Sunday, April 20, 2014

An Ocean of Directions

Playing guitar in our hotel room overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.  The Ocean so long and wide, gentle but strong, the entire rhythm of the Universe being played out before my eyes.  Drawing inspiration from the width of the Ocean I ponder the Alexander Technique direction of wide.  During this pondering I notice I slight shift in my torso of "up."  Another example of interdependence; of how one thought influences all.  This shift up then reinforcing the direction of wide as freedom arises in my torso.  Suddenly I sense the legs releasing long from the pelvis.  One thought releasing all.

Watching the undulation of the surf, I find my breath and direct the thought of freedom.  Again a sense of 'up' arrives. The area about my ribs releasing 'up and wide.'  Something appears right about this and though not a sensation that I usually observe, I make no effort to "fix this as the way the rib cage should be,"  I just allow this to be so for this moment.

Playing "Opening" watching the sun rays play on the breaking surf.  Can I just ride the waves of vibrations coming from the guitar?  Can I be free to let the vibrations lead my being?  Will I surf the notes with joy and allow my body to just be?   I notice my legs releasing up and out of my ankles, a sense of length arising from the earth that I am seated upon.

Reflecting on Easter Sunday, I think of those family members who have passed on.  I decide to play for them.  To hold them while releasing them.  To remember their love and joy and to hope that I can pass this on - with notes; with my actions; with freedom.  Freedom of the mind allows me to direct and explore how I use myself in an Alexandrian sense and beyond.  But first the one thought. 

As I begin to play Forget-Me-Knot, the piece that was born in remembrance of my Brother, I notice a stirring in my chest.  Can I allow my heart to swell with these notes while allowing my neck to be free?  Can I allow this swelling to free the knots of relationships as easily as the ocean waves are released to the shore of understanding?  Will I perhaps is the larger question.  Will I return to the source of my thinking and direct my thoughts to freedom?  Knowing that just as the earlier thought of wide led to subsequent AT  thoughts, that any thought positive or negative influences all thoughts.  The crash of this wave of seeing, inviting my to take care of my thinking; to direct my thoughts as much as possible to freedom, to love, to life.  Pausing to listen to the surf, to listen to the tide of my thinking, to just be here now.

My chest stirs again, the rib cage gently allowing a glimmer more of freedom.  This stirring resembling the roiling surf, offering a momentary glimpse of the possible.  A momentary assurance to continue to plumb the waves of thoughts, feelings and habits to their depths.  Knowing nothing remains the same, but is a manifestation of what has come before and of what needs to come.  Thus I begin again.

Photo by Mehul Antani


  1. Beautiful! Very moving - like the ocean, like your heart.

  2. Thanks for sharing, Patrick. Very nice. I remember in a taped talk of Walter Carrington that he related how Alexander said the instruction "and widen" made his technique fool proof. Thanks for sharing your journey!

  3. Thanks for sharing this about Carrington David. How can I access these talks?

  4. Patrick, I really connected with your first two images of perceiving the width of the ocean and the undulation of the surf and finding how those thoughts are immediately translated into a bodily-experience. I had the same experience over Holy Week while walking on the beach. Thanks for sharing this beautiful reminder that the world is also there to remind us of things like length and width should we forget them ourselves.