donderdag 15 augustus 2013

Day 1. Walking with Albert & Laura

On this first day I’m already breaking all my rules. Or maybe not. Maybe I just interpret them in different ways. It is the tenth and last rule in John Cage’s Rules for students and teachers: We're breaking all the rules. Even our own rules. And how do we do that? By leaving plenty of room for X quantities. I’ll be taking his rules on my travels. I always do. Rule four: Consider everything an experiment. And my favorite one, number nine: Be happy whenever you can manage it. Enjoy yourself. It's lighter than you think.

Today I walk with two people. I walk with Albert van Veenendaal, with whom I’ve been spending the last 16 years, travelled the world with and explored many things in life. I said goodbye to him many times, always leaving, always returning. I was with him in Amsterdam yesterday, had planned to leave today. And I did. I took off.

Albert asked me to think about the ancient Asian notion of ‘Ma today, the idea about unity of space and time. The architekt Isozaki, who organised an exhibition about ‘Ma in Paris once, said: " ’Ma organizes the proces of movement from one place to another. The breathing and movement of people divide the space in which the people live"; "Ma is the way to sense the moment of movement . ... Ma is an empty place where all kinds of phenomena appear, pass, and disappear...".

The composer Luigi Nono was inspired by ‘Ma and took the principle as a startingpoint for his later work. He also found it in an inscription on the wall of a convent in Toledo: 

“Traveller, there is no pathway, there is only travelling itself.”

This insciption is dedicated to the Spanish poet Antonio Machado (1875 – 1939). And
Albert gave me a quote from a poem of his to carry along today:

Caminante, son tus huellas el camino, y nada más;
caminante, no hay camino, se hace camino al andar.
Al andar se hace camino,
y al volver la vista atrás se ve la senda que nunca se ha de volver a pisar.
Caminante, no hay camino, sino estelas en la mar.


Wanderer, your footsteps are the road, and nothing more;
wanderer, there is no road, the road is made by walking.
By walking the road is made,
and upon looking back you’ll see a road never to be trodden again.
Wanderer, there is no road, only trails across the sea.

from "Proverbios y cantares", Campos de Castilla (1912)

So I took off today. I left. Like I did many times. But today I will leave by staying. I will spent today with Albert and we will walk the Amsterdam’ park we walked together many times, the Rembrandtpark.

I also walk with Laura Murphy today, a wonderful dancer and choreographer I had the pleasure of working with in the last week in Cork, Ireland. She gave me a sheet with yoga exercises to start my walking days with, exercises about breathing and movement, about being in time, in place. Sensing the moment of movement. Very ‘Ma. She wrote to me: “The standing poses will hopefully ground you in days you feel light or in need to fly.”
I’m looking forward to those days
Laura also gave me a penny, it will bring me good luck.
Today is her birthday.

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