30.6.06

Rebound


What is essential and important about the rebound we do is its immediacy and directness – it is pure communication – no words – no thoughts – no opinions – just energy and spirit from both, the intensity and willingness of which causes a becoming in each. It is not the only measure or evidence of a Heartwork exchange but the student must learn to let his/her energy out well enough for rebound to work on them before they can be honest and open enough for the non-rebound Heartwork. I think this is key. Being rebounded develops your willingness – the springboard from which your energy can bound; your honesty – the ability to remove as much self from the exchange as is possible; and your connectedness – there is something about its intensity that encourages you to become more open than is really required, thereby allowing the spirit of the living teaching an avenue into the session, without which there is only practice but no development. Rebound exchanges don't need to be as overtly dramatic or masculine as the ones shown here – they can be soft and gentle and delightful, and for me they are far more interesting when they are – mainly because those are the qualities I need to develop, but also because those exchanges tend to open up new vistas much more readily. It is a learning process for all of us, which is another way of saying its new for all of us. I'm not sure anyone anywhere has worked quite how we work together. What we would like are a few willing students to take on the journey with us – hence the move back to "the great passive vulva of London."

Photo: Sasha Andrews

29.6.06

It is so important to work on what you are bad at but ultimately the only way you'll blossom is if you become what you are.

John Kells

Yielding, softness & compassion

Your movements must take you closer to the source. This is yielding.
Yielding moves towards the source but also beckons it in. This is softness.
The source floods your being, but also the other, and the space between. This is compassion.
Compassion ensures communication on the deepest of levels.
Ultimately yielding, softness and compassion are the same.

28.6.06

                       appearance should not
be
amplified. Today
does not meet our
yesterday
he is more complex, richer and wider
a creature on the
earth and a creature within
knowledge of the energies that create
         should
be
mountains
nervous
gestural

27.6.06

Open to sip the heavens with a fertile inviting floor

John Kells

26.6.06


Photo: Sasha Andrews
There is knowledge! and it's of the kind that makes a man see the whole world as the work; therefore, to love the work is to be face to face. . .
It all amounts to this: if a man is capable of knowing completely, then his companions are the angels.
To say that a man's knowledge is face to face is to say that the vision is never at odds with the life.
A man need not formulate in such a world: that is, where the vision is never at odds with the life truth can never be an approach.
If truth can never be an approach, then what is it?
The beatific vision brings the world face to face with the Truth.
In the meantime, what do we do?

Frank Samperi

25.6.06

Softness & rooting

Softness is our all-important quality. It simultaneously gives and takes – offers and accepts. It doesn't essentially have much to do with relaxation – it is more a quality of and in the heart – a perpetual willingness to engage and communicate at an essential level. This is why some people who are so obviously as tense as hell can be warm and soft when you put your hands on them – when you enter into communication with them. Relaxation enables your inherent softness to permeate your body and mind, giving it a far better chance of being noticed and put to use. Softness is the opposite of forceful – it enables you to make your point without force, without a clash, by seduction and transformation. The same soft open heart that allows others energy into you somehow gets your energy into them without having to go against in any way. There is a lot of energy on frictional surfaces and they can be useful but as a general policy softness is far more effective.

The most powerful presence in your life is the Earth – the Mother of All – and it is the one thing most of us have no idea how to get on with. If you watch people moving around from a distance they look like scurrying insects – using the ground as a firm purchase for their locution and no more. They regard the earth only as a large mass. In Tai Chi we sink in our movements in order to develop a root. This is a beautiful concept but so often it just means a lowered centre of gravity and the ability to use the legs – the largest muscles in the body – to issue energy – like pumps. If this is all that rooting does then it is still forceful. If you sink softly then as well as dropping your energy into the ground you allow the earth's energy up into you. And if you're really soft and alive then it'll flood all the way up to the crown of the head (and maybe beyond). There is a feeling then that rather than the soles being where the ground stops and you begin, it is the crown of the head – your root is in your crown, not in your feet.

