"I sing the body electric," wrote Walt Whitman in a section of Leaves of Grass. Yes! Our bodies are spaces that sing.
"Your Body is a Space That Sees" is an amazing exhibit by the brilliant artist Lia Halloran. Yes! The body is a space that sees.
Your body is also a space that feels.
Your body has the fossils and imprints of its ancestors. Your body contains a life force millions of years old and counting. It wants to express itself. It does express itself.
"I sing the body electric," wrote Walt Whitman. Yes, I feel that. My body is a space that sings.
Your body is a space that lived in the sea. It is a space that crawled out of the water. It has been a tiny shrew-like creature. It has been bold and aggressive; it has been timid and scared. Your body is an ancient space. It is a space that remembers.
Your body is a space that is at once powerful and fragile. It can be wounded. And it can heal. It can sense danger and even protect itself without your conscious involvement. Sometimes it tries to protect itself when there is no threat present. Sometimes it puts trust in the wrong places.
Your body is a space that feels. We see, and hear, and feel each other with our body space and though doing so are able to feel with each other. This is empathy.
Your body is a space that knows the music of birdsong and its cousin, human song.
Your body is a space that dances. To dance is to "sing the body electric" in space.
This space of expression, of freedom, can be threatening to those who have not allowed themselves, or been allowed by others, to have a voice, or who have not been allowed to let their "body electric" shine forth and express its life current through fully embodied movement.
Your body is a space that knows. My body is a space that knows. It knows this little life to be an in-breath and an out-breath, a mere breeze brushing a blade of grass. It is falling like drops of rain, and evaporating even as I write this.
My body is a space that can choose to breathe deeply with the wind, and cry freely with the rain. It can sing with the birds and dance the electric current that Whitman described. Because my body is a space that lives. And my body is a space that dies.
Holocaust survivor, psychiatrist, and writer Viktor Frankl said, "Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and freedom."
My body is a space that sees, and it is a space that sings. I choose to sing for the sake of singing, to dance for the sake of dancing, and to live as freely as is possible with my whole body, just as it is. I choose this freedom.
"An eye is meant to see things. The soul is here for its own joy.” —Rumi