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“It’s not happiness that makes us grateful but gratefulness that makes us happy.” – Br. David Steindl Rast

To be Idle and Blessed and Last of the Drop-ins

This week I have been reflecting on a line from Stephen Levine-

“If you knew you only had one hour to live, who would you call and what would you say?

And what keeps you doing that now?”

What keeps us from doing that now? This week there have been several reminders of the incredible beauty and preciousness of being alive, along with the fundamental impermanence and unpredictability…

“I thought

this is the good day

you could

meet your love,

this is the black day

someone close

to you could die.

This is the day

you realize

how easily the thread

is broken

between this world

and the next…”

-David Whyte

I was speaking with my dear heart friend, Matt, earlier this week as he was on a bus to see his 102 year old grandmother who is in her last days of life. We were both reflecting how at life’s thresholds like this, there can be such a natural clarity of presence- that all of the busyness, distractions, anesthesias that can cloud our lives simply drop away, and what is most important, most life-giving, most connection-supporting shines through quite effortlessly. And then we joked, and wondered into why, after those few days, we go back to thinking we are all going to live forever and that there is plenty of time to mindlessly surf the internet :)

Such an important topic for consideration, reflection, and of course, lightness and humor. As usual, Mary Oliver has good instruction on the topic below.

And speaking of impermanence and “what do you want to do with your one wild and precious life” we are going to be having a shift in the way we offer Feldenkrais classes. We have loved offering our drop-in classes at Pinnacle, Vitalize and Avenues Yoga for the last several years, and in reflecting on what and how we want to teach, we have decided to stop offering drop-in classes at the end of July. In so many aspects of our lives, Erin and I have come to appreciate the value of a creating a container that supports learning. It seems even more important in these times, with so much information out there and available, to have a structure that supports intentionality and unfolding. Also, we so value the learning that comes from a group of autonomous, adult learners, all committed to exploring together over a period of time. We will be beginning our first course in September, delving into the rich terrain of Feldenkrais and Embodied Life practices, about which, you might have guessed, we are most inspired.

The Summer Day

Who made the world?

Who made the swan, and the black bear?

Who made the grasshopper?

This grasshopper, I mean-

the one who has flung herself out of the grass,

the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,

who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-

who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.

Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.

Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.

I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.

I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down

into the grass, how to kneel in the grass,

how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,

which is what I have been doing all day.

Tell me, what else should I have done?

Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?

Tell me, what is it you plan to do

With your one wild and precious life?

May you be idle and blessed-

Carl

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