The Earth is always there – always ready to provide you with a lift – a gift of energy – so in a sense there is no excuse not to be working with energy all the time. And the beautiful thing is that the quality of softness in your heart that you must allow in order to let the earth's energy up into you is exactly the same quality you need to let any energy in, including that from the teaching. The heart must open in softness in order for energy from outside to enter its domain. Without such openness any energy that comes in will be resisted and thereby distorted. This is where the thinking mind comes in – our magnificent last line of defence. It is only necessary when we haven't had the heart to connect properly in the first place. If you let the heart open and swell then the mind stops because there is now no part of you that is observer – with an open advancing heart you are all participant and the mind doesn't have time to withdraw into its cosy place and think. I've always loved that poem of Robert Creeley's about the sunset which starts “Oh who is so cosy with despair and all they will not come to the last great spectacle of the day?” And the thinking mind is a place of despair and desperation. It can discover solutions but I'm never sure that putting those solutions into practice without those qualities of openness and softness that would not have required its use in the first place is ever going to be ultimately correct. The alternative approach, for those of us not naturally open and soft (enough – never enough), is a lifetime of persistent endeavour. No time to lose.

24.6.06

                wholly
passive
not made
but suffered
What
How
into being?
the underlying tensions
follow it back to the gentle

23.6.06


Photo: Sasha Andrews
no greater vista
than the inward
opening
out
and beyond

Frank Samperi

22.6.06

Rebound

I've had a few emails from readers asking if the pictures below of me suspended in the air a few feet from JK are for real. Yes they are – despite having Photoshop on this laptop I haven't yet had the time to learn how to use it. I've had all the usual questions of incredulity – Would it work on me? Would it work on the man in the street? Would it work if your eyes were closed? Etc.

The first time I saw JK rebound someone without touch was in 1986 – I was just finishing the Short Form at the BTCCA under Dario Ciriello (now in US) and to demonstrate some aspect of energy John threw Dario across the room and into the wall having been a good six feet from him to start with. Being a rational scientist (albeit with an artistic bent) I spent the next fortnight in a state of shock – the whole world was a different place – physically and emotionally, and I guess spiritually – objects seemed fuzzy and connected to each other by strange threads instead of being distinct and discrete as I was accustomed to. It didn't occur to me to question what had happened – my teacher had done it so it had to be right even if it was a put up job. The only other time in my life I had been affected in such a manner was after seeing a joint performance by the four poets Allen Fisher, Lawrence Upton, cris cheek and Erik Vonna-Michel – they managed, in the space of about 2 hours to completely disassemble my mind, leaving me in this strange world of energy for again a good two weeks. The next time I experienced John's rebound energy was when he uprooted Keith Reddick so cleanly both of Keith's Tai Chi slippers remained on the ground – he was plucked out of his shoes. What was even more strange about this event was that John and Keith were in two different rooms with two thick brick walls between them.

Once it became clear to John that I was a keen student willing to attend the school five times a week he tried to speed up my progress by inviting me to special exclusive classes. At one of these classes he tried to work on me with energy and I was completely unresponsive. He got frustrated, called me a lemon and walked away to work with one of the advanced students. He then left me alone for the next 6 years during which time I practised all hours of each and every day (I had retired from usual employment in 1986 – hopefully never to return). When he next deigned to work with me – some time in 1992 – for some reason I was responsive. He explained that my energy had improved sufficiently for me to be of use to him. What he meant by this was not just that I had gotten stronger but that, through my practice – particularly practice with others, I had learned to free and release my energy – not have it locked into either my muscles or my mind. I was therefore able to engage with him properly, that is, energetically, and my responses to his energetic actions were therefore accurate – something he required in order to receive valuable feedback to his own efficacy. The journey since then has been a refining and a deepening. As his energy refines I have to struggle to stay connected with it – otherwise he leaves me behind. I have to completely and unconditionally engage with the moment between us – not really with him – I have to become what the moment demands. The event is created by each of us and the inspiration for the event is mutual. The heat and intensity of the moment and the exchange wakens aspects of the teaching which then showers upon each of us – inspiring us to reach beyond ourselves and into realms we have never before ventured. This is the way of it. It is not a self-defence technique – it is a Heartwork exchange. It is intensely real but not controlled or controllable. It will work with anyone able to engage whole-heartedly (more difficult than it sounds because it requires a looseness and freedom to one's energy). It is the most effective and valuable teaching tool we have because it inspires you to forget self and remember a more essential truth, not just in yourself but in the other and more importantly in the teaching which is always more alive than either of you.

21.6.06

lying down
resting
not listening
nevertheless
music


Frank Samperi

Poetry

If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can ever warm me, I know that is poetry.
If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry. . .
Is there any other way?
Emily Dickinson



The sage shares his wisdom but the poet shares her vulnerability.

