I’m on the train to the airport now. Just passed Norrköping. There’s been a lot of activity since my last post, so I’ll start with a brief summary.

We finished up with group two in a similar fashion to the first group: blade actions and scenework. On that Thursday and Friday, Brad, Peppe and I (sometimes with Maria) went through the Durer counters. Yeup, all 120 of them. We tried to watch a movie on Friday night but we were all too tired and went to bed around 9:30, if I remember correctly. Saturday and Sunday we did a workshop with (my apologies if my spelling is wrong!) Per, Anders, Simon, Hilde, Ulf, Ida and Maria. We covered much of the same material, though in not as much detail because we had 2 days not 3. Brad left on Monday, and I took a day of rest. I was suffering from what Peppe calls “Workshop Hangover”! I was in bed most of the morning, not sleeping, but curled up in a ball while my body rested. The afternoon and evening I watched “Vanity Fair”, and chatted with Peppe and Maria. Finally, on Tuesday (yesterday) there was more discussion (mostly ironing out details for my visit in the fall), a Feldenkrais session with Maria, packed my bags, and watched more “Vanity Fair” with pizza, beer and cheese.

Themes that keep popping up in this work is that listening is of the utmost importance. Even more than that is how you respond to what you’re hearing. There’s a podcast that has a take on what I’m point at. Here’s the link: http://www.zenmartialarts.com/wordpress/2007/01/05/stimulus-vs-response/ So by “living in the space between the inhale and exhale” we can redirect ourselves from the knee-jerk reactions, and truly respond to the information we’re receiving. The first step, though, is still listening. I’m happy that now I can often catch myself when I’m not listening, and get myself back on track.

This state of always listening is, to me, a key to better fight scenes and actor safety. Hilde remarked that she has never felt so safe and so comfortable in a scene. That kind of attention on what is happening goes a long way to keeping you in the moment. And as actors learn to go with their instincts, actions, both physical and emotional, follow easily.

The two days of working on Durer helped to highlight the importance of looking at something with fresh eyes. While I’ve worked on many of those prints before through the Shenandoah Project, I was finding deeper layers in this most recent look at them because I didn’t look a them with the thought of “oh, I know what this one is” but instead applied the new knowledge from the previous work. With this sprit of “fresh eyes” and listening, I began to see more and more of my habitual patterns. It’s useful and incredibly important to be aware of those. You can choose to make use of habitual patterns, but I have experienced over the last two weeks that true growth happens and flexibility emerges when you become aware of the invisible framework that holds you in one place.