I spoke with my neighbor about her son's upcoming wedding. Her son and his bride-to-be have a wedding planner, which Chris and Frieda chose not to do, mainly because of price and potential conflict.
My neighbor was hoping that her family members could sit together, since many are flying in and don't get to see each other that often, but she was informed it didn't matter who they were sitting with as it would only be an hour for dinner anyway, as they had to get to the first dance. The bride and groom are already told by the wedding planner that they get two bites of food, and then, they mingle, and then, the band begins.
When I was in college, I took classes in early childhood development. Our big fear at the time was that communism was molding the minds of young children in Russia. Now I read in an article by Martin Cruz Smith in National Geographic that "There are more billionaires in Moscow than in any other city. Millionaires are as common as pigeons."
Who is more capitalistic and does it matter, but what I worry about is freedom of thought, activity and flow. Zach and I sat yesterday and watched one starfish for about fifteen minutes. He/she had one foot curved down as though sleeping. We then watched a flat fish lay in the sand, swoosh a bit, swoop up once, and then, cover in sand. I believe it is important for each of us to have that kind of time to observe, receive, reflect. Watching Zach's process yesterday again allowed me to see the brilliance of the human mind. He figures things out, puts things together. When he fell coming down a ramp, we talked about the gravel. He still ran down it, but each time he was practicing how to balance on the gravel. He didn't fall again. He is thoughtful, careful, aware.
I don't know where the idea of a wedding planner came from, but I wonder about spontaneity in our lives. Is so much orchestration necessary and maybe it is. There are so many of us. Our children are socialized early in preschool and I think that is a good thing, and I wonder where the place is to pause and reflect.
Jane and I met last night and spoke about her work day. To me, it seemed we had the same kind of day, though hers had huge words to describe it. She was at a seminar where they worked in groups and piled up dominoes so they would fall in a sequence. The idea was to see how people work and to help them become more effective and efficient, to make less mistakes. The "supervisors" watched the "workers," and were not to interfere. I said that is what I did, watching the children interact at the discovery museum, seeing how they share, and who dominates and who doesn't, noting if it might be necessary to step in, and wanting to be as unobtrusive as possible, so Zach could learn and figure out on his own.
Perhaps nothing was produced at the museum, and there will be results from the study of falling dominoes, and ... I wonder about it all, about the place, the opening where spontaneity has its day of play.
I open now a book called Free Play, Improvisation in Life and Art, by Stephen Nachmanovitch. I know we can't play all the time and Jane's work is about saving lives, and yet, I think we each need a chance to let go, to have no agenda or schedule, to play. Maybe we do that in our own time. Yesterday, Zach played the xylophone, then, he sang, and then, he danced. He did that over and over again.
Nachmanovitch says that "It is curious that both meditation and dancing are ways to "disappear."
He speaks of different ways to tune the spirit. Here is one.
"Look at whatever is in front of you and say, "Yes! Yes! Yes!" to it, like Molly Bloom's life-affirming, love-affirming mantra at the end of Ulysses. The universe of possibilities becomes visibly, tangibly larger, over a period of mere moments. When you say, "No, No, No," the world gets smaller and heavier. Try it both ways and verify the truth of this very simple method. Look at water lilies or other highly vascular flowering plants. When the sun comes out, the flowers unfold before your eyes; when the sun goes away, they close. What the sun's radiation and the lilies say to each other, translated through the biophysical language of chlorophyll, sugar, protein, and water, is, "Yes! Yes! Yes!"