The confined quarters of a computer screen are no match for the spaciousness of the long view over open water. On pushing off from shore, breath deepens, and the gentle swells rock my little boat.
With wide spaces all around, the morning sky of puffy clouds overhead, the cradling waters beneath, expansion and well-being are a precious given. This was the first paddle in over two years. Long overdue! But once on the water, time’s dimensions altered and it was as though I had never left the water’s sweet embrace.
We live by time’s requirements and I would be the first to acknowledge the benefits to communal life. Agreeing on the importance of the clock allows our shared societal enterprise to work, at least reasonably well. However, we pay a price.
John Dewey, in his tome, Art as Experience, describes space and time as ‘significant values of the very substance of all things.’ He goes on to say, ‘Space is room…a chance to be, live and move. Lack of room is denial of life, and openness of space is affirmation of its potentiality. What is true of space is true of time. We need a ‘space of time’ in which to accomplish anything significant.’
May you give yourself time and space today ‘to be, to live, and to move.’
So much work! So worth it. The blackberry patch at the farm was prolific this year. Branches were covered in sweet-deep-purple-blackness.
Now for the rest of it. Poison ivy. Everywhere. Heat and humidity. Pervasive. Gnats, mosquitos, buzzing, whining. Check. Purple-stained fingernails for days. Ugh. Sharp thorns leaving puncture wounds in the hands and arms. Did I say heat?
I picked berries one evening only. Mike picked all the rest of the time, and he has my undying gratitude for his fortitude. It’s been one of the few perks of having a new hip, that I was not up to the challenge of hours bent over berry bushes.
The sun and the moon and the breeze and the good green earth grew the berries. Mike harvested the berries, and I ‘processed’ them. ‘Processed’ is kitchen-speak for all manner of procedures: freezing, drying, sorting, washing, storing, and baking.
But first, there’s basking in them. This involves standing in front of the baskets, hands clasped together in delight. Also required to be a true bask-er-of-berries, is the eating of them, preferably one at a time, feet planted on the lane, breeze cooling the back of the neck, and all sweetness savored. The Alexander Technique community would call this ‘good use.’ Yes, and living the good life. Have yourself a berry day. Find whatever brings you sweetness—–
Here’s a research project for you….find your sit bones! Although we assembled in a Worthington Ohio church and were not seated on a boat dock, singers at Capriccio Summer Camp went in search of their bony protuberances (the ishium) of the pelvic bowl, also called ‘rockers’ (yes, you can rock on them).
There they are, the two ‘loops’ you can see descending from the pelvis. Although our thighs rest on a sitting surface, they are not the gravity bearing structure as when standing. When seated, gravity is traveling through the head, down the spine, along the pelvis and through the sit bones, into the surface on which you find yourself seated.
As I write this description and think through its implications, my legs are now doing less work and there is more ‘give’ at the hips, always a welcome change since I live with osteoarthritis and have a total hip replacement on my left.
Also, when I allow my sit bones to receive the path of gravity, I find my back muscles do less work as well. This is always a relief. Back muscles have work to do, yes, however, we often give them way too much to do.
Let the design of your structure, head on spine, spine meeting pelvis, rockers beneath pelvis….let this support you, and your muscles will provide the tone and effort needed. Just enough.