Archie cried, “I failed”


I want to share with you something that really inspired me last week.

With the recent cold weather, my Netflix watching may have increased a little bit.  I watched a wonderfully understated movie, The Dig.  It is the story of the excavation of historical mounds in Surrey just before the outbreak of WWII.   As historical events and the preparations for war surround the main characters, there is an urgency to unearth the past.  The landowner, Edith Pretty, a widow, is facing a personal tragedy in the form of a severe illness.  Her son, a gregarious boy who is excited to be helping with the dig, realizes that everything is not alright with his mother. 

In a scene that touches me upon re-watching, the excavator, Basil Brown, finds the boy in tears.  The boy weeps, “I said I would look after my mother and I’ve failed!”    Basil, an eccentric, curmudgeonly older man replies, “We all fail, every day.”  The boy declares, “I am stronger than she thinks.”  Basil kindly says, “You have a chance to show her.”

In case I have already spoiled the movie for you, I will stop there.  This touched me because it signals to me a human truth.  We live our lives in a gap.  We hold open the space between what is happening and what we believe should be happening.   This gap moment puts us on the edge of ourselves, requiring us to hold up our expectation against the clear light of what actually is happening.  This takes constant tending to preserve our expectations.  And in this endeavor, we fail, again and again.  Everyday.

In the Feldenkrais method, Moshe Feldenkrais talked about parasitic movement, when we do unnecessary effort in how we move; this kind of movement takes up our resources and can deplete us as we preserve this expectation for how it should be, hidden deep in our muscular habits. 

Letting go of what is not necessary is one form of self care.

If you care for others and struggle or find your own self-care a struggle, I can help.

I am offering my Carekeeping course in April.  Registration opens March 15.  Sign up now to get your chance to register.  I am accepting 10 people into the course.

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