use must be experienced

by thankfeldenkrais

All muscle contraction,
All movement,
Is initiated from the brain.

Use must be experienced.

In various positions,
The body must build a relationship with the movement,
In order to perform it,
Letting the neural messages pass back and forth,
And allowing the body to know it can perform the action.

For Isaac it’s been a big month of progress,
He skillfully crawls for choice of movement,
Although we now need to narrow his knees,
To help him,
His pelvis,
His brain,
Understand a slightly different action,
That will translate more so to walking,
For the sprawled out legs limit his bodily action.

He has developed much more core strength,
Allowing more use of his right arm,
A freedom in his upper body we hadn’t yet seen,
Making possible sitting in a “W” position (on bottom but legs under him and out to the side) independently,
And relying more on his pelvis and bottom to anchor him to the floor in support,
Rather than throwing back his shoulder blade in a desperate attempt to stabilise.

And at no point is he stuck,
While in a W sit position,
His ankles have freedom to move,
Seeing the foot shifting naturally around in multiple directions softly during a task,
His upper body can rotate,
And his bottom can lift from the ground in excitement.

He has access to his hips,
Via the use of his pelvis,
Although he doesn’t necessarily have freedom of the muscle groups around the hip,
To swing his legs around in a circle freely for example,
But he does have movement,
And now an association with what his hips will do.

And this is imperative.

And so while we soldier on,
With sessions,
Home play,
Deepening my understanding of what’s important for the here and now movements,
Battling the demons that sit below the surface of my skin,
Itching my insides,
Relentlessly threatening to pull me to despair,
Of just how much work we still have to do,
And wondering how my stamina will uphold –
Something always happens to spark a warm glow of hope within me.

And this time,
As if he reads my signals,
Sees me faltering at the cliff edge,
And as if he’s read the book of the vital next stage;
He knee walks sideways by the window sill,
By himself for the very first time,
Singsonging to the birds in their bath just beyond the glass.

And it’s not just the act itself,
But the fact he’s pieced together all the elements,
He’s been learning each session,
Leading him to this point,
Which allows such an action to be possible.

Testament once more to the Method.

And always the beacon of hope I need,
He gives it to me,
And I give to myself,
A moment guilt-free,
Catching a passing belief,
That this little lad will be alright,
In this world that can’t quite accommodate him,
But that he will be capable of finding his own path within.

And that his progress is coming,
However delayed.


Life hasn’t punished me,
But given me an opportunity to be part of something incredible,
And to take strength from Isaac,
Who will take his challenges all the way through his show,
While I’m merely his opening act.