Thursday 8 June 2017

The body is a story

Think about where the body begins, and you'll meet a library of stories. Biology, genetics, family trees, family histories, historical eras, geographic locations, political backdrops, economic contexts and more: the moods, moments and meanings are prolific and penetrable, and could take a long, long time to tell.

And if you think your body's story is autobiographical, think again. Your voice itself has many selves and many stories. I recently read "Full Voice" by Barbara McAfee, which not only reminded me of all the possible voices of the body, but put me back in touch with voices from the long-gone past which I had forgotten about, and was so surprised to rediscover.

I owe much to my Irish friend who looked at me so many times and said the same thing: "Shit!".
I never knew what to expect after that, because he used to be a priest, and was able to choose words ultra-carefully. But what I'm thinking of was the time he responded to our conversation by giving me a different look and saying, "Shit! You're in touch with all your selves".

The older I get the more I realize that I have loved many without realizing it. Sometimes you miss what the sense of connection is telling you. I wonder how many have looked at me in ways that connected us, and I missed it.

The body itself is one big connected item, made of literally millions of sub-systems, and that magical nexus, the voice-box knows them all. Sorry for that almost superfluous label of awareness called the ego that knows almost nothing.

The body is a story, and the way to hear it is to pay attention. Special attention grows the mind, which clothes the body with consciousness. Animals and children love it, and adults try to gain it with tricks of attraction.

When we do not pay attention to what the body is expressing, the consequences are real. Sometimes we die before we should, often we don't learn what is so blatantly obvious, that we have to regroup and try again.

The sense of story and the activity of realization are closely linked. And if you fervently believe something that isn't so, then fervency is all that you'll get in the end. Big energy going nowhere.

And the converse is also true: no fire in the belly, no spark in the eye. A lukewarm life.

Each body is a cosmic drama, and our lives tend to show it. Each body is God's art, not man's science, and our souls reflect that beauty and desire. Each body is an epic poem that promises something never heard before, so it would be good to allow that voice to feel, fully, its expression in action.

The body is a story, not merely a death in waiting. And it's not one story told by a lonely passenger in an almost empty bus. It's more like a chorus chanting in counter-point, using language like a lasso to hold an impossible ideal stable in a sea of suggestion.

The more I listen, the more I hear it.

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