20.6.06

The Internal

The basic premise of Heartwork is that the truth is out there, not in here. This is why we always go forward – why we have no measure to our actions other than the extent to which we can become there. In a sense calling the work Internal is a misnomer because it is not inside as opposed to outside. It is simply an ever elusive quality that permeates and pervades everything, which we can wake up to and connect to and become if we so wish, at the drop a hat – no need for decades of physical or energy training. What makes it internal is its elusive quality – the fact that it is always outside anyone's grasp. One can work with it but any attempts to harness it or make it work for you and it disappears and is all you are left with is self and the allies or tools of self – thinking, analysis, energy, ch'i, spirit, etc. If you begin to touch it – something you can do if you ever become quiet and gentle enough to acknowledge its presence – then you will fall in love with it and the general thrust of your life will from then on be dedicated to it. Touch is the vital word here – it is all in the touch – the soft probing of a surface that it always shifting. You need as many threads of interest working for you as possible. These are like tiny tentacles of between-energy that your receptiveness – your active listening – wakens in the between. Each one is alive and seeks its own subtle point of entry, into you and into the other. They encourage you both on some (often subliminal) level into the internal, the only place where real communication – mutual transformation – can take place. The purpose of the work – the practice – is to reduce ourselves into beings not only devoted to the internal, touching it every so often, but manifesting it in every particle of our being. What really sends the internal scurrying for the hills is coarseness and unreceptiveness of any kind. The average person has a zone of negativity around them – a space of disbelief – in which the internal cannot manifest. It doesn't mean the average person is bad but simply that they are too busy and puffed up with self concerns to allow the internal any entry into their lives. Of course the internal does find a way in – it is nothing if not persistent – but unless that person begins to shift their priorities away from self and towards the development of a richer and more aware internal reality then their life is essentially wasted. The average person is a master of avoidance – a master of busily working very hard at the wrong thing. What is required is a re-balancing – a re-prioritizing – of the whole life – a massive yield. This is what the teacher and the teaching require of you – a destiny. If you manage it then you become useful to both and so both will accept you with open arms and your passage into the deeper and richer realms of the internal is assured, assuming you have the courage to weather the inevitable suffering. If you refuse to redirect and rededicate your life then you will always be on the outside – nose pressed to the pane – wondering what it's all about.

Photo: Sasha Andrews
    man is half
prisoner
half
borne on wings
through
awareness
of
the tragicomic
Unlike the divine creatures

18.6.06

Humour and yielding

The myriad creatures are evidence of the humour of the Natural Process. The proliferation of human beings on the planet has precipitated the quickest and most drastic mass extinction of other species the planet has ever seen. This can largely be put down to a lack of humour – the inability to admit a world in which these species exist and flourish together with us. If, as a species, we possessed a better sense of humour then we would, with that humour, create an energetic space that encouraged the creation of more species. Instead we have art and technology. In a large way we have become alien to the planet we inhabit, so much so that we are busy recreating that planet in our own shitty likeness. It makes you wonder where our collective self-centred greedy mind comes from. There seems to be no precedent for it on Earth.

Man doesn't know his place. For the Elizabethans he vacillated between what they considered the gross coarseness of animals and the divine rationality of angels. He is capable of a whole array of behaviours, moods and energetic configurations. What makes him unique is his lostness – his inability to deeply feel where he fits in – which causes him to strive for something beyond that which he is immediately presented with, whether for wealth, fame, self-expression or immortality – all versions of endurance. The striving is simply an expression of a dissociation with his true nature, or what we call essence. As a species he lost touch with this probably thousands of years ago and as a being he begins to lose touch with it almost as soon as he is born. Spiritual discipline teaches you, through meditation and prayer, to reconnect with this essential nature – a process that takes a minimum of twenty years and probably for most of us with limited time and talent at least a lifetime. In Heartwork however we work with energetic exchanges – the light between-energy – and put the exchange – the developing relationship – the Third Heart – first and foremost. In Heartwork not only are the relationships with your colleagues developing, but so are your relationships with the work and the teaching. All self-concerns evaporate, especially in the heat (heart) of the moment. Even notions of self-defence, and even yielding, go out of the window – all concerns are with just how well connected you can become and how fully and intensely you can express that connexion – how deeply can the connexion go and how fully can it affect – transform – all involved. Be careful how you think of yielding. If for you it is means maintaining balance under difficult circumstances then it is still self oriented and self-centred. Yielding is, or should be, whatever you need to do to get closer. To the truth.

