Marcia Scott ∞ San Francisco
(415) 683-1493
marcia@aletheiadiasoma.com

Updated by @8aletheia

Resillience

Self-Discovery

Ease

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May22

Jules Supervielle said,

The animals fell from the heavens one by one without hurting themselves.  Most of them were already completed, but some had still to wait a little before they got all their appurtenances.

“It seems I’m to have a trunk,” said the elephant, who had newly arrived.  “It’ll start from my forehead and hand down almost to the ground.”

“That’s a lot for a nose, ” said the fox.

“It’s exactly what I need,” retorted the elephant.

He had hardly finished his sentence when the trunk arrived from the furthest spaces of the heavens, to take the place which it was henceforth to occupy in all elephants.

“Ought I to bark?”  wondered the dog, whose voice was already developed.  “No, I’ll keep silent, that’s the correct thing.”

The only thing the horse lacked was his ears, but he was so busy trying to get rid of his shadow as he galloped that he was unaware of the fact.  The ears caught up with him when he was going full tilt and they have still not recovered from their astonishment, and never stop swiveling in all directions.

“Rumor has it,” said the horse, “that no one will ever gallop faster than I.  I don’t yet know very well what that means, but I guess I am going to be very proud of it.”

Suddenly, all of them felt very uncomfortable.  The donkey had just brayed.  He had spewed out the noise in front of everyone and seemed pleased about it.

An excerpt from The Creation of the Animals
by Jules Supervielle

Does anyone know if there is an illustrated version of this short story?

 

May12

Henry Moore said,

“Baaaaa.”

 

 

Dec01

I’m Trying

In San Francisco during the summer of 1975, Moshe Feldenkrais began his second training of teachers of what would become known as the Feldenkrais Method.  Listening to the audio recordings, I’m struck by Moshe’s frustration with the word “try.”  He’s in front of a room full of 65 people giving them movement instructions and he can’t stop using the word “try.”  “Try to lift your head.”  “Try to…”  The word keeps sneaking in on him.  You may ask, why doesn’t he just say “Lift your head.”  My guess is that having them do the movements he’s describing isn’t of primary importance to him.  In fact, if people just did the movements, they would probably miss what he was teaching.

“Sit down and bring your head to your knee,” is different than “Sit down and try to bring your head to your knee.” What I think he means is don’t do it to do it, do it to observe how you do it:  to observe yourself.  “Sit down and notice what happens if you have the intention to bring your head to your knee.  Just begin the movement and observe where you initiate the movement?  How you organize yourself to do the movement.  Compare your right and left side.  Are you still breathing?  What are your eyes doing?”

So what’s wrong with trying?  Nothing.

Try implies that we aren’t yet.  There’s an inherent incapability or dissatisfaction in the word.  If you have a glass half-full perspective, then you may give points for trying.  If you prefer a glass half-empty outlook, you may see failure.  When we try to be some way (happy, angry, assertive, successful, graceful, present, in-love…), we are trying——I’m wondering who/what/where is under all that trying…

 

I’M TRYING

I know a rich man
Who washes 24 time a day
Trying to look like the ladies
And they wash themselves
92 times a half day
Imitating the queen
Who washes herself
400 times an hour of a day
And she tries to look like a duke
Who washes himself ten thousand
Times a minute of an hour
in a day through the week
Throughout a life time trying
To look like everyone at once,
he never gets out of the bath.
And I am glad I know a rich man
for I can’t add my life together yet.
What is the name of that soap,
sir?

—Mark Hyatt—
A Different Mercy

Nov22

Happy Eats!

—B. Kliban (1935–1990)
Whack Your Porcupine

Nov09

the Tortoise and the Hare

The Tortoise and the hare public domainNow that the race has been won…

ask yourself what would I like to enjoy more…

Bring your answer(s) and your curiosity to the first slomo) gathering:

November 11, 2012
2–3:30 pm
Shotwell Studios
3252-A 19th Street
(btwn Shotwell and So. Van Ness)
[map]
$3–18 suggested donation

find out more

Nov07

“Slowly, Slowly, Slowy,”

NEW SERIES:
ATTUNING TO OUR INTERNAL (S)PACE

………………………………………..find out more……………………………………….

Sep26

Alongside my purrrrrring cat

“This could not be fully achieved so long as the words of the tragedy were merely spoken or declaimed on the stage.  It could only be attained again in that full existence in which Tragic Man was not restricted to thinking or feeling, nor to a modern individuality.  He had to be, as the Greeks put it, that body (soma) whose basic feeling, thought and will stem from the unbroken entity of his being, and, moreover, must not remain isolated in this entity but exist in a living, flexible harmony with the universe and with the Daemon (in Greek mythology a supernatural intermediary between gods and men).”

—Wolfgang Schadewaldt—
“Antigonae”: Sophocles, Höderlin, and Orff

Apr02

Sensitive beings, such as octopuses, need to take rests.

Mature female Giant Pacific Octopuses have 280 suckers on each arm—that’s 2240 suckers—each sucker containing thousands of chemical receptors. The sensitivity of an octopus’s suckers allow it to recognize different people based on the feel and taste of their skin.

Loving creatures: one octopus aquarist at the Monterey Bay Aquarium tells the story of having to work on a different exhibit for a month.  When he returned, the octopus was so happy to see him, he crawled up his arms, out of his tank and around his neck to give him a big hug.

Mar05

Tuesdays (2)

—B. Kliban (1935–1990)
Whack Your Porcupine

Jan20

On Ice

When I do an Awareness Through Movement lesson, I ask myself “How can this be easier?”  “What can I let go of to move?” “What can soften?”  “Where do I feel the movement stop?”  “Can it go beyond that place?”  “What/where can yield?”  Sometimes there are revelations and sometimes there are more questions.  And, sometimes, these questions and revelations slip beyond the realm of movement into…  <not now, maybe later>

When I teach Awareness Through Movement lessons, I find myself asking my students the same questions.  When I take Awareness Through Movement classes, I hear the teacher ask these same questions about effort and organizing one’s whole self behind one intention; and I know that they are passing on a kind of questioning that has helped me and others learn how to melt away contradictory impulses and inner resistances.  These questions are self-evident when I am doing a lesson; yet, I become overly conscious of the repetition of them when I teach.

My mind begins a new set of questions:  “Do I believe in these questions?”  “Is life better if movement is easier and more able to respond spontaneously and dynamically?”  “Is life better if one is able to respond spontaneously and dynamically?”  “Does learning how to move with one’s self as opposed to against one’s self enable one to respond more spontaneously and dynamically in life?”  “Is it limiting to assert just two adverbs (spontaneously, dynamically) out of the many out there?”  “Is all this repetition already making it stale, tedious, …”  Again, this set of questions comes not while I do a lesson, rather, while I teach a lesson or talk about the Feldenkrais Method.

“Are these yes or no, either or or questions?”  It’s very slippery and dizzying.

“The more narrowly we examine actual language, the sharper becomes the conflict between it and our requirement.  (For the crystalline purity of logic was, of course, not a result of investigation: it was a requirement.)  The conflict becomes intolerable; the requirement is now in danger of becoming empty.—We have got on to slippery ice where there is no friction and so in a certain sense the conditions are ideal, but also, just because of that, we are unable to walk.  We want to walk: so we need friction.  Back to the rough ground!”

Ludwig Wittgenstein
Philosophical Investigations, #107

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