THIS BODY STARTING SOMETHING
Updated: Feb 20
“It’s astounding the first time you realize that a stranger has a body.
The realization that he has a body makes him a stranger.
It means that you have a body too.
You will live with this forever
and it will spell out the language of your life.“
~ James Baldwin, If Beale Street Could Talk
About 10 months ago, I posted something on Facebook. I didn't realize at the time that it was the beginning of something ~ something that felt big, something that needed to be expressed, something that needed to be birthed from this body.
With a few minor edits, it went something like this:
Well, friends, it is the eve of my 57th birthday, so indulge me.
I'm not sure I expected this is what 57 would look like. I'm not sure I expected to be 57. When I was little, grandparents were 57, and that was ooooold.
If you know me at all, you know I tend toward the self-deprecating, especially when it comes to my age. It's not a hobby I'm fond of, but there it is. I like to be the one to point out all my shortcomings first, then no one else can do it.
But in the lead-up to this trip around the sun, I reread (ok re-listened-to, but that counts as reading now, right?) The Body Is Not An Apology by Sonya Renee Taylor. If you have a body, read it. Truly. It's important in so many ways. If I learn one thing in my next year, I would love it to be to stop apologizing for my body ~ my aging body, my grey haired body, my flawed body, my tired body, my grouchy body, my sexual body, my hungry body. All of these facts about my body are true, as are countless more, but the reality is, this is the body that I have danced with for 57 years, and, God willing, I will continue to do so.
This perfectly imperfect body is pretty much all I've got. It is pretty much all I am. This is the body that allows me to connect to everyone and everything that has ever meant anything to me, that has made me who I am.
So happy birthday, body. And thank you.
Little did I know that one little birthday post ~ on the heels, I'm sure, of a major life-altering pandemic, and its subsequent hangover ~ would open up a surge of creative energy that would lead me to make major changes in my life...and would get me writing ~ something I hadn't done so extensively for many years.
And the result is here: This Body Dances.
I have danced my whole life, and have been engaged in somatic education for over two decades, but it is through these writings that I am considering This Body from a new and holistic perspective.
I am creating this site as a bit of a personal laboratory. A place where I can experiment and explore all the myriad things that This Body does and is and feels, all the ways This Body connects and moves and loves, all the things This Body knows.
I am doing this for me, but I also know that This Body loves to be seen and loves to be in relationship. As this project develops, I would dearly love to know how Your Body is engaging with all this
Can't wait to see where This Body goes from here!