Thursday, 20 November 2014

Writing from the Body

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?