We have a choice. We can view the natural world as scenery akin to a stage backdrop, or we can experience the natural world as a living being, the element in which we live. This was the primary take-away on reading David Abrams, The Spell of the Sensuous.
It was summer 2009, and the annual Seven Oaks Alexander Technique Workshop was giving its gifts, including the discovery of Abram’s book, tucked onto a musty library shelf in the guest house. His writings dove-tailed beautifully with the daily AT sessions, and on leaving, I tucked the book into my suitcase.
Lest my readers think me a thief, be assured I purchased another copy and mailed it to the Seven Oaks Retreat Center, preferring to keep the wrinkled and worn copy of my happy find. Immersing myself in Abram’s scientific yet mystical world was akin to a previous summer’s reading of Diane Ackerman’s, A Natural History of the Senses.
As August ends, and the fall flurry awaits, either or both of these books will cast a spell over your habitual ways of viewing and being in the world. Here’s to a little magic –