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Art of Listening: Inversion

Inversion: a reversal of the normal order of things, from Latin roots meaning, "to turn in/on." In yoga, inverted poses redirect blood and energy out of areas of the body where it tends to coagulate, and into parts of the body that don't usually receive much nourishment. They also offer a different perspective from the usual way of perceiving things. These poses require an outer stillness, but catalyze much movement within.

In a fast-paced world, merely being still is an act of inversion. The idle moment is an endangered species, threatened by the invasive species known as the modern phone - that seductive siren that inspires us to leap off the ship of here, now, and one's own body in favor of a dazzling mind-feed in an anything-yet-nothing sea.

Inversion: What seems like poison is most likely an overdose or misuse of something that would otherwise cure. The instrument of distraction can, with careful intention, be used to instill attention. Missing a train connexion becomes an opportunity to witness the overlooked, while being caught on one side of the railroad tracks as a freight train maneuvers through the web of rails is an opportunity to perform John Cage's 4'33," and in so doing, enter fully and joyously into the *train creaking, groaning and clanging present.

*If you have the app, you can hear this particular performance of 4'33" by zooming into Richmond, CA until you find "richmond train crossing" in the world of 4'33." It's well worth the ninety-nine cent investment, which also supports the John Cage Foundation.


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