Graduate school...a lot of talk in the Literature Department about writing from the body. What did we mean? Discussions were curiously heady, as if bodies were a lesser derivative of the mind. Feminist theory came close, since it was often about interventions beyond the page: there was a definite link between writing and bodies. But these were usually bodies in flight or fight; bodies that had been abused or denied; bodies that sought justice.
Earlier this month, I enjoyed a yoga retreat with Angela Farmer - someone who has spent a lifetime in intimate dialogue with her body. She shared stories about her progression from seeking a perfect outer form (impressive looking yoga poses) to exploring a balanced and harmonious relationship with her body from inside. As we moved various parts of our bodies - paying close attention to sensations, feelings and subtle shifts in our whole body system - I began to wonder about the relationship between bodies and words. How do our words shift when our bodies are aligned? How do our words shift when we have a compassionate and conscious relationship to our own and other embodied forms?