Thursday, March 9, 2017

Surviving Day 4

Day 4 continued to build on our awareness of self, landscape, and the natural world.  We continued with the continuum of survival; Attitude, Shelter, Water, Fire, Food...

We began the morning tackling our bow drills again.  This time with howling winds and passing snow squalls.  Impossible, many thought, but with more in-depth lessons on technique, success was found as we "found our edge," weather that be with; keeping the spindle from popping out as much,  choosing the right materials, having better body position, better arm swing, smoke, or for some even a coal!!  The more success we had collectively, the less frustration there was, as those who found the skill to be more challenging were being encouraged and taught by those who were finding a rhythm.

We moved to working on our sense of direction.  There were several games to demonstrate natural tendencies, such as curving towards one side as we walk, as well as ways to self correct and have a better sense of how we are moving through our landscape.  We used landmarks, tracks, and stories to find hidden objects in the woods.  Intuition again came into use, birds eye view, and wide angle vision were all parts of the puzzle.

 After lunch we escaped the wind and sat in a circle to learn the art of cordage making.  We were grateful to have a kind gift of materials to work with and three talented instructors.  This skill needed a different set of strengths to perform and some of us found it easier to grasp than others. It slowed us down from the excitement and stimulating weather prior to our lunch break.  With full bellies we sat as a village might after a meal and meditatively peeled and twisted the bark into cords as we talked and told stories, laughed, and reflected.

Our last task of the day was to really grab hold of our intuition and awareness to be able to feel what was around us before we touched it...can you sense the tree before you touch it?  After some practice with some friendly trees and even friendly friends we were invited to a test.  We finished with a drum-stalk exercise to test our skills.  Similar to the string-stalk we did earlier this week, the drum-stalk is a true challenge of self and awareness.  We were tasked to walk blindfolded through the woods using the skills we have been learning.  A drum beat as our only clue, walking using all of our other senses, moving through the landscape with care and intuition.  Many found the long slow walk was difficult on their nerves, fearful of falling or bumping into something, many walked quickly to get it over with, and some moved at a snails pace to help perfect their skills or move through their fears to place of comfort.

 We ended our day with a solo reflection and moved to a group reflection and lesson on the power and potential we all have within our minds.  Survival is an idea not based in fear, but knowledge and comfort.  A way to be aware of our landscape and ourselves.  Tomorrow is our last full day together before we share our new skills, knowledge, and awareness with everyone else.

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