I am taking chunks of sod out of a wheelbarrow. They are all sizes, small, large, and everything in between. I’m placing them in a large bare space in our lawn and I’ve just dug them up out of the garden where I’m preparing a new bed. I reach in the wheelbarrow and without looking take out a piece. I see a place for it and in it goes without a moment’s thought, a pasticcio, a crazy quilt of lawn and it looks great when finished. I water it in.
The hunk of sod knows where it wants to go, so to speak, and I comply. It is a demonstration of that faculty, that propensity, that knows, those creative faculties that were once carelessly called right brain. Our brain is far more plastic and integrated than left or right or up or down can ever suggest. And still there is intuitive, creative knowing.
There is another faculty as well, the faculty that wants to know. Where are you going to place this irregular piece of sod to match with all these other irregular pieces of sod. Listen to that voice and you are screwed. The faculty that must know is at war with the faculty that knows.
It is a war that cripples us as teachers and specifically as teachers of the Alexander Technique. Where do I place my hands? What should I be thinking? How does this part relate to the whole and the whole to the part? That last bit is important for sure, but it is not the wanting to know, not the need to know that answers it. It is feeling. It is knowing. It is intuition. Today, I’d say teach from your creative side if there were such a side, but there is not. Rather, teach from that faculty that connects sod to soil and teacher to student. You may never be wrong again, and if you are, it won’t matter at all. How I love this technique.