In every movement the entire body should be light and agile and all of its parts connected like a string of pearls.
T’ai Chi Ch’uan Classic
Typically interpreted to describe the flowing of energy within the body in the course of each form, the “string of pearls” can also be seen as a metaphor for the complete set of forms, the flow from form to form, from moment to moment, from each complete “now” to the next complete “now,” in gentle yet decisive contrast to “managing change” or creating “transformation strategies.”
Each form, each moment, is complete and entire in itself, from opening to closing, from inhaling to exhaling, from receiving to releasing. There is no place to go, no destination, no other place, only the realizing of fullness in this movement, this moment, this now.
Being completely and entirely embedded in the overall environment, the broadest reach of the senses, centered here—movement from center to center—part of nature,
…like ocean waves, or blades of grass…governed by the endless play of repetition and variety created in the presence of the fact that all things pass away.
The Timeless Way of Building (Alexander)
When practiced outdoors, being present to the sound of wind or waves, the rustling of trees, like gulls or hawks effortlessly riding the currents of air, or whales rising to breach the surface of the sea—all connected, all carried in motion by the same energy, the same source, the same vitality and fullness.
Consciously participating in the complete exchange, where all is received, all is returned, freely gifted and gifting.
The many become one, and are increased by one.
Process and Reality (Whitehead)
The flowing of a long and expansive river, from remote, ancient sources, through broadening banks, narrowing courses, across rapids and expansive stretches of calm.
The frozen misery of ages breaks, cracks, begins to move
The thunder is the thunder of the floes, the flood, the upstart spring
Thank God our time is now
A Sleep of Prisoners (Fry)
How long is the moment? How long is “now”? Is it measured in seconds, minutes, hours, days, months, years, decades, generations? The question at one level has no meaning. For the moment is all encompassing, with its own intricate rhythms and counter-rhythms that emerge, interact, subside, and reappear as something that is recognized anew as somehow transformed.
Each movement, each moment, a pearl, an instance of beginning and completion, a gathering of all that has gone before, an anticipation of all that is to come, in the fullness of time, embraced in the divine economy of the universe, in which nothing is lost.
Information overload turned inside out; completely releasing the desire to consciously track and try to control every factor, to being completely open to receive information that fills out patterns at ever-finer resolution.
Receiving the whole as wholeness, from which the details emerge and unfold.
An elegant simplicity, which cannot simply be deconstructed into component parts and then mechanically reassembled. For all the technological advances that were required to create modern hang gliders that roughly mimick the soaring of birds, the effect still pales against the effortless interplay of feather against air, of wing upon current.
How many “miracles” does it take to heal a wounded lifetime? Perhaps just the next one. For by its nature, each miracle of the moment is all-encompassing, intricately interwoven, a quality of the whole.
[NOTE: This entry is extracted from another blog that I’ve retired and presented here as a reflection on the “Timeless Way” that is the quest that drives patterns and pattern languages.