“Anchan, I will pay for all your expenses, travel, room and board, training, film, everything, if you travel around with me and take photos.” That’s how it all began, the making of a man able to catch that elusive moment when a person opens up, frees into who they really are, revealing their intrinsic beauty, their fundamental dignity.
That’s not easy. In the first place you have to be able to see, to see people. You have to be able to feel the instant before a person lets go into a space unknown to them. You have to remember what’s most important; to draw the viewers eye to the inner life of the student.
Now videography, something Anchan taught himself how to do, poses formidable challenges. Movement can be distracting, and words too. Photographs have power. Catching a moment, one moment, the moment of transformation, within stillness, within silence, suspended there in front of you with all the time in the world to enter into what you are seeing, and to be moved by it.
Anchan had an idea. He thought, “what if I could make a wordless video that showed not only the transformative moment, but the transformative movement, without losing the beauty and the stillness of photography?” And with that question Anchan made, The Touch.
But Anchan’s much more than a photographer. He’s an Alexander Teacher in his own right. And a good one. Not only does he have a better eye than most Alexander teachers, he knows how to teach what he knows. It’s moving to watch Anchan with his kids, how he gives them the time and space to figure things out for themselves, and only interjects a suggestion when needed. He knows when and exactly how much encouragement to give, and he knows when it’s not needed.
Anchan’s always there. He’s ready to serve. He makes things work. He’s generous. He overflows with generosity.
We were young men when we met, and though Anchan is a good ten years younger than I am, we are both decidedly older, no longer young. But rather than growing tired after all these years of dedicating ourselves to making the invisible visible, to making people see the power of touch, the beauty of Alexander’s work, we’re becoming ever more engaged in this undertaking. We keep getting closer, and closer.
In this short video, made by Anchan, entitled The Touch, you get to see how Anchan sees, and what Anchan loves. You get to see what the students are seeing. And you get to see the students seeing what they are seeing. See that, and you will see why I have faith in young people. Those students are delighting in the power and beauty of teaching through touch, something Marj Barstow passed onto me, that Alexander passed on to her, and that I will continue to do my best to pass on to my students for as long as I am able.
I could tell you much more about Anchan, but I won’t. Let The Touch speak for itself.