Moving in Greece by Elizabeth Reid

We start in Delphi... do our movement practice in the ruins. My partner and I did not want to close our eyes to the beauty so we did an eyes open movement scan, swinging and twisting, each time around slowly noticing differences; the irregular but solid way the stone walls were built, the flowers growing among the stones, the tall cypress trees. Each scan and twist brings a different focus; the nuthatches are actually parent and child;one feeding the other. This was really a pre-workshop day lead by Alton Wasson.

The workshop begins in Athens with three leaders, Alton, Dennis McCarthy and Sil Reynolds. We are in a basement conference room way below the Parthenon. We will use Homer's Odyssey as the backdrop, invocation for movement, dreams and sand play. Often this is way too intense a story for me and I just don't go there with the story or the group. I can't get my mind around drowning Odysseus or monster plagued Odysseus or visiting the house of the dead Odysseus. Many in our group explore glorious fire filled, terror inducing monsters. My images are uninspiring to me.

But the story fills our dreams and morning movement sessions come alive for me with growling back scratching bears and loosening senovial fluids in my stiff joints as my jet lag lessens. I find some new inner voices and landscapes to add to my inner child, inner elder, and slowly quieting inner critic. Other dreamers dream of a divine child and this inspires me with help from Dennis to explore an inner wise child who does not need care. This image side steps my obsessive questioning of why I can't get enough nurturance to heal old neglect. The image helps me remember a place inside that does not feel needy and has always felt just wise and full and beyond beautiful.

Sil reminds us each day that Penelope is waiting and weaving for twenty years while Odysseus adventures; the capital “T” feminine archetype. When Alton reads the last night of the couple's reconnection, the inner romance, inner marriage of male and female finds a sensual landscape in my body where action and waiting, striving and grieving, sailing and sitting, traveling and being home meet in inner recognition of all the parts of the self that love to be bedded in a deeply rooted olive tree.

Another mover and I do pair witnessing in the Aegean/Mediterranean waters of our secluded alcove on Paros. In my imagination we are dolphins and fetuses in deep green and blue enclosures or incubators. My sand play partner and I create scenes with balloons and edges and roots, monster eyes that swirl in our dreams and imagination and then for real as we have chosen live snails for the eyes that move off center as we work. We find big bellies, thunder bolts and veils in the rocks, devouring dogs and Poseidon's angry face. All the beauty of the Greek landscapes become our projective field. So we indulge the sweet practice of “in my imagination” and “if this were my dream” every day until lunch.

It is hard to travel with a group of 18; herd into cars, find restaurants, to order and split the bill fairly. It takes us until the last days to order just what each want, to eat what we want from our own plate and then let it go around the table for others to taste. Amazingly spiced chick peas, mild anchovies, zucchini balls, rooster in a mild red sauce, rabbit, chicken souvlaki, honey dipped deserts, local soft cheese, local wine made by the waitresses father, are sampled around until all are much too full. We order less as the days pass, but we are fuller at the end.

1 comment:

Greece said...

Hi Elizabeth,

Thank you for this remembrance of our time in Greece. There was so much captured movement there in the drape of the garments on statues and in the postures of the figures themselves. To view the Caryatids sustaining the porch on the Erichtheum, each with a slightly bent knee evoked a slow dance suspended for over 2400 years. And then the procession on the inner frieze of the Parthenon with men, horses, bulls, boys, and women all still circulating in honor of Athena. We were not alone in our attempts to embody our experiences there.
Good to share this rich time with you, Tom