Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Another composing process of the body

Chris has written on more than one occasion about his bodily composing process. He tends to write about it as an active, conscious process, something he works on through lifting weights and such.

But there's an unconscious bodily composing process, too, one that speaks to the importance of such things as yoga and bodywork.

For example, last week I shared the 12-hour drive to my ancestral home in Texas with C. I was pretty impressed that at the end of the 12-hours (both going and coming back) I felt ok. Usually, by upper body feels pretty crunched up. I've rarely been able to drive for more than two hours at a time: within two hours, my neck and shoulders are usually sending me pretty intense messages. But since I've been doing more yoga and have discovered the wonder of myofascial release, I don't get the messages so much anymore. It's made me complacent. It's made me think all is well with my body, that I don't need to treat it so gently. It's open! It's not all tied up in balls!

Then I went for a massage today. (I hesitate in calling it a "massage," since it's so much more than what I used to think of when I would think of massage. It's bodywork. It works the body: it, dare I say, affects the body's composing process.

And, yes, I went in with some issues: that cold has collected itself in my sinuses, so I knew I had pressure there and tension down the side of my neck and shoulder.

But, wow. There was so much tension I hadn't sensed into, because, yes, some of the more familiar tensions were gone. I was pretty crunched up, but my body had (intelligently?) found new ways of crunching up, of getting tense, since I have in fact changed my body in certain ways. Certain parts of my body don't get tense in the way they used to. So other parts are kicking in. Getting tense instead.

So how about that? The bodily composing process, like the writerly one, is fraught with unconscious holdings, parts we just can't "see" as yet. It's a humbling realization.


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