Endgaining to nowhere.
November 6, 2007 at 12:03 AM
Alexander Technique is not an exercise program. There is no daily routine one follows until optimum health is reached. Rather, over time one learns a small range of concepts that one can choose to explore through the medium of daily life which is synonymous with movement. (Movement is also thinking, for what it’s worth.) One major concept of AT is end-gaining. This refers to the all too human tendency to take short cuts because we are focused on product or end result rather than how we get there. It is in the –how- we get there that reality -is.- Where we hope to be is not the real world but by fixating on it we are unable to live in the present, unable to see and evaluate what we are really doing with our lives.
As an example of how easy it is to let the irrational become the norm I am looking back over my driving habits of the last two years. In order to squeeze more time into the morning (to do what?) I have been driving faster and faster, more and more impatiently to school on the nice new major roads thoughtfully constructed for my benefit. Last week I finally got caught in a speed trap. That is no fun here in Japan. I was 30 kph over the limit. Up to 29 kph is a slap on the wrist. That extra one kph turns me into a class A road criminal now facing the Nuremburg trials in slow motion. A lot of money, days of work and standing on street corners waving flags saying don’t speed. Of course, if Laurie sends me a free sweatshirt I’ll wear that for the publicity… Its actually quite amusing since I am about to appear in a major national TV program as concertmaster of an orchestra playing works by a Japanese composer that integrate dancing, traditional instruments and the like. The most famous foreigner face in Japan can now be applauded at the roadside. Cool!;)
Anyway, I have been driving now at the specified speeds which is remarkably dangerous as the other drivers don’t seem to have also modified their speeds... I get hooted at and booed from here to eternity. To tell the truth it doesn’t bother me a bit because I am learning another aspect of end gaining. I have timed the drive and found that all the traffic lights are actually more user friendly at the `official speed. ` The amount of time I lose is, wait for it, nine minutes. In return I don’t have the stress of the extra concentration of the fast lane. Indeed, yesterday, as I sat at a red light patiently watching others checking left and right and then jumping it, a beautiful little black and white bird of some really obscure type came and sat on my right wing mirror and we had a quick chat. We did the same two days ago- he has problems with his teenage son. In this new relaxed mode I can actually really listen to the CDs I play constantly in my car. At the moment I am listening to the Suk piano Trio. I think the piano trio is an exceptionally difficult medium because of the mismatch between the sound production system of piano and strings. Resolving this issue is a key problem and I think Suk did this brilliantly. His sound is rich, complex and deep. I am not such a fan of his concerto recordings on the whole but in chamber music he becomes, for me , just the right blend of soloist and collaborator to create something of great beauty. Glad to have found the time to appreciate him more. Not to mention a renewed awareness of `end gaining.`
Ah, so you have slowed down –– I just let my wife do most of the driving and take receipt of tickets (well deserved:-).
Very good points in your blog.
Buri, your (former) driving habits would fit right in here in Alabama. There seem to be only a few road rules in these parts:
1) There are no Speed Limits. That number on the sign is actually the Driver IQ. There are only "Speed Suggestions".
2) Those line thingys painted on the road? Mere decoration.
3) It is mandatory to go at LEAST 30 miles per hour over the "Speed Suggestion".
4) If a driver absolutely must go the "Speed Suggestion", then by all means, use the left/fast lane.
5) Turn signals are for Suckers. The only time to use the turn signal is when the driver is in the left/fast lane, going at least 30 miles per hour under the "Speed Suggestion", and then that turn signal MUST be kept blinking for at least 60 miles.
I hope you are safe while driving. I drive the speed limit myself, and the hostility generated from other drivers is startling.
Also, please excuse my cultural ignorance, but I thought "The most famous foreign face in Japan" was Elvis...
From Bill Busen
Posted on November 6, 2007 at 6:14 PM
Wow, they're strict. They're making him type slower, too. ;-)
Send me your address and size and your free T-shirt is on its way.....
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