If you know who Al was you will know the great hole his passing has left in the cranio sacral world, particularly in South Africa.
Al was the main tutor in my cranio sacral training.
That’s how I met him. He was a fantastic teacher.
His energetic passion and enthusiasm made anatomy and physiology, which I had difficulty with, come to life. That is a rare gift that few teachers have. As my training progressed I got to know Al the man.
He exuded a vitality that took it as read that I was a better man than I realised. That is who he talked to, the better man he could see, and because of it I became that better man. I suspect most people had that experience with him.
He also had titanium confidence and would take on the most difficult of cases without batting an eyelid. I traded on that confidence a lot in my fledgling days as a therapist. Whenever I felt scared I knew that Al wouldn’t be and that somehow gave me courage.
Over the years we stayed in touch. I went to live in Australia and founded The Australian Institute of Cranio Sacral Therapy and he went to South Africa and founded the schools there.
In time he came and delivered post graduate seminars to my students in Brisbane and I went to South Africa and I did the same for his students.
We would sit on a deck or a veranda and drink too much wine, smoke too many cigars and have the best of times.
Al’s legacy is huge. The therapists he trained, the teachers he cultivated, the outreach programs he championed. No will ever know the full extent of the number of lives that were positively affected by his having lived.
I spoke to Kitya in Cape Town today. She told me that the news of Al’s death traveled through the local cranio community fast and in a very short space of time he was surrounded and ‘held’ by the therapists he had trained.
They held him for a long time.
I was struck by the beauty of the image of him being held in this way, cocooned in love, womb-like almost.
Then something came back to me from a post grad Al delivered in Brisbane years ago. He was trying to get across the continual unfoldment that goes on in a life both physically and in every other way.
He said, “It’s not a case of you are born, you live and you die. It is more a case of you are born and you are born and you are born and you are born until your life is over.”
Goodbye Al, you have gone right back into the mystery now.
You are missed by many.
You were my teacher, my mentor and my college.
I will miss these aspects of you but mostly I miss my friend.