The Feeling of Home

Let it be no slight to the kind and attentive hosts I have had over the last weeks when I say “Home! and thank God”.

This last series of road trips has taken me from Carolina to England to Seattle to three different trainings in our KMI method of bodywork and movement – the beginning of the end for a group in Carolina (set the plow), the very beginning in Oxford (tumble together the disparate skills and juggle them into harmony), and the very end in Seattle (put the angel on top of the tree).

Our school is beginning to take shape, separating like an ice floe from Rolfing and other methods of its derivation, getting a flavor of its own. And not a bad flavor, either: All of the groups are interesting, each with a unique savor depending on culture and the other teachers. The classes are small enough where the piquancy of individual students can shape the group – for better or worse, usually for better if one can frame them properly – with the force of a single personality.

All to the good, and all well done, but no matter how sweet the work and how careful everyone is to make things smooth for me, there is just no place like home.

Its first attribute is silence. No TV, no computer games, no music blaring, no announcements from Tannoys overhead – the world outside is rife with noise. Coming off the red-eye from Seattle, I slip into Quan’s car, and our catching up on the way home is a series of murmurs interrupted with long periods of companionable silence. While I was gone the first snow has come, laying down a blanket of quiet around the house. After the usual sorting of receipts and laundry, and storing the suitcase out of sight, I dress for the cold and begin my series of ablutions.

The first ablution is that silence, actually, washing away all the noise. The second is to find the natural world. Today I begin with my Jesus act – the lake that has been something to walk around all summer has become something to walk on now – I test it gingerly this first time, but it is solid without cracking or buckling. Around the head, where the incoming stream makes for open water, I find the criss-crossing tracks of the coyotes, a porcupine, birds, and something I cannot identify.

Moving up the stream to my favorite spot, I lie down under a tree in a protected hollow to rest in the enveloping down comforter of the woods, letting my the rush of water carry my thoughts for a while.  I get up and do what I have not been able to do in Carolina, England, or Seattle – cup my hand in the natural running water, and drink.  Drink deep and cold and mineraline and clear – until my mind quiets too and retunes all 12-strings inside.

I lost my guitar on the way out to Seattle – left it – habitual idiot – in the food court at Atlanta Hartsfield. One of life’s angels had braved Atlanta’s traffic to scour the security guys and the lost-and-found and damned if he didn’t retrieve it. Returning to the house thus cleansed, I take the guitar out of its case, caress it and tune it, a meditation in itself that eliminates the noise from the music I play a little into the silence, cleaning more of the noise off my system.

Quan has taken the horse out in the fresh snow and it’s great to see them, tails up, prancing. I fetch in some wood, and go to catch up on Annie, taking joy in working on her feet in front of the new and powerful stove – my hand skills are still there, even if I don’t use them so much these days.

While Quan cleans the barn and tends to the rabbits, I make the next ablution – the wood-fired sauna. The crackling fire is no noise at all, and the searing heat mellowed by jugs of cold water is the final clearing of the dreck and gunge of the trip, and then Quan and I can slip into the completion of union. We’ve been circling around it all day, but whereas once we would have felt the need to fall into bed within minutes of coming home – sometimes even getting a hotel rather than enduring the hour’s ride home – now we prefer these series of ablutions first, coming together in words, then a separation, then sharing a little food then a separation, then the sauna and a little meditation, and finally – sweet and deep – the expression of a love that has surpassed anything else in my life as the source of connection with God.

A perfect day – thank You. Thank You …


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