Being with Erika: #11, Hands, London 1994

Although she did not express it very much, Erika was concerned about the way that Alexander’s work had developed over the fifty years since she had been at Ashley Place. I will try and put into words in another post what she conveyed to me over a period of several years, but I recall that when on one occasion the subject of “hands” came up. I told her the story Margaret Goldie had told me, about FM saying after the class one day that “They are all in such a hurry to use their hands. I’m waiting for the one who isn’t”.

She was visibly shaken. This was obviously of quite some significance to her.

“Then why didn’t he tell us?” she exclaimed. Of course, I could not answer.

Soon afterwards she had the opportunity to speak to Walter Carrington about it, and asked him if it was indeed true that FM had said that. Walter replied that it was true.

“Then why didn’t he tell us?” she asked.

Walter’s reply was: “FM didn’t believe in telling people what to do”.

This whole incident had particular resonance for Erika because of the division of the students into two groups in the first training course and all that had ensued from that.

© 2013 John S Hunter

Other Posts on Being with Erika:

#01, London 1985 – Annual Memorial Lecture
#02, Brighton 1988 – Key Note Address
#03, Melbourne 1991 – “Come for lunch!”
#04, Melbourne 1991 – Tea Ceremony
#05, Melbourne 1991 – Jean Jacques by the Sea
#06, Back in Melbourne, 1992
#07, “Where did you train?”, London, 1993
#08, “It’s all the same”, London, 1993
#09, “Making the Link”, London, 1993
#10,  A Lesson in Stopping, London, 1993
#12, “Yes, but you’re worrying!”, London, 1993
#13, “Nothing special”, London, 1994

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3 responses to “Being with Erika: #11, Hands, London 1994”

  1. Ashby Alexander Technique says :

    John, this is a fascinating sequence of interactions. Has it (or did it at the time) change the way you teach? Karen

    • UpwardThought says :

      Hello Karen,

      Good question, and one which I will try and address as I continue with my posts. More than changing the way I teach I would say the “interactions”, as you call them, changed the way I am and the way I live, and of course that affects all aspects of one’s life, including teaching.

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