After some time lying down alongside the shoreline recently, really close to the water’s edge in a secluded rocky bay, I sat up and peered into the sea.
Gently pulsating there was a pink jellyfish. So close.
Moving even closer, I could see her movement was created by some meeting between the momentum of lapping waves and her own pulse. As though sea and jelly form had been together for so long that they had taken on each other’s ways. A marriage of wave and pulse.
Widening my gaze I saw many more jellyfish gathered. Different sizes, shades of pink, more or less spotty.
They let the sea wash their translucent pink forms across smooth grey rocks. Sometimes one became wedged in a small pool between rocks. I could see the web of his nervous system.
Freely swimming their lobes and tentacles spiralled and curled out behind them. They looked exquisitely beautiful.
The longer I stayed with the jellyfish, the more I noticed about them, the more I loved them, the more this feeling of ‘exquisiteness’ was present. Exquisite in their nature, their movement, colour, being, relationship with their environment. An exquisite life. So carefully crafted and adapted to being and moving in the sea, and more than that too, something else. An exquisiteness that has room for functionality, and also is not confined to that.
A few days before I was reading about pulsation in ‘Basic Neurocellular patterns’, Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen’s book about developmental movement, so it was really cool to see the example she used when talking about pulsation, up close and alive. I recently found myself painting something which turned out to be jellyfish too, and also found these beautiful sculptures at a local fiesta.
As embryos, pulsation happened in the first month of our life, as fluids and membranes moved together to form our shape. The pulse of our circulation began and our heart beat from about 5 weeks old.
Pulsation is one of our first movements. We pulse throughout our whole lives, from our heart to our guts, to our brains, we are pulsating creatures.
In movement and rest we can feel this inner pulse. We could give it our careful attention if we like, turn our ear inwards.
The word exquisite is rooted in the words ‘to inquire’, ‘to seek’ and ‘to carefully select’. So by carefully seeking and inquiring into our own pulse, could we feel our own exquisite nature? A kind of precise, intrinsic beauty of our life, experienced though the felt sense.
Exquisite not only in our moments of triumph and glory, success and poise, but exquisite to our core, in our awkwardness and hesitation too. Exquisiteness in the very pulse of our life.
Feeding Our Skin
Is it because I will be turning 40 in a couple of weeks? I don't know, but I just started putting avocado on my face.
I'm not sure why I never did it before! It feels great, super nourishing and refreshing.
A teaspoon of nice ripe avocado, rubbed between the palms and then wiped all over the face is more satisfying than most face masks I have bought!
Another food I like to feed my skin is oats. You can grind them up and add water to make a paste and apply like a mask. What I have enjoyed is to bundle some up in a piece of cotton fabric and pop it in the bath. You can also rub the bag of wet oats over your skin.
I read a piece in Permaculture magazine recently, about making herbal teas as cleansers. I haven't tried it yet, but I would love to soon. Picking herbs, steeping them in warm water, and taking the tea into the shower for a herbal rinse.
I used to rinse my hair in chamomile tea, which also felt really wonderful. Maybe you have tried other teas for your hair.
Using fresh natural food to nourish our skin is one way to move towards more direct connection with the natural world and away from our involvement with the multi-billion pound beauty industry.
Stepping sometimes even away from ethical, organic but still packaged and sold natural beauty products,and tuning into the simple good food that our skin needs.
- aloe vera
- olive oil
Is it time to take the plunge and soak your feet in rosemary tea! Enjoy.