Level 1 / by vanessa

"Things aren't all so tangible and sayable as people would usually have us believe; most experiences are unsayable, they happen in a space that no word has ever entered..." -- Rilke

Having recently returned from Hawaii I feel compelled to write about my experience assisting Level 1, but don't really know how. All the usual superlatives dull in comparison to its power and depth, and really I am loath to cheapen the experience by lending my modest wordsmithing to it. So simply I'll say I am keenly aware of how lucky I am to have been a part of it.

On a lighter note, the other assistants were so much fun - a little like Spring Break without the alcohol sharing the Tree House together. Most I knew from Level 2 in September, so it felt like coming home to be around them all. I learned A LOT from Gregor, Elizabeth, Paige, Bianca, Cathy, Joslyn, and Duncan. Drats! Just a couple of days later and I've already forgotten the circus tricks Paige taught us. Vyda and Siga were awesome too - a regular Lewis and Clark through the perils of the Bamboo Forest! We were *this close* to Level 4!

With every bootcamp, training, workshop, etc. I attend/assist w/ Baron, I learn volumes about what it means to be a teacher. Yes there's the brilliant sequencing, and the boundless technical knowledge. There's obvious intelligence in the way he is able to move a group of seemingly disparate individuals into cohesion in a few days' time. But equally remarkable is the powerful subtlety in which he holds up a mirror to those around him, gently coaxing growth and transformation. Without any trace of false humility, he readily admits his flaws and yet while I have spent much of the last two years trying to convince myself that if I want to be a teacher I can't be, well, human, he stands confident in his calling. Maybe most important is that when he says he doesn't want to be "a leader... a guru" I believe him b/c I witness how selflessly, without martyrdom, and free of ego he goes about his work .

I was able to see my dad and brother, Bryan, in Maui. It felt more fun and natural than it's felt in a really, really long time.

P.S. I was super glad to return home w/ the L1 girls who are now all shiny and light, and to have Hannah to come back to. And despite Bobbu-san insisting that I can't keep her, it's not for me, it's for the good of Austin!