‘The first stepin learning how to work on yourself is to observe others. Looking at the world around you with Alexandrian eyes is extremely instructive, and pleasurable too …….and if you search carefully you will find admirable instances of good use around you.
I drawenormous inspiration from looking at….great athletes and dancers and musicians, at animals both wild and domesticated…such models of good use are worth imitating.’
Pedro De Alcantara, Indirect Procedures: A Musician’s Guide to the Alexander Technique
Morning on the hill. Feast your eyes on this elegant form. To know a fawn was lightly treading the meadow around our little cabin as Mike and I slept snug inside is to know there’s astonishing beauty all around us, always. The wild world does provide us with inspiration—-
‘A home with moss growing is a happy home.’ —Marth’s mother.
Moss grows on the north side of our city home and also the cabin on the hill. Green loveliness even in winter months, if it stays mild as it has this season. Other markers of a happy home? A well-swept front porch. Rooms that receive natural light. The scent of cinnamon. A tea kettle in frequent use.
And the happy domicileequivalent of the body? You’d be surprised. Quiet is a good indicator. I’m referring to the sounds of walking, climbing and descending stairs, in-and-out-of-chairs.
As an Alexander Technique teacher, I’ve been astonished at how much I rely on my ears to assess a student’s use. Certainly the auditory sense was front-and-center as a voice teacher, but I had no idea the ears would be so important to my AT teaching as well.
Sweep the porch of your Body/Mind. Receive light and love with the open window of your heart. Surround yourself with a pleasing scent. Sip tea. No need to seek quiet as a goal. That would be what FM called ‘end-gaining.’ AT teacher, Pedro de Alcantara, has this to say about end-gaining: ‘to go directly for an end (a goal) causes a misuse of the self which makes the end (goal) unattainable.’ (quote from Indirect Procedures: A Musician’s Guide to the AlexanderTechnique)
Peace and quiet with soft mossunderfoot is my wish for you this fine day, both in your body-home, which the Elizabethans called the ‘bone house,’ and in your shelter-home.