Saturday, 31 January 2015

Saturday Poem

Do stuff. be clenched, curious. 
Not waiting for inspiration's shove or society's kiss on your forehead. 
Pay attention. It's all about paying attention. attention is vitality. It connects you with others. It makes you eager. 
stay eager.

― Susan Sontag

Saturday Cartoon

Friday, 30 January 2015

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Asimo and BigDog

Asimo, a humanoid robot made by Honda, has been developed using a computational model and is known for its smooth, fluid motions and sleek appearance.
Asimo is not an autonomous robot. It can't enter a room and make decisions on its own about how to navigate. The robot either has to be programmed to do a specific job in a specific area that has markers that it understands, or it has to be manually controlled by a human. Either by a wireless controller, gestures or voice commands.

But if Asimo falls midtask, then he's lost. I'm guessing you would have to command it to get up again...
Now I'm looking at these amazing inventions through the lens of 'a mover'. If I were Asimo, I would want to be more like BigDog.

OK, so not so pretty, but BigDog, a rough-terrain robot that walks, runs, climbs and carries heavy loads, and is powered by a system that is a more 'embodied' model of movement using senses, much like our nervous system. The robots on-board computer controls locomotion, processes sensors and handles communications with the user. This system keeps it balanced on a wide variety of terrains and handles navigation. AMAZING!!! The sensors for locomotion include joint position, joint force, ground contact, ground load, a gyroscope and a stereo vision system. Other sensors focus on the internal state of BigDog, monitoring the hydraulic pressure, oil temperature, engine functions, battery charge and others. The result is something much more animal, and look what happens when it's pushed over...

models of learning

The computational model (of learning movement) is the idea that the brain controls the body, or 'tells' the body what to do, so the brain becomes a passive respondent to the brain when carrying out an intention. 

The Embodied model is the idea that the brain is only a small part of the 'control' of movement. Embodied movement is a constant conversation between inner and outer sensory output through our nervous systems. So when you have an intention, the body carries it out.

Just so you know, I'm learning to teach based more on the embodied approach, focusing on instructing feelings rather then instructing people how to literally place their bodies. It's my intention when teaching that I help make clear movement patterns in peoples bodies and provide tools to map and make those patterns useful, rather then teach 'poses'. It is taking ALOT of undoing of the things I thought I knew. Chaos : )

eventually, everything connects.

1. hands of Georgia Okeeffe
2. Richard Serra paintings
3. Yamamoto Masao
4.  artist unknown (to me) found here.

Monday, 26 January 2015

We are much more then we are told

The Uruguayan author Eduardo Galeano once told me that the apparent reluctance to learn from the past scared him.
 “My great fear is that we are all suffering from amnesia,” he said. “I wrote to recover the memory of the human rainbow, which is in danger of being mutilated.”
Who, I asked, is responsible for this forgetfulness? “It’s not a person,” he explained. “It’s a system of power that is always deciding in the name of humanity who deserves to be remembered and who deserves to be forgotten … We are much more than we are told. We are much more beautiful.”  We are much more alike than we are told, as well.

-- Gary Younge

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Friday, 23 January 2015

Have a magic weekend!

(gif found here)

Backward Bill

      Backward Bill, Backward Bill,
      He lives way up on Backward Hill,
      Which is really a hole in the sandy ground
      (But that's a hill turned upside down).
        Backward Bill's got a backward shack
      With a big front porch that's built out back.
      You walk through the window and look out the door
      And the cellar is up on the very top floor.

      Backward Bill he rides like the wind
      Don't know where he's going but sees where he's been.
      His spurs they go "neigh" and his horse it goes "clang,"
      And his six-gun goes "gnab," it never goes "bang."

      Backward Bill's got a backward pup,
      They eat their supper when the sun comes up,
      And he's got a wife named Backward Lil,
      "She's my own true hate," says Backward Bill.

      Backward Bill wears his hat on his toes
      And puts on his underwear over his clothes.
      And come every payday he pays his boss,
      And rides off a-smilin' a-carryin' his hoss.

      - Shel Silverstein

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Ivan da Silva Bruhns

Wool pile rugs with motif repetitions by Ivan da Silva Bruhns, c.1930-40 (via artnet)

try this

A little something I've been trying in my own movement practice:
Allow your body to move and then interrupt it and reverse what you've just done. 
It is so simple, but it is really challenging to keep your body responding differently to the movements required in 'undoing' something.
Breaking patterns is hard work!

