By Travis McKeveny
My last session was interesting. I didn’t at all expect that it would involve juggling. Or, to be more accurate, a breaking-down of the act of juggling in order to get a clearer idea of my body’s relationship to space.
I was alarmed by my spasticity. Although earlier in the chair I was able to get a better-than-ever sense of my head’s ability to continually rebalance — as a consequence of my neck’s having softened — upon standing up and trying to juggle I tightened up or ‘got small.’ I was reminded of the term ‘end-gaining,’ which I had come across in an Alexander text.
Which is to say that I was more concerned with juggling without dropping the balls than with understanding the means whereby I might do so — and the manner in which I was currently acting. Leland encouraged me to instead observe myself and release one of the balls just before the other landed in the same hand, but to not fret about dropping any of the balls — at that point, when I was just beginning to learn this skill, such thoughts did no good.
I do plan to soon write a song that addresses, however peripherally, the Alexander Technique and my study of it. For now, though, I’ll just share a limerick:
There once was a fellow named Leland
Who said, “Worry not where the balls may land
Improving your use
Will deft juggling produce
Sure as pro bodybuilders are spray-tanned.”
Ok, that made perfect sense until the final line. But you get the gist.