From writings about helping my father as he completes his life.
Getting from one chair to another. Five steps. Pushing down on the arms of the chair, engaging his shaking thighs, standing in a crumple, and inching one foot forward, then the other, grasping a table edge, a doorknob, the stepping stones of the room. He knows every bump and outcropping of furniture and makes his way like an old mariner on a pitching deck. Read more
What is this medicine?
The protector. The underworld. The unconscious.
I lay on my belly on the beautiful Barn floor three days after being stung by a scorpion. (Walked across a floor in the dark barefoot. Sigh…) The music played. Everyone moved on his/her own. I felt the skin of my inner arm sliding along the floor and my torso cleaving downward. Then the sense of what had happened—a small creepy creature, a tiny nightmare, injecting me with its message—gushed through my nervous system. Read more
I opened the lid on my huge water tank and dipped a little pitcher in to get hot hot sun-heated water. Then I sat naked in a green plastic chair in the late afternoon heat-of-the-day on the Barn’s south side shaving my legs. I fully groom my body in sections–shaving pits one day, legs another, washing hair periodically. Read more
I am staying in my parents’ house. The house is in limbo, no longer their home but kept exactly as if they might return at any moment, though they they never will. Like a dreamy puppet, I walk up the stairs focusing on each step, the bend in my legs, the extension to climb, my spine, my doing this coming from a need to feel right here right now as the end of their life rears closer Read more
Most of us want a regular, dependable, effortless movement practice that will deliver fitness, and feelings of goodness and realness. We also want to be in the Moment. If we head down the delusional lane of finding a nice comfy routine, the Moment will never happen. The Moment–that elusive jewel beyond price–is not routine. Read more
Week One: Session Summary
Part 1: Words of Wisdom: Relaxation and impulsiveness. Read more below.
Part 2: Follow Me: Floor Movement. This session we will be lying on the floor. Near the end, you will need a long veil or strap to loop around you foot and gently manipulate your leg’s the range of motion.
Language inhibits our experience, a strong claim that I gleaned from a terrific Radiolab piece—’Unravelling Bolero’—about how Ravel’s ‘Bolero’, with its incessant repetitive theme, was a signpost of the beginning of a disease that over the next six years robbed the composer of his ability to speak, to recognize objects reliably, and other memory losses. Read more
I finally stole a moment for my practice today amidst the chaotic situation I currently and uncharacteristically inhabit. I was alone in the house for 30 blessed minutes. Music played. I danced. And I thought about safety. I had stolen time, yes, but the room was not entirely safe. My antennae pricked up for the return of a car. I didn’t want to drop too far in and be abruptly disrupted or, like a molting snake, be discovered in a soft open condition. Intrusion. Interruption—these are very treacherous for me. Read more
The hardest thing for me about this past week is starting a new life. I’ve gotten reasonably good at this in my own sphere—projects, locations, content, people—but returning to visit my parents in my childhood home has been, for better or worse, changeless. Today I sat with my father at Spaulding Rehab Hospital observing his speech therapy. He relearns the language of counting to 5. How to touch five blue wooden blocks and count, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. How to look at the numeral ‘5’ and say five. Sometimes the therapist puts two blue blocks on one side and five blue blocks on the other and holds up a piece of paper with the numeral ‘5’ and says Which one is five? Read more
I wrote these reveries during last Summer Movement Monastery.
The first set came from focusing on skin as we moved, then writing from the feeling.
The second pieces are from my journal.