Le squelette joyeux (1895)  Auguste & Louis Lumière

walking backwards

Mani Manithan has been walking backwards for 25 years. Apparently he has forgotten how to walk forwards.
The lessons I shall take from this is to walk backwards on occasion and to continue to be aware of the frequency, variation, and quality of my everyday movement. Use it...or forget how to do it. 

Do you typewrite?

Reminds me a little of re-shaping sequences for teaching, especially when I'm trying to incorporate new movement skills or ways of working.

(From The Paris Review Interviews with Eudora Welty)
“Again and again, the cicada’s untiring cry pierced the sultry summer air like a needle at work on thick cotton cloth.”

― Yukio Mishima, Runaway Horses

Monday, 19 January 2015

Sophie Giblin

Repetition from Sophie Giblin on Vimeo.
Memorphosis from Sophie Giblin on Vimeo.

1. Franziska Schmid-Burgk: Vasen, Rauchbrandtechnik 
2. Ceramics by Edmund de Waal.
3. Priscilla Mouritzen, Pinched porcelain bowls
4. black bowls found on

(gif found here)


“I think certain types of processes don’t allow for any variation. If you have to be part of that process, all you can do is transform—or perhaps distort—yourself through that persistent repetition, and make that process a part of your own personality.”

― Haruki Murakami, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

doing things in reverse

As you get older you start doing things in reverse. You start cutting people out from your life. Your Christmas list becomes practically nonexistent. You don’t need to be the first in line for everything. You take less pictures because some memories are best kept in your heart and not your hard drive. And instead of looking for love, you dig for it from within.

- bookmarks in my life

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Saturday Poem

Lie on the bridge and watch the water flowing past. Or run, or wade through the swamp in your red boots. Or roll yourself up and listen to the rain falling on the roof. It's very easy to enjoy yourself.

― Tove Jansson, Moominvalley in November

Saturday Cartoon

Thursday, 15 January 2015

how we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.

- annie dillard
'It is not necessary to keep one's mind completely free of thoughts and conditions in order to heal. What is necessary... to slow down the internal dialogue... this will be enough to produce a space in which we can remain alert' 

- Gurudev Singh

Tuesday, 13 January 2015


Goodness gracious me, I've been gone a long time!
My holiday was bliss; time stood still, I read a whole four chapters of a book, floated in the dead sea (and got goose-pimples snorkeling in the red sea), drank 181 cups of cardamon laced coffee and 203 cups of sweet sage tea, visited soulful ancient places, got 'married' in a Bedouin tent...or at least i think that's what was happening...failed miserably at haggling, and was blown away by the kindness, squatting ability and hospitality of the beautiful Jordanian people.

Perfect start to 2015.

(Polaroids taken in Petra and Wadi Rum, Jordan)

This Girl Can

Love this!

keep moving.

I'm choosing to believe this fabricated magic from Madame Clairevoyant this year.

Thursday, 1 January 2015


Neither the symbolic detail
of a three instead of a two,
nor that rough metaphor
that hails one term dying and another emerging
nor the fulfillment of an astronomical process
muddle and undermine
the high plateau of this night
making us wait
for the twelve irreparable strokes of the bell.
The real cause
is our murky pervasive suspicion
of the enigma of Time,
it is our awe at the miracle
that, though the chances are infinite
and though we are
drops in Heraclitus' river,
allows something in us to endure,
never moving.
Jorge Luis Borges, translated by W.S. Merwin.


Dive into 2015 with LOVE and take care of yourself, you are precious.

Don't fall for any of the 'New Year, New You' nonsense that the fitness industry is undoubtedly filling your inbox with right now. Don't let anyone make you feel guilty, it's a waste of your imagination. Use it instead to make sustainable change fueled by self-respect. Or stay the same : )

If you do like to use January as an opportunity to make changes then take the following into consideration... 

“...I think we are well-advised to keep on nodding terms with the people we used to be, whether we find them attractive company or not. Otherwise they turn up unannounced and surprise us, come hammering on the mind's door at 4 a.m. of a bad night and demand to know who deserted them, who betrayed them, who is going to make amends. We forget all too soon the things we thought we could never forget. We forget the loves and the betrayals alike, forget what we whispered and what we screamed, forget who we were.”
― Joan Didion, Slouching Towards Bethlehem

(image: J.S. Johnston, Stereocard of woman diving in a standard swimsuit, (1892)