The birth of my first child just weeks ago significantly reduced the bandwith which the Covid crisis could take up in my mind. We were self-isolating beforehand, but now we’re in a different kind of bubble – a post-birth haze, brought on by beautiful weather, disrupted routines and lack of sleep. There is sadness of course, knowing that we cannot introduce our son to family and friends.
One of the many changes to my routine that I couldn’t help but notice is that we’ve been doing LOTS of washing. Every day. And yet, hanging out the washing has become a surprisingly joyful experience for me, aided perhaps by a poem that lodged itself in my brain many years ago. It took a bit of digging to track it down, but here it is:
The Clothes Pin
How much better it isby Jane Kenyon
to carry wood to the fire
than to moan about your life.
How much better
to throw the garbage
onto the compost, or to pin the clean
sheet on the line,
With a gray-brown wooden clothes pin
In this time of crisis, the emotional need for such present-mindedness rings truer than ever. And for those unfamiliar with the Alexander Technique, it may come as something of a shock that too much focus on the past or future also ruins our physical coordination. Alexander himself referred to such unhelpful mental attitudes as ‘mind wandering’ and ‘end-gaining’.
The fact is, you can only attend to and improve your coordination in the present moment. And it is the Alexander Technique which shows you how.