16.6.06

         but what is
appropriate
what symbol best
expresses
this
which
relations
centre, the possibility of dividing
kinds of elements

15.6.06


Photo: David Tremayne
Wade all life
backward to its
source which
runs too far
ahead.

Lorine Niedecker

Beyond

Getting to the top of the mountain is easy, it's leaping off the top that's difficult.

John Kells

This reminds me of something Garrison Keillor said on Desert Island Discs a few years ago - that the most important thing in life is to go beyond where your talent will take you. For that you need a lifetime of single-minded application, immense hard-work and above all grace.

13.6.06

What is the nature
of quintessence?
Since there is no answer,
the question
must be poetical.
Yet when Aristotle writes,
"A spirit
in the body of the seed
whose nature answereth
in proportion
to the element of the stars,"
I could touch that
with a fingertip
and be content.

Can wit sigh,
"Ah, how lovely that is!"?
(that was my inbreath,
not my logic)
and have a tear
in its eye for it?

Out of the way,
wit!
I am within a breath
of affinity
and yearn
for long distances.

Come out, my lamb,
my mystery.
This spirit
you can trust.

Carl Rakosi

12.6.06

The Man


Fair Ladies in the new venue.

Photo: David Tremayne

When my kids saw this they wanted to know how I jumped so high - they didn't realise it had anything to do with JK.

Humour

What allows the energy you work with, gather and create a life of its own is humour. Humour is a lightness that admits of other possibilities. Combine that admission with hearty connectedness and those possibilities become incorporated into a body teeming and seething with life. If humour is maintained then those incorporated possibilities – each one a thread of energy if you like – remain in some way distinct – do not agglutinate into one amorphous mass – and there quickly comes a point where the combined intensity and complexity of these interacting threads develops into what feels like awareness.

Humour is not taking things, especially the self, seriously. It confounds the logical, rational, linear mind, which always struggles to force your movements into some preconceived template, with an element of play which revels in the surprises inherent in the unfolding of creative and natural processes. In a way humour is the most valuable possession you have because it allows you to put up with anything, not with resignation but with a smile – a mood and energy that is always opening and searching not for comfort and ease but for those threads that can be brought into the whole to transform it into a vehicle capable of thrusting you to the next level; humour finds fuel everywhere. Humour also admits that sneaking feeling that you are getting it wrong – that your efforts to do and to make are coming from a part of you – your conditioning – foreign to your essential nature. Humour is a natural and gentle way of applying shocks to your conditioning – unsettling it and loosening its iron grip sufficiently for your essential nature to momentarily peek through. This essential nature, so used to being plastered over, pushed into the background and over-ridden by the bullying conditioned and conditional mind, has a completely different relationship with reality than that mind: soft, playful, interactive, ringing with laughter – imagine children at play – but it needs years of gentle coaxing and encouragement before it will venture forth and take the lead in your life. Scars don't heal overnight. Humour – the touch of lightness that refuses to linger for too long and never repeats itself (jokes are rarely funny second time round). Your conditioning needs repetition to survive and it uses up most of your vital energy in the process of constantly reviewing and recounting its domain – imagine the lonely miser pointlessly counting his money each evening before he can sleep. Your conditioning is telling you the same joke over and over and because you don't realise it's a joke you listen and approve. Humour is the only effective way to cut through this – because it is so gentle its blade is very keen.
The fire consumes—
but not itself.

Ted Enslin

11.6.06

Attack

Tai Chi versus Heartwork is belly versus heart. They are not really antagonistic or in competition, but the two poles of one big organ of connectedness and power. My teacher always stressed this: that if your posture is correct then your energy naturally gathers in the lower dandien – belly – and with time and sincere practice slowly grows up to fill and open the heart. This is his own experience and is something he insists on in his best students. The emphasis of our work shifted from belly to heart when my teacher realised that one's personal power – centred in the belly – is always limited unless one learns to connect through the heart with other energies pretty much on a constant and permanent basis. Such connexions allow one to tap into these energies and coordinate them with one's own into a far more engulfing and far reaching vehicle for transformation. This smacks maybe of manipulation and I suppose it could be but our approach is a natural one – it happens by itself, obeying the agenda of some higher aspect of the living teaching – the same natural consequence of our discipline, devotion and softness that allows the energy we gather and develop, as well as the energies we connect to, their own awareness.

