Explain this to your mother

“You do not really understand something unless you can explain it to your grandmother.”
– Ron Kurtz

Georgia MarvinMy mother often asks me, in her 89-year-old way, “What do you do? Tell me again.”

She knows me as a teacher, so it’s easy to satisfy her with a general response, “I travel and teach Hakomi.” That seems to settle her curiosity for a while. The last time she asked, I gave her a little more detail and she expressed interest in coming to a group to see me teach, but when I gave her a few more details, she backed away from the telephone with “Oooh, that might scare me.”

For a woman of her generation whose childhood was in rural Saskatchewan during the depression, inner work was not an option. Survival was more the requirement. My grandmother, Sophia, who offered work and food to starving men riding the rails in those deprived times, was someone who used epithets to contain the suffering and offer guidance to life’s little miseries, miseries which probably seemed vastly immaterial to the suffering she had witnessed in the dirty thirties.

It’s difficult for my mother to comprehend what I do. She’s happier in her northern garden, coaxing her spring flowers through the snow.

And to explain it to my grandmother, I might just say that I teach people how to be a little happier with their circumstances.