Friday, July 30, 2010

Day 6, you take the high road & I'll take the low road

The Shalom retreat center in Mt. Angel is quiet. Many people are in silent retreat, and small signs on doorways remind us to pay attention to sound levels: this is a quiet room. We each have our own small bedroom. Lisa is in Martha's room, Lily is in Hildegard's. The sheets on the bed are cotton, softened by years of washing. The nuns seem to understand body habitat walking project without having to say much on our part. They offer us many blessings on our journey. We are touched.

We look different walking today. A long striding walk, making great time and passing into the landscape with camera in hand at the ready for recording what the animal eye sees. (Lisa) And an hour with swollen feet in a car going one way to Portland, then back again, to Barlow Rd, to meet up and take body habitat tiny hobbling walks (bhTHW's) here and there. (Lily) We meet again across the Molalla River Bridge in Canby.

Today we also found words for two deep experience we are having as we walk:

We drop into that "...other world that is here right beneath this one" when the body and all its senses open, weave together and take in the world as one whole habitat. More and more our bodies feel this is the human animal in its native state. We often think this is a special state of being, holy & exclusive, a meditative state, a drug-induced state, a state we must earn; working at something taught to us by someone who is not us. What if the truth is that this way of being on the planet is as natural to our existence as breathing? Walking on our feet on the side of road, we create & exist in a liminal space that we experience as a sharing with all the birds, insects, trees, reptiles, poppies, & other mammals. Walking in liminal space we meet these others alive and dead, noisy and silent. We are all in our native habitat. All in one. Reality.

Cars seem hungry predators, without thought or scheme, killing wherever they go. Walking brings into body- consciousness how all the pathways have been claimed by cars. As the cars drive by, even at legal speed limits, we experience feelings of being assaulted, attacked, prey. It becomes surprising to realize there are no human remains on view alongside the other carrion littering the highway and ditches nearby. We feel anger and we feel sorrow.

from Lily and Lisa. we are body habitat and so are you.