The anatomy or dynamic or a Tai Chi posture is, simply put, an opening and entering, a connecting, a swallowing, a gathering or marshalling, and an expression – attack – explosive or otherwise. The opening, entering, connecting and swallowing would be the yield, and the gathering and expression would be the attack. The yield itself, if it is to be effective, is a small attack (the entering) followed by a yield, and the attack is a small yield (the gathering) followed by an attack; every component, if it has any power, derives that power from the dual nature of the component and the tension or interaction in that duality. This shows that no matter how connected you are, how large and inclusive your heart is, your actions, in the final analysis, come from you and you alone – they are your imposition on the world – your attempt to make a difference, and this final act of power comes from the belly. The heart is the organ that allows you to reach out and connect and gather. This energy or information or knowledge or awareness is then passed to the belly – the gut – where it is transformed into an expression of you – your statement. This is a difficult one for us humble, soft Tai Chi students to get our minds around – that eventually you have to stop pussy-footing around and actually attack with all you have. It's what the Irish tramp did to me on Friday – he just threw his energy out, willy-nilly, regardless of whether he connected. It is the ultimate act of courage – the big naked leap into the unknown – and if we think of courage as heart but also guts then we can see that it requires all we have.

10.6.06

       abstract things
end
a
formal cosmos
so much like the
now
across the
circulation
of the kidneys

9.6.06

Softness, energy & awareness

One of the reasons (maybe the most important reason) softness is so vital to what we do is that it allows the energy we develop and connect to its own awareness. Softness means a complete lack of imposed design. Very different from ch'i kung where the mind directs and gathers the energy. When you work softly – without the mind interfering – then your energy becomes a gentle probe of your awareness and it has a life, if not its own then at least of a higher energetic aspect of your being. Not only this but also the energy your softness attracts into your being from the world at large is itself an awareness of aspects of that world. This awareness – a sort of knowledge – is subtle in the extreme and requires such a light and gentle touch that the only way to approach it is through softness. Any attempts to grasp it or mold it or even use it and the signature of awareness will be shattered and the energy will just be energy. Energy as such is not that interesting. It is always the quality – the tinge of uniqueness – that makes energy more than just the ability to do work. What makes a person interesting and worthwhile is not the amount of energy they have, but how open they are and how honest they are in the sense of not trying to plaster a persona – a mask or image – onto their energy but allowing it to vibrate with all aspects of their experience and ancestry.

A few days ago I was walking up Camden Road towards Holloway – up the hill with 4 litres of soya milk in my knapsack to get a little exercise. As I approached the bus-stop at Brecknock Road I noticed two drunken tramps sitting on the bus-shelter bench – both probably in their late 50's. As I passed, one of them raised his can of Tennants and hailed me with a strong Irish accent – just a friendly greeting. With that greeting I received such a blast of good Irish energy that for an instant I was immersed and I felt I was in Ireland. It was quite an overwhelming experience. Is all I could do in return was smile and wave politely. I told my teacher about it and he said, “Just think how absolutely generous that man was. He gave you a gift of energy.” What made the experience so powerful and complete was that the energy that man gave me had such a rich signature – it vibrated with every aspect of his history and formative environment, and was therefore capable of creating the world from which it came in me. Magic indeed.

8.6.06

The baby looked toward me
and I was born -
to sound, light
lift, life
beyond my life

She wiggles her toe
I grow
I go to school to her
and she to me
and to Bonnie

Lorine Niedecker

7.6.06

Body as one unit

It behoves a teacher to find some way of indicating clues, and it behoves the serious student to find a correct method/teacher and be open to learning despite the strong chains of conditioning and the extreme suffering he must embrace to let this conditioning go.
It is the call of the old way - the conditioning that has made the person what he is, the world what it is, the reality what it purports to be - that is the comfort and inspiration for the average person.
Other peoples troubles are not his business providing they do not interfere with his peace of mind.
But the connectedness of all things and events inherent in the natural process insists that all troubles from any direction are shared.
One man's suffering has to be taken on board by all others.
At the beginning stage one interacts with companions, with beloved family members, then with one's teacher and spiritual companions.
But connectedness within families is often perverted, broken and lacking in the truth of the natural process.
Clarity is besmirched, purity is soiled, and there is a general sharing of self-interest which is not essentially connectedness but conditional disconnectedness.
For people like this each party sets up boundaries and rules and more or less abides by rules set up by others so that a semblance of harmony may prevail.
But this semblance is essentially untrue as evidenced by the effect of this untruth - suffering within family groups, within individuals, or within/between larger groups, even nations.
How to burst through the welter of conditions and conditioning to reach a harmony which does not immediately call or cry for congratulation or even description?
The method here is to somehow come to oneness within one's physical structure as a way of beginning the process.
We begin with the matter of the waist which requires endless practice to knit the upper and lower body together as we move upright in the world.

