28 July 2008

If you are reading this, you are in your body

I find I am retreating a bit, and it is into work. It's a headlong plunge into writing and editing and judging -- and an interesting zen exercise in finding that balance between judging critically as a self-selected thoughtful filmgoer, while I strive to remain ever open to new ideas or methods of presentation. I'm completely neglecting our house, which will have to shift quickly. But for the moment I find myself with an awful lot in the air. And here I am blogging.

My brain is back in a way that surprises me, though. It's not just my body that's been going through major changes of late. It's my head, which in turn has affected my body, and so on. I recently heard an interview with someone who said, "We [mammals] are all physiological beings, and we must be able to acknowledge this fact about each other to truly relate." That has been reverberating with me ever since. This morning, I heard an anecdote about some Chinese children visiting the U.S., all on a long bus trip that dragged on so they all leaned in and fell asleep together, in pairs or little puppy-like heaps. An American girl noticed a difference between this group and her peers, saying, Kids here don't hold hands or sleep together like the Chinese kids do. That made me a little sad, like our culture has alienated people too much. We have perhaps forgotten to acknowledge our bodily selves in the desire to avoid any possibility of sexual interactions between kids, and look where it's gotten us: epidemics of obesity and sensory integration disorder and autism and TV and Internet addictions. There's a whole lot of physical neglect in this chapter of our story.

Being physical is so tricky, however. My kid needs a lot of physical contact with the surfaces and people around her to understand where she is. And some people are not interested in the same level of physicality. She's turning out to be a good match that way with one friend in particular. I have really come to find I've been living in a pretty insular world, physically. Through our bodies is one of the ways I have really gotten to know my child and myself over the past couple of years. Perhaps I am finally experiencing my physical self more completely as she is awakening to hers -- I have sporty-me revelations with startling regularity: Say, I'm in better shape than I'd thought! Say, I want to go do something active instead of staying home and reading! Hmmm, what would sporty mom do with this block of time? It's exciting to see my daughter grow into her body, and I'm curious to find out what she will want to do with it (musical theater? films? math?).

Time to rest up for tomorrow. I don't really think of it as beauty sleep at this certain age I've reached; beauty's more of a hit-or-miss proposition day by day. It's brain sleep.

No comments: