Pat Pothier: Soul of an InterPlayer


Take a deep breath and let it out with a big purple sigh…

From 1926-2012, Pat Pothier lived with dedication, love, curiosity and enthusiasm. She dove into life as a mother, nurse, academic, activist, and in her 70’s found InterPlay. Wonders emerged as she danced in the deep end.

Sharon Pavelda says, “I liked the old woman from the moment I laid eyes on her. There was something in the way she moved that allowed her ageless curiosity and wonder to surface in her graceful intelligence. The twinkling eyes were welcoming, but she was no pushover. She had a center and she moved from it. From her clothes, I deduced she was an artist.”

At her memorial Pat’s wonderful paintings and collages revealed the soul of this 86 year old InterPlayer!

In her 80’s Pat midwived the Oakland Monday Morning Women’s InterPlay, traveled to Australia to perform with InterPlay, and danced at New Spirit Church. She learned to let spirit lead.

Practice: Where is your bodyspirit leading you? Could you too float, dive, or be carried by desire?

Take a moment to follow Pat’s spirit into dancing with the waves, slow and smooth, carried by buoyant love.

Sharon Pavelda imagined dancing in Pat’s memory.

“I would begin with swimming movements, as if I were a shimmering  Mountain Rainbow Trout, dancing with She Who Wields the Rod and Reel. I would do a backstroke, remembering my admiration for her swimming practice and her decision to stop fly-fishing as she became more and more one with the fish in every stream.

Practice: Do you suffer? Can you allow the dance to buoy you? This takes courage. Up to her last days Pat was learning to breathe in new ways to move past pain.

Says Sharon,

I would let myself feel the aches and pains in my body as I moved, touching my face and other places where age and trauma have left their mark. I would alternate with movements of freedom and ease, ending in a position on the floor where I could enter the memory of the puppy pile of nurturing we would create after Monday Potlucks that Pat loved…I do not know how I will move to honor the courage I witnessed in Pat’s being. If I could, I would climb small mountains and cross a scary chasm and then somehow plunge underwater like a sea turtle. I know I would surface smiling.”

Pat wanted InterPlayce in Oakland to work for the hearing impaired, so the Pat Pothier Memorial Hearing Fund was created to raise $3,000 for necessary changes. To contribute call the InterPlay office at 510/465-2797 to contribute by credit card or make your check to “Body Wisdom” and send to the InterPlay office at 2273 Telegraph Avenue, Oakland, CA  94612. Put Pat Pothier Hearing Fund in the subject or memo line.

Make a splash!



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