Marjory Barlow: #1, A Little Bit of Magic, London, 1979

Marjory Barlow, the daughter of FM’s sister, developed an interest in her Uncle’s work early in her life – largely through necessity. Like the young FM, she did not have a strong constitution and really needed what the Technique could offer. When she spoke about training, however, Alexander always told her that she was not strong enough and would never make a teacher. In later years she wondered whether that had been to spur her on, as she joined the first training course a year or two after it had started.

She came into one of my lessons with Alan Rowlands. I had seen her from time to time when I was sitting in the waiting room at the Alexander Institute in Albert Court, and knew who she was, but I had never spoken to her.

She was the first person to give me an experience clearly of another order. She put her hands, or rather the tips of her fingers, on my head and I felt it move up. I knew that she was not doing it, in the way that we understand ‘doing’, but that something quite new was happening – and in parts of my body I was hardly aware of.

It was then that I realised that there is a little bit of magic in the Alexander Technique.

© 2013 John S Hunter

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2 responses to “Marjory Barlow: #1, A Little Bit of Magic, London, 1979”

  1. robfgott says :

    I remember having a lesson with Marjory at the end of the 90s while I was visiting London. It was a scorching hot day and after the lesson, which was wonderful, I went up to Primrose Hill. I sat on the grass and took out my notebook, eager to write down my impressions of my lesson with Marjory. I got a surprise when I put pen to paper.My hand seemed to take on a life of it’s own as I wrote, leaping across the paper like a playful puppy. Gone was my usual neat, orderly handwriting. What I wrote was a scrawling mess, but the experience was one of freedom. I think the essence of this was that you have to lose control before you can gain a new one.

    • UpwardThought says :

      Ha! Thanks for sharing this Rob. Such moments – which really get into some usually inaccessible part of the brain – are small in duration but huge in consequence.

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