Tense moment well served by soft body
I’m going to steer clear of the impeachment hearings, but I will say this: I’m a Fiona Hill fan. Yes!
During my hospice shift on Tuesday night, I was sitting at the bedside of someone I’d never met before. It seemed likely he’d had a stroke, based on his speech patterns and the content of our conversation. He would veer from angry to happy to tender pretty quickly. I was able to understand about 70% of what he was saying, but I was stunned when I heard him clearly say, “I hate (insert derogatory term for a racial group)”. I immediately felt my body go rigid, but then I heard this gentle but fierce voice of “no” ring through my consciousness. It was the “no” of “we’re not going to follow this topic.” It was also the “no” of “we’re not going to get stressed, tense, rigid.” It was the refusal of an old pattern of freezing up. Instead, I let my whole being soften; my heart melted, my mind opened, my voice shifted to a whisper, I reached out to touch this man and I said, “Charlie, can you tell me what you love?” I was surprised at how his whole demeanor shifted, as if completely forgetting what he had just said. He looked at me with a sparkle in his eyes and said, “the sun, I love how the sun feels on my chest.” And with this, he put his hand just beneath his clavicle, looked up at me and gave me the most genuine, radiant smile I’ve seen in a long time.
Friends, I tell you, it was a bit of a dicey moment there of not knowing (for an instant) how I would respond, but it was my body’s intelligence that I followed. I would not have had the wherewithal to listen to my body had it not been for this incredible conscious movement practice. I offer a deep bow of gratitude to my teachers who have taught me so much about abundant, ever-flowing loving kindness over the years and they have taught me with abundant, ever-flowing loving kindness. My heartfelt “thank you” to Lori, Kathy, Andrea. I shudder to think who I would be in this crazy, mixed-up world without my dance practice. I’ve been given the tools to stay in my body in difficult moments, to stay grounded, centered, and present. I am a better person for the experience of studying Open Floor Dance.
This practice serves me so incredibly well. And I trust it serves you too. I look forward to dancing with you tomorrow in Sausalito.
I’m pleased as punch to report that our beloved Claire will be bringing the music, the wisdom, the space-holding talents to the dance extravaganza tomorrow.
The poem. Testimony by Rebecca Baggett. I know I’ve shared this poem before, perhaps repeatedly, but it is a wonder. Truly. A wonder. And it’s just what the world needs right now. It’s what we all need. Enjoy.
(for my daughters) I want to tell you that the world is still beautiful. I tell you that despite children raped on city streets, shot down in school rooms, despite the slow poisons seeping from old and hidden sins into our air, soil, water, despite the thinning film that encloses our aching world. Despite my own terror and despair. I want you to know that spring is no small thing, that the tender grasses curling like a baby's fine hairs around your fingers are a recurring miracle. I want to tell you that the river rocks shine like God, that the crisp voices of the orange and gold October leaves are laughing at death, I want to remind you to look beneath the grass, to note the fragile hieroglyphs of ant, snail, beetle. I want you to understand that you are no more and no less necessary than the brown recluse, the ruby- throated hummingbird, the humpback whale, the profligate mimosa. I want to say, like Neruda, that I am waiting for "a great and common tenderness", that I still believe we are capable of attention, that anyone who notices the world must want to save it.
~ Rebecca Baggett ~
Don’t you just want to weep for the beauty and eloquence of her words? The hope and the inspiration?
“. . . .we are capable of attention, that anyone who notices the world must want to save it.”
Sending loving & healing hugs,