Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Body and mind

While driving Cady Gray to her school today, I was the recipient of an excited discourse from the back seat about P.E.  She loves to play games and dash about, in school or out. Anytime she's moving from room to room, she not only does so at a run, but also throws in random leaps and dance moves. It's a unique, syncopated rhythm.

As she was telling me how excited she was to have P.E. today, I responded with my pleasure in seeing her enjoy all kinds of movement. Not only major physical exercise, but also the fine movements of her hands that make beautiful origami for me, and those that twist yarn into crocheted hearts and knit snowflowers.

So much of what I find rewarding these days has to do with the movement of our physical bodies in the world. To run, to measure, to cut, to stitch, to knit, to walk, to wind, to embrace. It's quite a change from the first four decades of my life, which were all about the mind. And now when I look at my students sitting in class, doing their best to be disembodied as if that's what fulfilling their potential is obviously about, I wonder. Are they better integrated than I was at their age? Do they accept and understand and embrace their future as moving, working bodies, not just hosts for the dance of ideas?

I hope they won't wait as long as I did to learn the potential of my hands, my muscles, my senses. It is a shame that as we grow up, those topics are more and more segregated into classes like P.E. or art, away from the training of the mind which is thought to be purer the less it is connected to movements in space.

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