DIARY 11/5/20 Water Blessing
I was finally allowed to use the physical therapy pool today for the first time since March 11. Staff were worried about my being exposed to the area currently used by independent living residents from the larger community who can now move with care on and off the campus for curbside pickups, doctor and car appointments, rides around to see the lake or car to car meet ups with local family or friends. It was decided I could use the pool first thing in the morning when a physical fitness staff person would be there as my lifeguard before guarding or teaching classes with the other residents.
That half hour in the warm pool water was bliss. I literally dream of being in the water. It was sobering to realize how much I had lost in strength and endurance since last spring. But it was also invigorating to walk around inside the pool perimeter without holding on to anything, and to lift up my unresponsive legs with buoyant support while penetrating warmth soaked into my nerve damaged back and arthritic sacroiliac joints. The experience left me sore but also alive and stimulated to harness this feedback of where I need to target my exercises on dry land.
Last weekend my friend and colleague, Elaine Colandrea, led a zoomed gathering for students and teachers of Continuum work from all over the world. This coming together was called a Water Blessing and was part of her work with Watermark Arts*. Each participant dedicated this interactive ritual to healing bodies of water all over the world. Continuum is what I call a bio-spiritual practice based on evoking and moving from within our fluid bodies. The by-product of this work that I studied and taught for eleven years is healing on many levels.
Neuroscientists understand how elastic the brain is. During my work in Continuum I felt like I could almost individually touch the neurons I possess- and we all have as many neurons as there are stars in the Milky Way. Through dynamic breathing patterns, sounds (vocalized breath), and evoking wavelike circular movements, I learned to engage with my original un-patterned liquid body. I felt that I could awaken new pathways of thoughts, behaviors and muscular innovations that I attribute to slowing down the progression of my years of living with active MS. Evolving as a species from the ocean and renewing the recapitulation of development within the ocean of my mother’s womb, I am indebted to my deep meditative encounters with Continuum.
Last Sunday was a wonderful time to commune with so many of us following Elaine’s guidance and inspiration. Elaine asked if I would read a poem of mine for this occasion and this is the poem I wrote. *watermarkarts.org
Fluidity (Water Blessings for Our Times)
Beneath our skin
fluidity dances and ripples
for life in between
to the evocative coherence of Love
the gentle ebb and swell
curl of a monstrous wave
the boundaryless ocean of being
9/28/20 Judi Bachrach