School of Movement Medicine - Mindfulness in Motion

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Issue: October 2009
Vision Quest revisited 2.

by Hans Nusink

Last July we, my son Bart, Nicoline and I, on holiday in Devon, went back to the place where I had my Vision Quest a year ago together with Ya’Acov his assistants and thirty something other dancers. One of my dreams was to share with Bart and Nicoline my love for this area and show them my shelter spot and other places.

I sat for a while on my Vision Quest place and looked around me, say words of gratitude and realized what my intention was ‘to come closer to Nature’ I did so and enjoyed my slowing down and ability to look and enjoy the details of God’s creation.


We went on and came to a rocky part of the footpath along the river Dart. A huge granite rock, edged to the sky, in front of me. Next moment I found myself in the air or on my buttocks on that rock. I can not remember ow exactly I brook my ankle in that split second. What I can remember very clear, the pictures are still in my mind, is the strange angle my foot had to my leg. I shouted: “I brook my ankle” to Nicoline and Bart walking in front of me. I took my right feet and pushed it back in normal position. Painful. I sat in a little stream amidst of the most beautiful trees, rocks covered with moss, the sunlight on the rough river water. At that moment I did not have much attention for that. I did not know I would have time to enjoy the next two hours. I felt rather calm, focused. We discussed what to do. Nicoline will go for help to Badger’s Holt, a restaurant half a hours walk upstream and Bart will stay with me. I realized that this event would change my life the coming months. Is my ankle broken? I hoped it only was severely damaged. No way, became obvious in the hospital.


Bart was running around. Having a bit of stress and feeling his young adventurer. “Will I make fire?’ We did a bush craft day with Wood ’nd Willow people –worthwhile and very nice people too- about making fire in this circumstances. One of the people there said you should prevent people to die when they got very cold and stopped shivering, by making a fire. Bart combined his care for me and his adventurous mind. The lovely boy. Every piece of wood was as wet as a sponge however. No sunglass, or what ever to start a fire. A pair of binoculars, we had with us, are useless in this case. He collected some branches for under my buttocks. The water was coming through the rain clothes I sat on.


I felt like in another world, not real, and real at the same time. Calm, enjoying the beauty of nature, like at my Vision Quest. Thinking of my future, feeling panic about important appointments I have with I love. How to tell them? What would they say?? Mind fucking. Than again I saw a tree, growing horizontal out of a rock, covered with moss than vertical, through and becoming a part of the tree canopy, to the light. A metaphor for life. What time was it? I was in another time consciousness.


The noise of a helicopter disturbed my feelings. It came close.  Bart: “Shall I climb in a tree?” I:” No one broken leg is enough. Go and stand near the river and wave with the blue rain condom of your rucksack.” He did so, no success, the tree canopy was not only beautiful also too close.  The helicopter vanished.

Two well dressed people came on the spot, ambulance personnel. Carrying heavy bags and sweating in their neat uniforms having muddy shoes. Soon followed by Nicoline. And by two men in short trousers and T-shirts.  Even more sweating. “Oh, here you are.” One took a radiotelephone out of a pocket and start talking. Runners, the first of a whole group of volunteers of the Dartmoor Voluntary Rescue Service with ropes, a stretcher and a wheel, twelve altogether. The helicopter came back and found us with the help of two hikers who jumped on a stone in the river. Two big men in red/orange uniforms came to our place. And some time later even a policemen with a dog, if I was vanished under a rock or a mud stream.  By whom I would be rescued? I prefered the helicopter. Unfortunately after a discussion or fight – I do not know, are all these organization really in competition - I jumped with my good leg via ‘the’ stone to a place where I was put on the stretcher, tied up in a warm bag, wheel under the stretcher, robes attached. Eight strong men brought me straight up the hill to nearest parking place. Only, it turned out at the end, one and half hour going. Through coarse, fern, rocks under the wheel and under oak trees. These trees helped the carriers to attach the ropes and pull me up hill in the beginning of this expedition.


The whole group followed by Nicoline and Bart and the ambulance woman and man. All carrying heavy bags and a bit on distance at the end of the walk. On my stretcher I saw the blue sky and when I put my head up a bit, I could see the valley. Beautiful all this, I enjoyed it in a special way. Not the way I previewed and preferred to say goodbye.


I came near to nature as my intention was, in another way, a rough way. Nature is not only gentle. Stones can be hard and slippery even on a nice spot. Nature also gave my life a move. To realize the immense dedication, the love and care of Nicoline and Bart even in this phase of my/our life. To realize that my life is also guided by Mother Earth, that I have to learn let go, to surrender, to ask for help and to accept it as it is, to be patience.


I can add another fifteen or something gratitudes to those of Susannah and Ya’Acov


Of course there was the treatment in English –very okay NHS- and Dutch hospitals, operation and so on. Another story.


Now back home all on my own, I have all the time to do things I did not do before. Like listening to poems of Rumi or Thomas Huebl ‘s talks on ‘Sharing the Presence’, to do the Quantum Light Breath meditation, to write love poems, to make endless phone calls to friends, to feel angry when people who help me, do not do exactly what I asked. (This is not new.) I read Paul Ferrini’s book ‘Love without conditions’ and realize my anger is a projection of my deeply lonesome feeling and depending on help. This projection is killing love, this is not new. One of the reasons my old relation went to an end. Painful even more when I realized it could even start to kill the developing love for somebody. No projection; back to this feeling of deep loneliness inside me. To face the pain of the end of the relation with my wife and the land I worked on with my hands and heart. I have plenty of time now.


How will my life be when I can walk and dance again? I have my fantasies. However I know somewhere they are useless, take me away from myself now and here. I can throw them in the river Dart and let dissolve them in the ocean. Like on the 30tth July 2009.

Hans Nusink, September 2009

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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.