Moshe Feldenkrais often said that he developed the Method for people to realize their avowed and unavowed dreams. Performing as a mime for over 25 years, Lavinia Plonka had long buried her unavowed dream to work with the written word. Her training re-awakened a passion that transformed her physical comedy and silent stories to this collection of humorous essays. Moshe wanted each person to utilize the Feldenkrais Method® in “their own handwriting,” which Lavinia has taken literally, incorporating his wisdom as nuggets within her own uniquely hilarious point of view. Meditating With My Hair On Fire is a romp through psyche and soma, to infinity and beyond, with liberal sprinklings of Feldenkrais throughout. A perfect way to entertain as it piques people’s interest in our work.
Enlightenment at Sam’s Club
Head Banging and Other Habits
Climbing Out of the Hole
A Not So Random Universe
In a Tree Falls in Alexander…
Embracing Change, Bracing for Change
Let Them Eat Dirt
Wherever You Go There You Are
The Physics of Love
Bush Up Your Shakespeare
The Persistence of …Uh…I Forget
Where’s My Purse?
Hey! You Awake Yet?
Thy Name is Woman
At Home in the Cosmos
At Threadbare Univers
Who Me? Biased?
What is Your Wish?
Talking to the Couch
The Map is Not the Territory
There Should be a Law, Oh Wait, There Is
Aliens Stole My Time
About the Feldenkrais Method
About Lavinia Plonka
OCTOBER 21, 2012
I know better as I balance precariously on the log buried under the honeysuckle and rambling rose. But the really good blackberries will be just outside my reach if I remain on the lawn. I can balance, I’m a dancer. I’m a martial artist — sure footed and in touch with my center. Heck, I teach Awareness Through Movement®! I know what I’m doing.
As I reach forward, carefully perched, I hear a sickening crack and in 1/25 of a second, I’m lying in the thorns, my bucket of berries oozing juice on my pants, one vicious thorn separating a square of my shirt from the rest of me and my butt throbbing against a heretofore invisible branch.
An ignominious fall, an irreversible descent. Not just falling down, but a fall from grace, or the illusion of it. I consider myself lucky that it didn’t include a fall on my face to make the cosmos’ revenge complete. Like Rome, my hubris had not allowed me to see that my foundation log was rotten and I fell like an empire, into the just reward for overreaching my grasp. Thank God Ron was not witness to my descent. If I am wounded, I will at least be able to manufacture a dramatic tale instead of having to admit the foolishness that caused my crash.
Pride being my only major wound, I repair to the solace of my dictionary to learn all I can about this word: fall. According to the Oxford, autumn is called fall because in Old England it was the “falling leaf season.” Of course, leaves rarely just fall. They waft, drift, blow and float their way down. Irreversible, but ah what a ride!
It seems we are always falling — down, behind, into debt, out of grace, in love. Adam and Eve fell so badly; we still date things from the “fall of man.” The thing is, it’s not the falling that feels bad, it’s the landing. Some friends were describing their first skydiving experiences (not high on my to-do list) and waxed rapturously on the sensation of descending. They too wafted, drifted and floated until their parachutes opened. A friend of mine once said that Icarus’ problem was not that he made wings of wax, or even that he flew too close to the sun, but that he didn’t know how to land properly.
How often I’ve stood on the edge of a cliff and imagined launching myself. The empty space is like a siren’s call; I tear myself away from the edge. For a moment, falling can feel like flight. The absolute reversal of my relationship with the vertical disrupts the vestibular receptors (those things that keep us upright), and the resultant disorientation plunges the brain into avian fantasy. Whether jumping off a waterfall or zooming down in a rollercoaster, the poor brain can’t latch onto solid ground and so….we scream. Or is it simply that in that moment, as I fall into the arms of the irresistible temptation, as I collapse on the couch into the pile of pillows, as I see the earth looming before me, is it that yes, I realize I am totally out of control? AAAHHHHH!
Now, most people will blame gravity. What goes up must come down. An empire can’t fall unless it’s risen. The higher you go, the harder you fall. But what if it’s not true? Although I’m sure there are mathematicians out there who would argue with all kinds of equations, the truth is, those reasons are all made up. Sometimes I think we just created gravity so we wouldn’t have so much confusion in our existence. After all, if this is really a quantum universe, where anything is possible, why not fall up? Is it because then all the fun would be gone? If you slipped on a banana peel, you wouldn’t crash. If you dove off the high dive, you wouldn’t descend. We’d be metaphorically the poorer. How to describe falling out of favor, falling for the man of your dreams, having a falling out? Just think what it would do to the plastic surgery industry! And autumn would never come.
We should rename gravity. Call it the law of falling. In the otherwise forgettable movie 2010, the astronauts used falling into the orbit of one moon to sling shot themselves over to another moon. You could call that the law of falling and catching up.
Imagine, a reversible descent! Perhaps the reason we laugh when we see someone fall, the reason that we feel so helpless as we plummet, is because we don’t see the moment when it can be reversed. After all, you can fall into debt but catch up with your bills. You can fall for the wrong guy, then catch yourself before it’s too late. Reversibility can happen at any time during a fall. Frank Sinatra once sang, “Each time I find myself falling flat on my face, I pick myself up and get back in the race!”
Perhaps it has nothing to do with gravity at all, but with paying attention. If I had been paying the right kind of attention, I would have noticed the rotting log. Maybe, just maybe, with enough clarity, I could jump off the cliff, and then fly back to the edge