Monday 15 June 2015

Finding Base, with love for Paul

On the occasion of celebrating Paul (a cousin of mine who was a well-loved wrestling coach in New York and who passed this week), I want to share a small story in three parts about finding base, a kind of metaphysical version of a wrestling parable I realize I learned from him.

The soundtrack for the story is the recent arrangement of Meghan Trainor’s ‘All about the Bass’ by the Postmodern Jukebox: I know it’s about bass and treble, not base and instability, but it makes a nice complement to Paul’s lifelong intense insistence on the enjoyment of the tenor.

The part of the story you should feel in your body is something I’m finally picking up from studying yoga with people learning to inhabit their bodies more fully even through disability: it’s all about the base. Bipedalism isn’t great to us in terms of a base of stability, and as we sway and twist under the various vicissitudes of life, we grip and slacken and may not often be reminded how to settle back into all the points of contact with balance we have – spreading the load out as easily as we can lift it, securing those points of contact with the floor, moving fluidly from there like Paul’s wrestlers.

Paul has been a solid part of all of the lives of my whole generation of our family. Rocked back on his heels, arms folded or in his pocket or gesturing along to his whistle, Paul made us feel where we were standing, and made us appreciate it by the intensity and effort he put into being there.

Growing up as a child of our extended family so palpably (my grandfather’s brother, his father, was dead before his childhood) – stretched between his visits and so visibly sharing his need, his toughly vulnerable quest to navigate a degree of lostness – he gave us so much coaching in the material and spiritual practice of how to relax into things, even when they were sad. And I really appreciate that coaching right now, as I tend to shift up toward my toes in the best of situations.

Bookmark and Share

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...