Category Archives: moving, breathing, feeling

trees!

Screen Shot 2019-11-18 at 9.40.36 AMPhoto:  Jan Duddleston

My sister took this photo while she and her husband were enjoying their month-long stay in Paris.

And I took this photo of a 150-year-old cottonwood in Colorado Springs.  Next to the tree was this sign:

Look up! Above this tall old tree’s trunk, branches sway steadily, triangular leaves dance in the breeze creating music and ancient tales are whispered on the wind.  Plains cottonwood trees were a sign to early western settlers that water was nearby.  Cottonwooed trees make good use of water, growing rapidly each year.  This tree measures 20 feet around its trunk, stands five stories tall and is about 150 years old.  It has survived the turn of two centuries!  cotton-like seeds from female trees give cottonwoods their name.  The tree above you, however, is a male tree and produces only red catkin flowers in the spring.

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And then this beautiful meditation arrived from Brain Pickings, where Maria Popova quotes from the book Underland, by Robert Macfarlane 

“Lying there among the trees, despite a learned wariness towards anthropomorphism, I find it hard not to imagine these arboreal relations in terms of tenderness, generosity and even love: the respectful distance of their shy crowns, the kissing branches that have pleached with one another, the unseen connections forged by root and hyphae between seemingly distant trees. I remember something Louis de Bernières has written about a relationship that endured into old age: “we had roots that grew towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossom had fallen from our branches we found that we were one tree and not two.” As someone lucky to live in a long love, I recognize that gradual growing-towards and subterranean intertwining; the things that do not need to be said between us, the unspoken communication which can sometimes tilt troublingly towards silence, and the sharing of both happiness and pain. I think of good love as something that roots, not rots, over time, and of the hyphae that are weaving through the ground below me, reaching out through the soil in search of mergings. Theirs, too, seems to me then a version of love’s work.

And soon I will be on Martha’s Vineyard, working with my godson Jacob and his family.  This is a photo that I book there of the beetlebung trees in November.

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I have loved reading and highly recommend The Hidden Lives of Trees and Songs of Trees – both poetic and rich writings about our arboreal friends.  Each fall I celebrate the colors and then mourn the leaves as they fall.  Our deep red maple dropped its leaves almost one at a time, like ruby tears, after the first frost.  Now, as I look out, its remaining leaves are paler, dry and cupped, holding firm until the first snow.

 

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danger

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I took this at the Bronx Zoo last summer when we were there with my daughter and granddaughter.  There is something about this image that feels like these impeachment days.  Danger lurking, teeth, the dark abyss.  Just saying.

I find the hearings so activating that I am employing all my body-mind skills to stay in the moment, looking for beauty and goodness wherever I can find them. Time to go see my horses, put my hands on a big soft body –  breathe, breathe, breathe . . .

 

 

Following Gillian

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I just learned of the death of my dear friend and inspiration, the artist Gillian Jagger.  I first met Gillian nearly 20 years ago when I had just finished choreographing RIDE.  I had seen her work “Absence of Faith” in New York, and was so moved that I reached out to speak with her and interview her for my book. That first conversation lasted more than two hours, and was followed by many, many more.

Gillian was an artist of fierce passion,  deeply generous in her vision, ever curious about others’ work and ideas. The world feels at once dimmer for her absence, and more brilliant for her having lived so fully among us.

Please watch these videos.  They will give you a beautiful sense of the woman, the artist, the visionary.

 

 

 

Equine Affaire!!!

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On Saturday, November 9, at 10 am I will be presenting a demonstration of Embodied Horsemanship: Deepening Your Connection with Your Horse Using Movement and Touch at Equine Affaire in the Mallory North Demo Ring. My talk will be followed by a book signing and Q & A at the Trafalgar Square Books Booth #846 in the Better Living Center.

It is an honor to be included among the many presenters at this exciting equine expo.  There will be demos and performances from Thursday – Sunday, with opportunities to meet people and of course SHOP!  See you there!