Thursday, August 14, 2014

Be Wide

Practicing a difficult section this morning, I was proceeding slowly.  Noticing just what my hands are doing, or not.  As I continued this gentle exploration, I realized that I needed to widen my attention to what was my shoulders doing; what was my neck doing? How am I using myself?  A bit of hunkering down and in to tackle this "problem" - or in other words an illustration of "end gaining" manifesting in Patrick's body & mind.  I have seen this drawing down & in before thanks to the Alexander Techniques in a variety of situations.  Usually ones of difficulty, time pressure, or emotional upheaval.   Now thanks to noticing, I was able to pause, direct, & inhibit this hunkering down.

As I was playing the few bars leading up to this section, my thought was "go wide."  A succinct and distilled expression of AT inviting in a few precious moments of freedom from the mule of habits.  I need to be alive within this animal that I am, open to freedom in the moment of doing, directing how I use myself to play my instrument.  Certainly habits are useful, but awareness more so.  And new more efficient habits can be created, directed, and put in place.  But more important than any individual habit, is the need to continue to grow in awareness of how I am doing anything.  As I have known for years, how I do one thing, is how I do everything.  While new habits can manifest, this is not easy - practice, ongoing practice is the key.

Photo by Uncorrected Proofs.

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