Sunday, 28 April 2013

The good teachers

Almost 20 years ago I had a literature teacher that was in love with words. So obvious was her love for sentences, metaphors, alliterations, ellipses... that she managed to passed it on to us, to so many teenagers, so many school years.

This weekend many of those students got together and delivered a surprise poetic recital in her honour with music, theatre, and, of course, poetry.
I couldn't be there (physically) but I thought up a way of sending myself over to my small village in Spain, with my other fellow students of a few years ago. 
So I went out to the nearest field, donned my best Isadora Duncan dress and picked up one of my favourite poetry books (that I discovered thanks to Mercedes, my teacher), and got my picture taken, which was shown at the end of a collage/ presentation at the end of the recital.

The good teachers give you medicine, tools, magic wands. They are human and fallible, but their inspiration is divine.
When I need some cheering up, I put on my best pirate accent and I recite to myself some stanzas from the Canción del pirata.

“Sail on, my swift one! nothing fear;
    Nor calm, nor storm, nor foeman's force,
Shall make thee yield in thy career
    Or turn thee from thy course.
Despite the English cruisers fleet
    We have full twenty prizes made;
And see their flags beneath my feet
    A hundred nations laid.
My treasure is my gallant bark,
    My only God is liberty;
My law is might, the wind my mark,
    My country is the sea.

Excerpt from the Canción of the Pirate, by José de Espronceda

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Wise bodies, wise words

Today I wanted to reconnect to that first principle of Nia, the very basis of all movement: the Joy of Movement. Yeah, like that, with big capital letters, why not.
I only chose movements that helped me plug in to that transmitter between my own personal joy and the Joy. Sounds like an obscure koan?
It's actually quite simple; there are some times when I'm truly listening and sensing, when my own personal enjoyment becomes something deeper and I can just catch a glimpse of my own joy being part of a bigger Joy.
Softly, quietly, it doesn't happen as a huge explosion of colours or sounds, or a big aha! moment. It's like running my hands along the gnarly trunk of an olive tree and sensing the sap underneath. I can't see it, but there it is, running under all that knotted bark, imbuing the tree with life.
And such is the Joy I connect to sometimes, not necessarily visible but always there for me, waiting, inexhaustible.

And then, the gift of some very wise words from a friend. Connect with the Joy not only when dancing, "imagine doing something that you really love all the time", she said. Yes, I can imagine that, I'll dance to that.