...he talks about how it is the taste of the madeleine brings a flood of childhood memories washing over him...

"The sight of the little madeleine had recalled nothing to my mind before I tasted it; perhaps because I had so often seen such things in the interval, without tasting them, on the trays of pastry-cooks' windows, that their images had dissociated itself from those Combray days to take its place among others more recent; perhaps because of those memories, so long abandoned and put out of mind, nothing now survived, everything was scattered; the forms of things, including that of the little scallop-shell of pastry, so richly sensual under its severe, religious folds, were either obliterated or had been so long dormant as to have lost the power of expansion which would have allowed them to resume their place in my consciousness. But when from a long-distant past nothing subsists, after the people are dead, after the things are broken and scattered, still, alone, more fragile, but with more vitality, more unsubstantial, more persistent, more faithful, the smell and taste of things remain poised a long time, like souls, ready to remind us, waiting and hoping for their moment, amid the ruins of all the rest; and bear unfaltering, in the tiny and almost impalpable drop of their essence, the vast structure of recollection."

"The vast structure of recollection"....such a wonderful journey to arrive there....at the end of that very sentence.  Such language requires slowness, breathing and savoring the endless moment.


  1. I totally get the connection between reading Proust and yoga! Both require discipline, patience, and an ability both to focus intensely and to relax and expand out to the very limits of the universal! Plus they make you feel good afterwards. Good post, P.

  2. Gabriella...I knew you would get the connection!! Thanks for commenting! I'm about to unwind with a little Proust in a few moments!

  3. Julie...thanks for your comment too! It is obviously an odd comparison, but at least interesting! Best wishes...


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