Deer Mode

The human form can be such an interesting thing to experience when we pay attention.  One day after noting the way my husband was moving in the world (meaning his physical body and the elegance of presence and determination but without set destination) he looked at me and spontaneously said he was in “deer mode”.  This is a moving from within the human body that is in harmony with the world around it and in a motion that is a part of creation rather than fighting the feeling of being separate from anything while physically moving in the world.  After 20 years of martial arts training, my husband inhabits his body and the space around him with such powerful elegance.  At times to watch him just walking takes my breath away.

One of my most precious gifts from the past years was awakening early one morning as the mist was still rising up off the water and swirling on the ground when I was still living in the river house.  I found a large buck standing in the back garden… gracefully moving in and out of the trees as the first of the morning light was hitting the yard.  It was magic.  I moved in closer to the windows in the kitchen to get a better view and in that moment the deer saw me.  Our eyes locked for a long time.  His initial frozen stance melted into a relaxed exchange full of joy for me and after quite a bit, he quietly continued on moving in grace filled deer mode through the tall grass and pine trees and on down to the waters edge.

The human body can be so graceful and is a work of art always worth celebrating when we remember the power of living in deer mode.


Think you dislike ballet?  Think again.  Might I share a peek at one of my favorite ballet companies which I was actually able to see preform Billboards live when I lived in Chicago.

“Nothing is real in the theater.  It is the fourth dimension.  And when you enter it, it is as if one enters into a dream, truly. (Creation in the theater) comes out of love, it has to come out of joy.”  -Gerald Arpino, co-founder Joffrey Ballet

This entry was published on August 23, 2013 at 5:40 am and is filed under Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

14 thoughts on “Deer Mode

  1. What beautiful animals are we. I look at the ceiling when it gets so strong so that I will not burst open – or maybe when I’m ready, there will be no looking away – and I will burst into flames watching the ballet.

    • Our grace in potential is always just sitting a choice in arm movement away and the beautiful thing is that it can be a unique expression for all of us. I was sitting watching people walk a few weeks ago and noted how it is almost like a signature which can be used to track uniqueness.

      I am so looking forward to moving in space soon where distance from those I adore will be measured within danceable feet away. -x.M

      • Eden came home yesterday from school full of news about a body movement and character exercise in theatre. She showed me her two walks developed by leading with her lips and leading with her hips. The personalities of the characters flowed from the walks 🙂 Funny sync with your descriptions above.
        there is something about dance though that is hard triggered to my tear ducts. I do have to take a break and look at the ceiling at vibrant live shows of the vein that you have shared today or I could sob out loud and embarrass my little dancer, chloe. It isn’t mommy pride – my soul is touched by the wordless, deep communion that this expression conveys. Fancy words just rolled off but not what i mean; what I want to point to is wordless – deep – primal – AND – I am feeling an exchange that I send back to the dancers too – I love the dance, I love the dancers, I am part of the dance as I watch, partly because I am not a dancer in the way they are – though I do love moving my body – so I give it my full attention without much ME. so touched by the shares you share – and no one to embarrass with my tears today 🙂 xx!

      • The truth of our connection felt by the witnessing of motion which can be shared from our balance point offered in stillness. It is seeing the movement with the eyes in the heart. 🙂 What a beautiful place to be present and participate in the performance from without ever needing to leave ones seat.

        SO blessed am I to be able to engage with eyes that see such feeling here. -x.M

  2. I can appreciate Deer Mode. Years ago, I practiced a very intense form of meditation that affected me in ways that I didn’t see coming. At some point, I felt as if I had been zapped back into my body and for ever after have felt closer, or enclosed in the world.
    Body motion can be amazing. I have not been exposed much to ballet, but my husband was a gymnast and I love musicals that feature dancing, or any display of human/animal beauty in motion.
    P.S. It must have been lovely to live in a riverhouse!

    • Your meditation experience sounds amazing! It is such a wonderful (and I know at times potentially disconcerting) thing to “stumble upon” ways of being and feeling that are not initially anticipated. Being enclosed can be claustrophobic or cozy depending. Have you had contact with the work of Jill Bolte Taylor? If not (and for anyone else reading here who may want to follow the living breadcrumbs of expanding human potentials), there is a wonderful TED talk about her expansion and contraction…

      Yes, the riverhouse was a magic place to be. We were there almost a year. It is one of those magic stories where we were not looking to move, but did so on an inspired “whim” as my husband was just finishing the writing of his book and the quiet of the place was calling to us. Three weeks after we had moved cross country from our apartment in NYC (I had been in that building for 11 years!!!), it was under 5 feet of water from Hurricane Irene. If we had stayed, we would have lost all the worldly goods. :).


      • Wow, talk about culture shock!!! Sounds delightful though even if living there was only for a year.
        Thanks for the link. I’ll check it out.

  3. Grace moves….in oh so many ways, and what a joy to Witness…..xx…..kai

    • What a sublime eye for the deeper dive you have!

      There is a woman who lives in our building who has some form of physical challenge that means she has to move VERY slowly… and I mean SLOWLY. When she crosses the street she is not able to get more than half way in the crosswalk during the time allowed. Yet, she has not given up or taken to the ease of a motorized chair yet. I find her movement also very grace filled and her courage beautiful to witness, too. -x.M

  4. villapina on said:

    Hi M…I love your stories! Thanks again, Pina

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