The Fall

detail of ceramic sculpture

As a gymnast in my youth my events were the balance beam, floor exercise and uneven parallel bars.

These are not team sports. Success in each depends on a laser-beam confidence and will.

I think back on what it took to walk, spin, leap and roll on 4 inches of wood standing 5 feet off the ground.

The action and spiritual quest of harnessing interior worlds to behave and serve me in a desired outcome is territory I have never tired of. Back then, a fall was humbling. These days it is life threatening.

It’s all the same, though.. same quest for balance.

The language of the act has had to shift from willing a personal result to the symphony of inter-dependance.

I am beginning to find this territory far more intriguing than my private worlds in the gymnastic realm.

My ‘win’ was dependent on my personal map-making. I went where I wanted, how I wanted and designed a routine I lived inside and performed that in front of the audience.

The response I received was either apathetic or loud and electric depending on whether the witnessing of my tricks left my world and infected the audience.

Below me and my balance beam there was the floor… the enemy, really.

‘Do whatEVER you must to stay off the floor’ was my credo.

These days, my entire life is lived on that floor which is the great equalizer in life, I think..
I took a fall, metaphorically speaking.

The choice of the image above from a sculpture of mine came from the response it gets from people: “It is scary!” or this: “It looks like a sea anemone in the ocean.”

All boils down to point of view…

I see myself using the acuity of a gymnasts’ world to inform my current life as I negotiate getting from a chair down to the floor in yoga class or even just getting out of bed.

I am blessed with muscle memory from my competition days but the skill I lean on the most is my inherent knowing of what an elegant, self-posessed TRANSITION looks and feels like; the shift from a willful woman to one who embodies more patience, mercy and kindness for herself and others.

These gifts from ‘the floor’ I value highly. They are my trophy.


One Response to “The Fall”

  1. Barry on January 20th, 2012

    Communication is important to me and I’m committed to engaging it with accuracy and specificity, but the artistry you apply to it makes it an embrace and a penetration of contemplation.

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