Thursday, April 30, 2009

Look Up, Look Down, Lock On

Today my students played a game of "Lock On". This is meant to practice eye contact, and it's fun as well. The way you play is to stand in a circle, and the leader says, "Look up, look down, lock on." and you all look up, look down, and then lock your eyes on someone in the circle. If they happen to be looking back at you, then you sit down with them. Otherwise, the game continues until all but 2 are sitting. I like to vary it by altering whether I say, "look up" or "look down" first.
Tonight in the ever-greening spring woods, I felt like I was playing a version of "Lock On" that kept me looking up, looking down, and locking on constantly! I couldn't make up my mind which direction to look. There were rewards either way, but if I looked up to see which bird was making that amazing sound, then I missed the frogs leaping from my toes to the swamp. When I looked down and saw that garter snake, I missed the flash of red wings that flew by my head. While I was gazing upward at the vine-choked trees, I didn't see all of the fresh wintergreen at my feet.
I felt like Owl at Home, when he can't make up his mind about whether to be upstairs or downstairs, and finally sits on the middle step. Except, on a beautiful spring night in the woods, there is no middle step. There are sticks to be thrown for Tansy, foam peanuts to get out of the swamp, logs to be walked on, moss to be patted, flowers to admire, mushrooms to examine, peepers to stalk, fiddle-heads to photograph... I cannot look only up; I cannot look only down. I need eyes in the back of my head and under my feet and in all of my finger tips! I want to lock-on with each of these, without missing the others.

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