As I near the completion of three weeks away from home, I’m feeling a bit weary. I’m well rested, having hit the hay last night at 8 p.m. As much fun as this time has been, my weariness stems from the longing for home, for family and familiarity.
The trip has been a combination of work and play — a true “busman’s holiday,” as my Dad used to say.
Weeks one and three have been spent in Albany, NY, at the RESONANZ Opera Training Program and festival. The amazing talent of the young, career-track singers in this program has been truly exciting and inspiring to see and hear. The unique feature of this program is its emphasis and attention on the performer as a whole person — and so each morning begins with group classes in Yoga, Meditation, and Feldenkrais Method. I am eager to hear two performances of their production of The Dialogues of the Carmelites (Francis Poulenc) this weekend.
The middle week was spent in my beloved Chicago, at the annual conference of the Feldenkrais Guild of North America. The week was full of friends old and new. I met several people IRL (In Real Life) whom I had only known through connections on Facebook and Twitter. The week was also an opportunity for wonderful reunions with treasured colleagues and dear friends from my own training program. We had a blast! At the conference, I soaked up every moment of my time as a student and learner. It is a real treat, after teaching so many classes, to have the opportunity to lie on the floor and enjoy someone else’s teaching! I also attended workshops about chaos, complexity, emergence, and Feldenkrais (with George Krutz); “Seeing Clearly,” with David Webber, about visual changes and improvements that can occur through the practice of the Feldenkrais Method; a fascinating look at the management of chronic pain with Bridget Quebodeaux; and a detailed yet wide-ranging roller-coaster ride through human anatomy and joint function with Anastasi Siotas. Mission accomplished for the conference! I feel smarter, more curious, more informed, more versatile, and more connected to myself, my profession, and to my clients.
Travel can be restorative, in large part because it requires a departure from habitual patterns, and offers multiple opportunities to practice adaptation. I have found that I am quite adaptable, and can be comfortable in a variety of surroundings. For example, I have slept on twin-size dorm-room beds, a futon, a hide-a-bed (with a cockapoo and two cats visiting throughout the night!) and on a floor padded with Feldenkrais mats. Exploration of all of these alternatives has been pleasant, and has led me to a new appreciation of my habitual and preferred routine at home. I’ve got another three nights in me for this “away game.” Then, home, with habits and patterns freely chosen, with new awareness: my bed, my sweetie, my kitchen, my cats, my Houston.