I was awestruck by the bond that had been evolving with
Karina Epperlein over the past six months as she taught
me the principles of T’ai Chi. Most helpful was the
standing meditation and the ‘catwalk’, a very slow
walking exercise that began to teach my right leg to
move without dragging the foot or rolling the hip so
acutely as it had. In exchange I tutored her on doing her
own camerawork on a film about an Armenian woman
who survived the Ottoman massacres of 1915-18. My
time with Karina became a meditation on friendship. It
began as a gift from the depths of compassion when
Karina realized that she might be able to help me on my
healing journey. I hadn’t seen her since finishing the
camerawork on her film Voices from Inside, two years
earlier. Now, in our early meetings she taught my body
how to begin communicating with its damaged parts
again. She also began to help me sharpen my perception
about the road ahead in the healing process, reminding
me continually that I am moving to a new place in my life,
not returning to where I came from, despite my constant
determination to do so. Whenever she said she could
come by to give me a lesson I planned that day so there
would be no interference. I made sure the door at the
bottom of my long stairway was unlocked at the hour I
expected her. Our exchange grew more fascinating the
more time we gave to each other.
Photo by John Knoop