Posts in Writing
I belong to this urban wilderness...

The earth beneath reminds me how to pray. Her rumblings gentle my heart though it took me awhile to open to the staggering presence of earth here; to stop saving up my awe, and wonder for less inhabited landscapes. I had to learn to let this place into me - the Verbena and the possums, and the little caterpillars that eat my Bougainvillea… just as I have had to learn how to feel my own wildness; to let that one of me touch the world I have created for myself… to let her break my aloneness. 

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In My Imagination

In my imagination I hear the land speak to me of things. This is not to say I make them up. 

There are no phrases, no names - no words at all, but a spontaneous upwelling within that has me dancing on the trails, far from curbing eyes. Speaking back in the way life has always spoken; through the movement of form, the shaping of a hand or tail, or fin, the slide of rock into water, the dry cracking of soil under a Tuscan sun. 

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WritingLaura BlakemanComment
Wildly.

The kiva, moist and dark in the high desert of the Colorado plateau, drips with its own kind of earth-meets-human musk. Belying thousands of years of ceremony, rhythms of use and disuse, repair and disrepair, death to one generation, and birth again to another, the ritual space sits temperate and even-toned, stoic and impassive. Even after the sun had set over the peaks and troughs of Sleeping Ute mountain and the first stars made themselves available through the little square hole overhead, the kiva, and its atmosphere of ancient didn’t so much as gesture its compliance. The ear of the earth and the great womb of the ancients need participate little in the affairs of the above and the cycles of night and day. It simply watched and waited and held and hungered. Fulfilling a promise that had begun long before the Pueblo people of old awoke with the dream to shape the walls and feed the mouth of the Mysteries.

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Lessons From the Ocean Current

Hawaii. This place where the sleepy parts of me — those that hide under where concrete covers the song of the land and there is no soil for burying — are stirred to the bone… roused through flower scents, little feral piglets, and Koki frog lullabies.

This place that births through fire and threatens the very patch of land I find myself nestled and fed. Where the ocean is a force that demands reciprocity or else.

Where our kuleana — our sacred duty, is like the ocean current, subtle and strong, and underneath, hidden and a gift, and only reconciled by releasing the struggle of everyday to glide along the path of least resistance. Everything else, and every other effort, is futile and exhausting.

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Crow Medicine

I felt ungainly, awkward next to this creature, as I had been for weeks, grappling with self-directed and deprecating apologies for not enough.

This not enough story was in the final throes of its struggle, reconciling months — no, years — of painful disregard for the fulness one possesses at the center of things, that leads us always… sometimes into those dark spaces that smell of decay.

For this reason, the crow modeled a surrender I was yet to find and longed for under surface composure and Holiday wishes.

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A Fearless Heart : Trust What you Came Here to Do

My mother gave me a necklace on the day of my first moon blood.

September 19, 1996. I am 14 years old. The last of my girlfriends to initiate into womanhood. I don’t remember caring so much. “You’re a woman now,” my mom said, riding in the family van to horse-riding lessons — our weekly mother-daughter pilgrimage to what is wild and free on the inside.

I thought of how being a woman meant mess, and uncomfortable scents and limitations to the frivolity of childhood play. Whether that moment was fueled by a barrage of hormones or a deeper lament for the passing of time I do not know.

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The Rhythm Way

The plains of Navajo sandstone spread their great wings over the land.

Gnarled piñon and juniper trees dodge their Goliath reach to root a tenuous hold in the waffled crypto — sand-swept soil. Gathered ’round their elder council, two little flowers the color of fire, one honeybee, and a thousand unheard stories.

Brother wind, sweeping in great and grainy gusts, travels along the swirls and eddies of ancient rock flow, twisted tree, and made-to-fit stone-washes, continuing his time-honored task of stripping flesh from bones of all who pause in the shadow of forgetfulness.

I am a guest in this harsh landscape.

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No Master Mentor

Somehow, somewhere along the way, we as a culture have lost a crucial piece of that story in the face of old and worn-out paradigms - egoic displays of rugged individualism. The ferocity of“I’ll do it myself” - or more commonly - “I SHOULD be able to do it myself” that is ultimately the undoing of the heros/heroines quest. The missing piece that you’ll always find in any good journey, is that the hero or the heroine NEVER DO IT ALONE.

The single most common mistake hoop teachers make is to think themselves an island, self-sufficient unto themselves and wholly capable to slay the demon, and trick the dragon, and ascend the mountain of becoming ALONE.

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WritingLaura Blakeman
Logic Without Love

In 2008, Jeremy Hsu wrote an article for Scientific American entitled The Secrets of Storytelling: Why We Love a Good Yarn. In it, he examined the work of psychologists and neuroscientists who are studying the human penchant for storytelling. What they are discovering is fascinating, but it boils down to this: People are wired to enjoy stories.*

What does that have to do with masterful teaching? A few things, but the short of it boils down to the ability (or lack of ability) a teacher has to weave and curate a powerful and impactful learning  environment. One that gives the student the greatest possible inroad to lasting insight and embodied knowledge. This, of course, happens in many ways - through skillful curriculum development, logical instruction and sequencing, environmental considerations such as natural light, space, and choice of music, and through the teacher’s ability to step into the seat of the teacher and hold the space for his/her students... but there is one area that is often overlooked, and in my experience quite possibly THE most important place to refine a skill set for teachers new and old : THEMING.

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WritingLaura Blakeman
The Seat of the Teacher

When I first began to teach - scratch that - for YEARS after I began teaching I struggled with nerves. I would shake and tremble when speaking, I would spend hours that day prepping what I wanted to say, and it’d all go out the window anyway. I wouldn’t eat, couldn’t sleep well. i’d have dreams about flopping, disappointing the promoters and my students, loosing the opportunity. Letting myself down. I was all over the map. 

I would regularly say to my teachers and friends who encouraged me relentlessly;

whatever you see in me, I don’t see it in myself.”
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WritingLaura Blakeman