Friday, November 11, 2011

And So It Goes


Today is Kurt Vonnegut's birthday - November 11, 1922.  A writer who informed and influenced me in my youth.  During my freshman year of college, the afternoon before  my Calculus final in December, a friend gave me a copy of Slaughterhouse Five.  Knowing that my grade in Calculus was already moot, I dug into Vonnegut.  The personal rates of change I was undergoing at this time were not measured by the mighty Calculus, and though lost in many ways Vonnegut shone a bright light on my world.

If I had known any practicioners of Bokononism, I would have joined them or at least that's what I told myself.  I had discovered chanting and practiced for a while, but was not ready to embrace their path.  Finding more solace with the Existentialists, I wandered and wondered, strayed and dismayed.  But Kurt through his writing gave me hope, a retreat from the confusion and chaos of life in the 70's.

As I was practicing tonight, thinking through the Alexander Technique, I recalled one of my favorite lines from The Sirens of Titan, uttered by Sir Winston Niles Rumford: "Let the people take care of themselves and God Almighty will take care of Himself." Chuckling at this pure Vonnegut wit, I sensed the tips of my fingers lengthening from my back. 

I worked with this with David at our AT class this week.  "The grip" that is known as my left hand, finding release and freedom in the moment.  My chuckle was because I was taking care of myself.  The musical inspiration comes from the Beyond, but I must take care of the instrument.  Meditation, the Alexander Technique, and Qi Gong form the basis of the practice that sustains me today.

Breathing in I know that I am alive; breathing out I smile. And so it goes.

God Bless You Mr. Vonnegut.

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