A Great Personal Feat
April 8, 2021
As I age in this more aged category in which I live, I do see more grace in my life, but in contrast to Joanne, I feel like I’ve lived through my life pretty much alone. That doesn’t mean it’s not a good life. It’s just, I don’t see the connection with others as strongly as Joanna does. So what popped up in the question, what am I proud of, was quite mundane. I taught bodywork, Trager bodywork for many, many years and traveled to do that. I traveled to Europe most consistently as well as North America, and was about to go to Japan when I had my stroke. But I spoke French. I still do. And so I taught my first overseas time was going to France because Dr. Trager himself was supposed to teach there, but had an illness and could not go.
And so, even though I was a brand new instructor, because I spoke French, the institute chose me to go over there. That was quite an experience, filling Dr. Trager’s shoes when I had just started this whole method, that… there were some adventures there. But then a few years later, a teacher I had supervised on his path to becoming an instructor had a connection in Italy and was invited to teach the beginning training there. And that was his only…his authorization to teach at that point was beginning training. So since I had been a supervisor and friend, he asked me if I’d like to do the intermediate there. So they invited me to Italy. I spoke no Italian. I spoke a little Spanish.
So the first year, I arrived in this glorious, what they call a factoria, which isn’t a factory, it’s a farm, more like a farm where they grew something for…or grapes, for sale, for wine, and they grew their own vegetables, and it was a 400-year old Villa. And I stayed in the princess’s room. And the story was that she was…she fell in love with a doctor in…many centuries ago, and that was not considered appropriate, for a princess to marry a doctor. A doctor was the lower class. So her father shut her up in this room, in the villa, for many, many years. And I got to stay there. And it was decaying, you know, that beautiful decay.
But anyway, the first year, I taught in English with a translator. And I loved the Italian spirit. I loved that. So when I got home, I searched for an Italian teacher and found a woman in Mill Valley where I lived, and studied with her for five years and taught in Italy each year, three weeks…for three weeks. And each year I spoke a little more Italian. And that was fun because they were fun, and to understand what they were actually saying and being able to communicate with them was wonderful.
And what I’m proud of is the fifth year, I taught the whole class in Italian, including all of the body parts and the muscle names and everything. So that was really wonderful because I love being able to communicate. And so learning new languages for me, means new people with whom I can communicate. My German, however, I only have three sentences left of my German, which I’ll tell Edith one day, which is a story about teaching in Germany. So that’s something I’m proud of.
And I must say that looking, you know, as I gained more wisdom in my later years, looking back on my life, I see how we could call it grace has come in, that I feel more and more like I’ve lived what I was meant to live in this lifetime for the growth I needed to do, or the growth I set out for myself before being born, if that exists. So I’m feeling much more at peace with my whole life and appreciating my whole life more than I ever did when I was living it young. Although there were some great moments, those little voices in my head judging myself and, you know, telling myself I’m not enough, were pretty strong throughout my life. And now I can see with amused love that that was a part of who I am too and part of what I needed to go through in this lifetime.
And just very briefly, the second question…the first question of how would I change my neighborhood? I would have had them be a more friendly neighborhood and welcome me in when I moved here, and invite me to things when I was new in the neighborhood. But I have to say my part in that has been imagining, inviting them over and getting to know them, and I never did. So there was one event finally, a few years ago, that I happened upon a couple of people talking about, and then when I asked, they invited me and it was the one neighborhood gathering I had been to, but there have been none since, nor have I followed up. So I can see looking back how much…two things, if I think of a thing, I feel like I’ve done it. So I didn’t invite the people over. And that I have…I want other people to make it happen for me. And that doesn’t work that well. It’s really up to me. If I have an urge, it’s up to me to do it, and that’s another piece of wisdom that’s come in later life. So thanks.