Saturday, September 09, 2006

Saturday, Sept. 9: Let's Talk About Babies

You were a baby once. I was a baby once. We didn’t know much, couldn’t do much, and we were amazing. We were alive. We knew how to learn. Most of us could suck and breathe and wiggle various parts of our selves. We could open and close our eyes and we were probably really good at sleeping.

So starts the human life: dependant and with lots to learn.

Somewhere along there, most of us leaned to walk and to talk. These learnings are acts of genius, when we realize how many unknowns we had to unravel, how many explorations we set in motion, how many dead ends we chased down, not knowing they were dead ends.

We were very alive, very now, and there were no "dead ends." We had no end, we always were learning.

Dead ends, open ends, rest times, sleep times, all these were just one more piece of learning.

We didn’t start talking with words. We didn’t know what a word was. We didn’t know what language was. We started with sounds. Sound felt a certain way inside of us, and probably got certain responses from people around us.

We didn’t start out with walking poorly. We didn’t start out with crawling poorly. We didn’t start out with rolling over. We started out with small movements, flailing around movements that sometimes turned into useful movements. A certain flail and our hand was at our mouth. A little later and another flail brought our hand to our mouth again, and a light bulb went off: this could be useful. We liked our mouths. We liked being able to bring our hands to our mouths.

More flailing, more wiggling, more trying out this and that. For almost all of us, there weren’t other kids around crawling, so this wasn’t something we ever had a plan to learn. But after rolling over and some form of scooting ourselves around on the floor or ground, we happened on the crawling thing.

Lots and lots and lots of learnings and dead ends and explorations preceded learning to crawl. And when we crawled, it sure as can be was not to please someone outside and strut our crawling stuff. We wanted something over THERE and we were HERE and crawling turned out to be an easier and quicker way to get from here to there.

We learned in the field of gravity. We learned with weak arms and weak legs and strong muscles in the so-called core, which is another way of saying the middle. This is how we are made: big bones and big muscles around the pelvis, and another set of lesser big bones and big muscles around our shoulders. We learned, by messing around, by exploring, by discovery which muscles went various ways and we ended up with ideas and discoveries of things we could set out to do and accomplish. We could grab things. Pick up things. Drop things. Throw things. Roll over. Look this way, look that. And sooner or later, move our whole cute little baby body over to something at another part of the world.

We were movers. We were learners. We were discoverers. This was good.

This still is good and any day we live with an open and curious mind can still be a learning day. Would a Feldenkrais approach to what we are doing or thinking or feeling help keep the learning and discovery and joy open? That’s a rhetorical questions isn’t it?

Enjoy your day. Enjoy your life. Enjoy your learning.

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