School of Movement Medicine - Mindfulness in Motion
 

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Issue: January 2009
Fingal’s Supper

by Roland
 
10 years ago in September my father, Oliver, wrote a letter to my brother describing how on a walk with his dog, Fingal, he became overcome with tiredness and so he lay down in a wood under a tree.  He closed his eyes and was just drifting off into what he felt might be an everlasting sleep when Fingal started licking his face. My father felt concerned that his dog shouldn’t miss his supper and so he got to his feet and walked home and fed him.  The next day my father felt ill and phoned for an ambulance.  By the time the ambulance arrived he had lost consciousness.

He had had a severe stroke.   I was on holiday in Scotland and drove down to the hospital in Banbury where he had been taken.  I found him in a state of very partial consciousness.  I would talk and he would murmur incoherently with his eyes closed.  With his right hand he fidgeted with his white hospital gown and eventually managed to pull the gown up far enough to expose his genitals.  I gazed for a few moments at the pink flesh before gently pulling the gown down again.  Very shortly afterwards he fell into a fully unconscious state.  I felt there was nothing further for me to do and so decided to drive back to Scotland.  As I drove through the night I wondered what on earth he might have been trying to communicate to me by this act of exposure.  Part of me rationalised that he wasn’t trying to communicate anything and that what he was doing were just involuntary movements of a dying man.  But the part of me that wanted to give meaning to this incident decided that this act was his way of showing me where I had come from and my connection to him.  I owed my existence to what had shot forth from that part of his body and I was his son.

A week later he died never having regained consciousness.   My brother and sisters visited in reverse order of our births.  Finally, 20 minutes after the elder of my twin sisters left the hospital to return to her home, he stopped breathing. 

I have recently visited the wood where he was overcome with tiredness and imagined him lying there and I pictured his death as his soul slowly leaving his body and emanating out into the soil beneath him, the trees around him and then out into the leaves of those trees and then the sky and finally out into the atmosphere and the universe beyond.

One of my sisters took his ashes to the Island of Iona, which we felt was Oliver’s spiritual home, and scattered them on an isolated beach.  She built a small cairn to mark the spot and made maps to give to the rest of the family.  Over the next few years all my family have all gone to visit the beach on Iona except for me.  This troubled me and I found myself pondering about it one day while I was walking.  Very quickly something came to me.  It was not enough for me to just drive there or go by public transport.  I needed to walk in order to do it properly and almost instantaneously I resolved that this is what I would do.  A few days later I made the plan that I would devise the route so that I would visit many of the places where my father had either stayed or lived during his life, including the 5 houses of his children.  The walk would begin at the Lizard, which is the southerly most point in the UK and would snake its way up to Scotland, across the Isle of Mull on the west coast and then to Iona.

I began the walk two years ago and have completed about half of it.  The rest I am going to complete this year and I plan to arrive at Iona on Sept 17th which is the 10th anniversary of my father’s death.  I estimate that this will take about 41 more walking days.

It occurred to me while I was walking down a small lane, which was ankle high in running water caused by thunder storms which had been circulating above me all day,  in Hertfordshire last summer in a pair of boots which that very days had decided to split across their uppers and so let in water, that maybe I could raise some money for the School of Movement Medicine Sponsorship fund with the walk.  The fund had just been approved for charitable status by the charity commission and I was keen to see it being active again.  In fact it has taken several months to actually do anything about this but finally I have set up a page on the Justgiving website: http://www.justgiving.com/rolandwilkinson, which makes it very easy for people to donate to the fund and, if you’re a taxpayer, Justgiving makes sure 25% in Gift Aid, plus a 3% supplement, are added to your donation.
 

I am particularly keen to raise enough money to support one or more people who come from a part of the world which is in conflict or is recovering from conflict to come and go through the programme that the School of Movement Medicine has to offer, including the Apprenticeship Programme and Teacher Training programmes and then to be able to take this work back to their own country and people as a qualified teacher.  Without financial support it would not be possible for people from these places to come and do this work.  The money raised would be used for helping with travel and accommodation cost and the tuition will be provided by the school at a reduced cost and in some cases, free of charge.

It is very important that if this plan is to succeed that we get a significant sum of money into the fund fairly soon as although the next Apprenticeship programme does not start until 2011 it is important that support is also provided for all the necessary prerequisite workshops – The Journey of Empowerment Ongoing Group, Initiation, The Ritual Work and The Phoenix Retreat.

I am, of course, paying for all my own expenses and all the money raised will go to the Sponsorship Fund.   I hope my project will also inspire others to raise money for the fund.

One of the first intensive workshops that someone on this journey might take is the Awakening course which will take place 31/3 – 4/4 at Dartington, in South Devon.  I am often asked if I dance.  For those who doubt this is true, then I invite you to come along and see for yourself.  This course is in some ways a bit like a gathering of the Movement Medicine clan as many of our local organisers will be attending.

Our postal mailing is going out a little later than usual this year and will be with those of you for whom we have postal address before the end of January.  Our postal mailing list is getting smaller every year whereas the email list keeps growing.  If you would like to be on the postal list then please email your address to roland@rwevents.co.uk.  Also contact me if you would like multiple copies of any of our fliers.  I am always happy to send these out and we very much appreciate it when you help to get our work noticed by others. Susannah & Ya'Acov's letter which accompanies our mailing is also available to download from our website and it also appears as an article in this newsletter.

We still have place for 2 more couples on the Space Between Us workshop which will take place at the Waldhaus in Switzerland in 11 – 15 Feb.  Contact me on roland@rwevents.co.uk if you and your partner would like places.
 
We have recently updated the How to Study page on the website.  This should help people who are wishing to know where various workshop fit in to the Movement Medicine map and the best order to do them in.
 
We are also pleased to tell you that we are simplifying the payment structure for our intensive courses.  As a result of some very good work by our accountant we will be able to receive money into just one account.  This is for the courses which are promoted by myself - Roland and by Susanne and will not affect other courses.
 
   
Best wishes to all of you in the year ahead
 
Roland 

 

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JANUARY 2009

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

23 - 25

 

Prague

 

Ya'Acov

Sacred Space

 

Radka +42 224 827 417
Radka.vojackova@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

30 - Feb 1

 

Warsaw

 

Ya'Acov

For All Our Relations

 

Olga +42 224 827 417
olga@5rytmow.pl

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

30

 

Paris

 

Susannah

Move!

 

Amelie +33 1 55 59 94 01
goundor@yahoo.fr

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

31 - Feb 1

 

Paris

 

Susannah

Sacred Space

 

Amelie +33 (0)1 55 59 94 01
goundor@yahoo.fr

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

February 2009

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6

 

Zurich, Switzerland

 

Susannah

Move!

 

Katriona +41 33 676 2708
kat@kf-events.ch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7 - 8

 

Zurich, Switzerland

 

Susannah

DanSing

The views expressed here do not necessarily represent the views of the School of Movement Medicine. Roland Wilkinson, Nappers Crossing, Staverton, Devon TQ9 6PD, UK Tel & Fax +44 (0)1803 762255 http://www. schoolofmovementmedicine.com