Gregory Ormson writes, rides his Harley-Davidson, plays guitar, and teaches yoga for bikers at Superstition Harley Davidson. He lives in Arizona. In July, he was awarded the Eastern Iowa Review / Port Yonder Press Issue 3 long form lyric essay award for 2017.
What others say about Ormson’s nonfiction writing:
“These essays show us the soul of a father, a woodsman, and companionable philosopher shaped by beauty and grace . . . it is wise, lyrical, reverential, and above all wild.”
–Jonathon Johnson Ph.D., professor at the Inland Northwest Center for Writers, the MFA program at Eastern Washington University. Author of Mastodon, 80% Complete, Hannah and the Mountain: Notes toward a Wilderness Fatherhood, and others.
As a fellow midwesterner who has, like the author, lived in many places outside the region, Gregory Ormson’s essay, Midwest Intimations, rang true. From the typical Midwestern reticence to our love/hate relationship with winter, I found myself, as I read, loving even more, the place I chose to return to, the place I’ll always call home, no matter where I live. As Ormson said so eloquently, “I hang my hat on these anchors: a deer in the woods, the dragonfly hatch in May, and the startling retort of hardwoods in frigid February.” Ormson reminds readers what it’s like to be a Midwesterner and how region helps shape us into who we are and who we will become. (Kelly Garriott Waite, contributor to Eastern Iowa Review, Issue 3, summer 2017, Honoring the Lyric Essay.
“He’s working his best vital swirls when he’s taking risks or defining spirit quests: we follow his voice as naturally as ‘lizard, spider, dragonfly and sun.”
–Russell Thorburn M.F.A. Wayne State University, author of Approximate Desire, Father Tell me I Have Not Aged, and more.
“Like the tangled roots of trees, his words reveal visible and invisible sensory connections: the accommodating heartbeats of a drum circle, the thirsty tap of weasel claws which reverberate up to the moon, the archetypical pleasure of a warm fire on a cold night.”
–Kathleen Heidmann, M.A. Northern Michigan University, President, Save the Wild U.P.
“The common earthly elements of seasons and land and water present almost secular liturgies and litanies of heartbreak and loss . . . and tamed hope amidst a jaded world . . . they reveal a ‘dimension of depth’ and ‘ecstatic reason.’
–Bob Ahern, Ph.D., Professor of Clinical Psychology and Social Work The Ohio State University.
Yoga for Bikers is restarting Nov. 14, at 4:30 in the Eagles’ Nest at Superstition Harley Davidson. One Wednesday a month, riders and anyone interested will gather for simple movement and breath work. This beginner level class is open to anyone. This is offered to riders because when sitting a long time on the bike, it helps to move and open up the areas where we feel tightness: hips, shoulders, and neck. The purpose is to keep riders in the saddle by working gently toward flexibility and balance.
The new aspect of Yoga for Bikers this year will be a one-time per month ride to a second location. There, yoga teacher and former Motorcycle Safety Foundation rider/coach, Gregory Ormson, will show how riders can use their bikes as props in what we are calling the “Stretch Ride.”
We’ll start with a few simple breathing exercises, and then use the bikes to help us stretch. The entire class will only be 30 minutes. We’ll keep it fun and practical so you can do these stretches on your own whenever you stop.
The first stretch ride will be on Nov. 25. Meet at Superstition HD at 10:30, ride out to the Butcher Jones Recreation Site where we’ll park the bikes and use them in simple movements. If you don’t have a bike, don’t worry; they are big enough for two. After that, riders are on their own to enjoy the rest of the day but armed with some new ideas on how to stay in the saddle.
SUPERSTITION HARLEY DAVIDSON FACEBOOK PAGE: https://www.facebook.com/events/2283158711912197/
We’ll see you on the 14th at 4:30 in the Eagles’ Nest, and the 25th at SHD at 10:30.… read more...
Yoga braids us into a light not of this world. Its blueprint is not designed for appeal. It might be fashionably popular now, but popularity is built on a thin crust and designed for obsolescence. It has no Superbowl or competitive league. Yoga’s popularity has not inspired a mass uprising; it doesn’t lobby for causes or political persuasion.
Yoga is not well understood by the masses.
It is not cheered or toasted; it has no Super bowl or competitive league. Yoga practice draws from the force of a tall tree with deep roots, and to honor this ground, yogis stand in good relation to the craft, good relation to self, and good relation to one another.
From this center, at the confluence of yogi, guru, yoga mat, and container, the shape of receptivity animates the yogi’s being and opens the cold, steel traps that bind.… read more...
Thoughts on Run to the Rez by #motorcyclingyogiG
For the second year, I attended the 15th Annual Run to the Rez, a motorcycle ride and rally sponsored by the San Carlos Apache. Its intention is to honor veterans and provide a glimpse of Apache culture to those of us not part of its nation. They have a great deal of pride for the warrior way since their land is the homeland of Geronimo.
One of the events I participated in both years is the Apache sweat ceremony for men. I recommend it for a bunch of reasons, but one is that when we get out of our comfort zone we may learn something new. My friend Dan Meyer came over from Mesa to participate in the sweat, and here’s what he had to say: “So honored to be invited to participate in an Apache sweat lodge ceremony with the Apache tribe on the San Carlos Apache Nation. The San Carlos reservation was where Geronimo lived and hid out .“
Dan and I traveled through India together for four months and during that time we loved finding new experiences that stretched our horizons. It has been fun to get together over the last few months with Dan and do this all over again.
New experiences – as in the sweat lodge – are not something that one goes out to get, something one achieves or competes for; rather, a new cultural experience is something to receive. That means one attends them with humility and respect.
The prayers and songs of the sweat were in Apache.… read more...