Route 66


This week’s post is a nod to the season’s fine American tradition—-The Summer Road Trip. Think hot macadam, windows down, music on the radio, pulling into a drive-in restaurant to order hamburgers, fries, and shakes, traveling a few more hours, selecting a motel where you can park right in front of your room, IF you don’t see this out front: NO VACANCY.

We long to see a VACANCY sign blazing after a day on the road. But in the motel that is our body, NO VACANCY is what we want. All rooms occupied, i.e.- embodied. That’s us at our best! We study and practice The Alexander Technique for this very reason—-to be fully in residence, present to ourselves and others.

A motel vacancy means empty rooms, unoccupied space. For a road traveler, that’s good news. For a resident of a body, not so much. When teacher-training, one of my Alexander Technique mentors would tease me about my ‘phantom limbs,’ referring to my legs from the knees down. They were there, but absent from my body awareness and only vaguely included in my body map.

A common territory unoccupied by many is the back, not only the back of our torso, but the entirety of our back self: back of legs, back of pelvis, backs of arms, back of neck, back of head. All that is ‘back’ is often disregarded, probably because sight is such a strong sense, and we don’t see our back selves when glancing in a mirror.

Include your back self in a scan of your body, and check to see that all rooms are occupied. NO VACANCY indeed—-





Yes. That white stuff is still floating through the air on this 13th day of March. It’s cold. I’m tired. My legs ache from yesterday’s strength building session (in preparation for kayaking season), and my spirits are flagging in the absence of bright sun. And what about our friends and family on the East Coast, braving their third storm in as many weeks?

But. The bluebirds have returned to the hill! M. and I saw a male/female pair flitting along the north perimeter lane on Saturday, their earliest showing yet. Within minutes of M. installing the bluebird boxes, the male was inspecting his housing options, perched on one of the box roofs, singing away.

So.┬áThe month of March does pull a person this way and that. In the Ohio Valley, one minute it’s spring and the next winter. What is left to do but flee to Florida? (Many Ohioans do) If that’s not an option, there’s also the choice to be present in the rain, snow, sleet, sun, cloud, wind, or bluebird sightings. It’s all here and all now in….May, did you say? Nope. Not yet.

The merry, merry month of May will arrive. 61 years on the planet have assured me of that. In the meantime, I pull overhead my favorite grey cashmere sweater, throw a wool scarf around my neck, and call myself satisfied. Pouring steaming ginger green tea into cups, Sharon Stohrer and I plan for future workshops. Content to be here. Grateful for now.

A fine day to you, whatever the weathers