Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Widening My Practice

I begin my practice in an empty room within an old wood home.  As I noticed yesterday the window frames are so wide, a beautifully carved brown frame opening out into our world.  My case lies on the floor next to a chair.  I pause and inhibit my urge to open the case.  Where am I, I ask myself?  How wide are my feet on the floor?  Smiling as I think of Missy Vineyard, I use her take on the Alexander Technique with the negative direction - I am not holding onto my width.  Never good to get fixated on a notion of how to use myself nor how to direct my thinking.

As I bend to my case I direct my spine to be long as David Jernigan has urged me so many times in lessons.  My next thought - I am not holding onto my neck ... then I am not holding onto my desires.  Finally I open my case.  The good news is that I am much more present and aware of myself; the space I am in; and the intent of my practice than if I had not inhibited my act of opening the case.

As I begin to improvise I surprise myself with the direction the improv takes.  The thought how wide can I flow in my improvisation arises?  As I continue the improv, the habitual asserts itself, but now I see an opportunity to explore.  How wide can I stretch my knowledge of music theory?  How might I incrementally work on this?   I pause to jot down these questions.

As the day moves on and interactions with people accumulate I find myself asking - How wide is my acceptance of others?  Which led to how wide is my acceptance of myself?  Is there a difference?  Smiling as I notice that this path through "wide" is also deep.

Photo by Xubayr Mayo


  1. Hello Patrick,
    As I practiced last night a thought very much like your own ("the habitual asserts itself") and an observation; how habit, generally poor habit asserts itself when I practice and how I approach practice in the first place.
    Robert Hults

  2. What then are you doing to inhibit your habits Robert?