John Kells

6.6.06



Notice that Cheng Man-ching is even single-weighted whilst seated (just put one foot & hand forward and you're effectively single-weighted). Dr Chi is the gormless tall one and TT Liang is to his right. Anyone know who the others are?

Thanks to Mark for sending me this picture.

5.6.06

But to break loose again -
the finger length
flame
following
underground
the source of roots -
suddenly
whirls up
catches in the high trees
a crown fire
rising
with the wind.

Ted Enslin

4.6.06

Touch

When a poet writes – creates – she's at her very best – settled, connected and inspired enough to write about more than what is immediately apparent. She enters the imagination. This is not a self-made world of imaginings and idle make-believe (although I love that term) but the world of energy. Feelings, nuances, subtleties, glimmers, intuitings – all the product of the interaction between her energy and other energies – when another energy inhabits her space as her energy inhabits its. This is the realm of touch – what my teacher calls the miracle of touch – skin on skin – energy on energy – the great sustainer and nourisher. It is perhaps the most important thing in life – affection – something in you seeping and melting in equal measure so that boundaries really do disappear and those blending fringes – where one becomes the other – the place of magic and transformation – bleed into your entirety. This is what I feel when I work with my teacher. There is no part of him that isn't me, but equally there is no part of him that isn't touched – affected and infected – by any other impinging on his energy for whatever reason. This makes for an immense richness, especially since he actively keeps alive all memories – his past is as present to him as what happens now – as, in a very real way, is his future. It is the only way to effectively yield – to be total in your awareness and be in the event before it happens, or to have the event in you. We are all meeting places of so much and the aim of Heartwork is to awaken that muchness so that our essential nature, which tinges and rings through all of it, knows its vital place in the world and gradually develops the strength and confidence to enter more thoroughly that world through the skin and hearts of other energy beings. Everything is an energy being, including the air you breathe and the water you drink, and the thing in you that actively improves the energy of that being we call respect. Without it there is no yielding, no communication, only force and oppression.

3.6.06

That at night
the fire
sinks
down
is rescued
only
by the morning log
in nick of time
to
renew itself
go out
through radiance
the high intention
glowing/
/in fruition.

Ted Enslin

2.6.06

Awareness

My teacher's most important discovery – the one on which all others hinge – is that the heart is centre, not belly or brain. When the heart is open and foremost then it is not possible to be selfish or self-centred. An open heart naturally reaches out and connects, and its only concern is to feed those connexions – self-concerns evaporate – they are simply not part of a heart-centred existence. Neither is a noisy mind – when the mind chats to itself the heart closes, it's as simple as that. The endless chatter is the essence of selfishness, of drawing in and putting oneself first. The best way to break this most debilitating and difficult of habits is to become more generous with one's heart – put it first instead. The biggest fear for any martial artist is being caught unawares or flinching. Unawares simply means asleep – day-dreaming – and flinching is a fear response that quickly draws in one's connecting threads and closes the heart in self-protection. Not only is the heart the centre of connexion and compassion, it is also the centre of awareness. It's obvious really that the more open and active the heart, the more threads of connexion you will have reaching into the world and hence the greater your awareness of that world. Awareness is an active listening – active yielding – and has little to do with knowledge, especially knowledge that has been learned, either through the medium of language or otherwise. An intensely aware person has an air of innocence and is overwhelmed with feelings of awe and wonder – their awareness gives them power but also makes them vulnerable in the extreme – about as far from the well-educated expert as you can get. I'm spending a lot of time in the hell of London's public transport system at present and it's interesting to observe those around me – often closer than I would normally want. The ones I admire and learn most from are the ones with the courage to remain open. It's easy to spot them because they glow. They are usually either female or children and they are often rather meek and mild – unassuming. They are the real fighters, not the swaggering up-front young men full of attitude and fear. They have to fight all the time the endless barrage and onslaught from their environment constantly coercing them to conform and close off. For me they are the beacons of hope – fellow travellers.

1.6.06

Being Natural

How hard one has to labor at it.
There are explanations,
of course,
and confessions
but that is not what is meant.

The way is lost,
the character is gone.

Carl Rakosi