Sunday morning, I stood in the dark, damp, cold; under the glare of parking-lot lights. It was too early to be up and out on a weekend, yet we gathered, quietly waiting. Some had been working since before 4 a.m. The rest of us rolled in a bit before 7:00. Surrounding streets were closed, vast stretches of the parking lot were cordoned off, and the friendly but firm security detail in their yellow vests and hard hats made sure nobody went under, over, or around the orange tape. Families, couples, singles, young and old, looked from their watches to the hard hat with the walkie-talkie, and then across the street. “We live in the neighborhood, and heard about it.” “My husband used to work there, and he’s really bummed.” “The demolition company is a client of my firm.” An office building at 2200 Post Oak, in the heart of Houston’s Galleria area, once bustling with life, now stood grey, gutted, and waiting.
“Ten minutes,” said the walkie-talkie man. Five minutes, one minute and holding. Finally, a siren, and I turned on my video camera. Then, BOOM! Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom! BOOM! And then, almost gently, the building collapsed into a heap of rubble. As the crowd cheered and applauded, a cloud of dust began to overtake us. We got into our cars and drove through thick dust fog into the remainder of our Sunday. (Click on the photo to watch the YouTube video!)
I thought about how what I had just witnessed had been the result of a process involving countless people and steps. Equally, the construction of the building had been the result of such a process, as was the building’s inhabitation, the moving in and out of tenants through the years. Process continues, a flow of endings and beginnings, interpreted by individual perception. The destruction of the office building at 2200 Post Oak is an ending, to be sure. It’s also part of a process to redevelop that prime real estate into something more appropriate and profitable. And then I thought, “Oh for Pete’s sake! How trite can you get?” (Cue music: The Circle of Life. . .)
Our habitual patterns of action stand, like an outmoded office building, the result of a process of learning and actions over a lifetime. Taking up valuable real-estate in your brain, the entrenched neural pathways limit your choices for the possibility of higher functioning. The process of changing the habits may seem difficult at times. Most people take an explosive approach to change, filled with nagging, shame, judgment, and punishment. The Feldenkrais Method uses sensitivity and awareness. The old pattern gently collapses, making room for something new.