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Mid-Seminar Notes

by on April 13, 2013

I’ve been having a good time here at Henry’s seminar at Ida’s. The weather was terrible almost all the way down from Maine, but things cleared up nicely in Southern Pennsylvania and it’s been beautiful ever since. I missed half of the session on Friday evening, but I did arrive in time to catch this:

The theme for me today has definitely been to STAY OUT AT THE EDGE! On a couple of separate occasions Henry came up and admonished me that I was moving from the back rather than from out at the front. In one case in particular I was watching uke coming in and trying to anticipate what their move was going to be. This lead to me getting way out in front of uke with my turn. What I should have been doing is using my hands as an antenna and letting the sensitivity of my fingertips lead my feet. (Much easier to say than do!) Besides better timing, being out at the fingertips allows you to loosen everything else. On one occasion Henry pointed out to me that the reason I was having trouble making a turn was because my shoulder was tight, and my shoulder was tight because I was moving from the back, and not from my fingertips. So the lesson is: keep your attention on the center and move your feet!

Another note from the easier to say than do department, and something I’ve told my own students more than once, is that many times I needed to stop wanting to do a technique, take one more step back, and allow uke to turn herself.

One thing I’ve been thinking a lot about on my own today is the feeling of connection I want to feel. That feeling, first introduced to me by Eric last winter (or the winter before?) was initially the faintest flickering sensation. Over time I’ve learned how to cultivate it, until now it sometimes feels like a steady stream, and the more of it I feel, the more I know how I want to feel it. It’s never a constant level, which means there is always a level that I’ve caught a glimpse of, but is just out of reach, tantalizing me.

It’s an electric feeling. There is a power to it, but there is an equal measure of vulnerability. Taken together, they make you feel ALIVE.

I’m hooked.

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