Friday, June 11, 2010
Monday, July 20, 2009
Monday, June 8, 2009
Writing (and Living!) From Your Body
~A seminar for writers, therapists, and entrepreneurs~
or anyone who wants to explore the value of mind/body connection in the work that they do
We don’t live in our bodies well.
Since at least the time of the Enlightenment, Western science and philosophy has privileged the “rational” mind over the feeling body. “I think therefore I am,” said Descartes, famously locating human existence—and the knowledge we gather of the world around us—solely in abstract mental processes. To Descartes and the ensuing rationalist legacy, trustworthy knowledge was not in a sensing, experiencing body, but rather in the “objective” mind somehow removed from the body.
And yet, in more and more postmodern disciplines (from psychotherapy to linguistics to feminist theory), we are seeing a resurrection of the “body as text”—the idea that the body actually houses a wellspring of knowledge about ourselves and our world. This class is space for you to consider the value of integrating “body knowledge” into traditional assumptions about how we come to know what we know. We will ask questions like:
· In valuing the mind as apart from the body, and in defining reason as abstract and transcendent, how have we lost the concrete, incarnate nature of knowledge?
· How has disconnection from our bodies affected our work? Our relationships? Our connection to our physical environment?
· How could the practice of writing and journaling serve to reconnect us to “body knowledge?”
The class will both explore relevant theory from diverse discipline and offer practical techniques for living, writing, and creating a more embodied life.
Dates: Fridays, June 19 & 26, July 3, 10, & 17
Time: 9:30–11:00 a.m.
Location: 444 Ravenna Blvd., #309, Seattle, WA 98115
Instructor: Kimberly George
Cost: $125 for the 5-week course. $25 deposit will hold your registration. Class limited to the first 5 people who register. To register or receive more information, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Friday, March 20, 2009
Censor the body and you censor breath and speech at the same time. Write yourself. Your body must be heard.
-- Helene Cixous (from "The Laugh of the Medusa")
Readers! I have posted information below on the 5-week writing class I will be teaching starting next Friday. I would love to have you join. Here is a summary of the course and the sign-up details you will need to know:
Title of Class: Writing From the Body
What does it mean to attend to the body when we write? When we read? How does reading one’s body open up the creative process? Most artists are already aware that their bodies are “texts”; however, since Western epistemology so strongly reinforces a mind-body split, one task of the artist is to be intentional about healing the schism. This seminar will delve into questions like:
• In valuing the mind as apart from the body, and in defining reason as abstract and transcendent, how have we lost the concrete, incarnate nature of knowledge?
• How has disconnection from our bodies impacted the manufacturing of inauthentic self-expression?
• How would “writing from the body” gift us with freedom?
• What is the role of caring well for the body in the life of the artist?
The seminar will both explore relevant theory from diverse disciplines (including relational psychology, feminism, literature, and linguistics) and offer practical techniques for creating embodied writing/art. While the seminar can serve as an aid to those specifically practicing creative writing, it is more broadly designed to be a class on the creative process itself and how to unlock artistic expression. People of all skill levels are invited to join.
Dates: Fridays, March 27, April 3, 10, 17, & 24
Time: 9:30-11:00 a.m.
Location: 444 Ravenna Blvd., #309, Seattle, WA 98115
Instructor: Kimberly George
Cost: $125 for the 5-week course ($25 per 1.5 hour session) due the first week of class. $25 deposit will hold your registration.
To register or receive more information, please email:
writeexpressions at gmail dot com (That's obviously the spam-proofed version of my email, so change it to the real thing when you write!)
Monday, March 2, 2009
1. With the aid of a daily dosage of antihistamines, I am falling in love with two dogs—Cali and Danali, who are roommates of mine in my new home. I have never gotten along with dogs, and not because I am an unkind person, but rather because their dander makes me miserable. But, I seem to have found the right combination: medication that works, and two dogs who are great at keeping me company, but who understand that I can’t cuddle with them. On rare days, I let myself pet them, but that is dangerous territory. Usually, I just talk to them a lot and remind them not too feel rejected even thought I can’t touch them. I really like, though, how Cali just puts her nose on my lap when I write, and Danali just flops beside us looking sagely. Dogs are great company for a writer.
2. Soon, I will know my fate for next fall. If I don’t get into school, then I need to come up with a great plan to travel the world or something. Actually, England keeps popping to mind…perhaps I could live in Bath or London…or work on a farm somewhere in Ireland…or a vineyard in Italy…or…hmmm…just trying to remind myself that the world is vast. (However, just so the Universe doesn’t get confused here…my openness to possibilities doesn’t mean I don’t most desire to be in academia again, amidst great classes and conversation and resources for the topics that most excite me….) I will find out the answer from the Universe, or rather the answer from admissions teams, on March 15.
3. I need Spring to come. In more ways than one. Daily, I check the little patch of crocuses in the front lawn…they are mentoring me. They know when to be still as little seeds. They know when to follow the sunshine. They know when to offer their bold expression to the world. Rest, patience, tenderness, strength, beauty. This is what I am learning under their tutelage.
4. My friends are all preparing to graduate this May from their counseling psychology program, which would have been my degree if I had not decided to pull out of school, delve into my book project, and research a new school. It is always interesting…that road not taken. I am glad life has so many choices. I seem to get to know myself better with each new choice I make. And while I have never regretted not completing that Masters program, it is an odd juxtaposition these days as I wait to hear back from schools.
5. I have fallen for all things lavender. If you want to delight me, you can send me lavender salad dressing or shampoo or lip balm or ice-cream. Yes, lavender ice-cream. It’s delicious. Like anything in life that I get excited about, I tend to over-do it. I am trying to pace myself with my lavender love, but it does often seem that the fun is in not practicing moderation, but simply plunging in.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
The article explains, “No one knew it, but the fiddler standing against a bare wall outside the Metro in an indoor arcade at the top of the escalators was one of the finest classical musicians in the world, playing some of the most elegant music ever written on one of the most valuable violins ever made. His performance was arranged by The Washington Post as an experiment in context, perception and priorities -- as well as an unblinking assessment of public taste: In a banal setting at an inconvenient time, would beauty transcend?”
The answer, in a nutshell, was no. Joshua Bell got a few nods and some spare change.
Arguably there are many reasons for a thousand people to walk by and hardly notice brilliance. We are busy. We are late for work. We are out of a context to recognize genius. We are inundated with requests for our time and our money. Our eyes our weary, spending their days bouncing back and forth between inboxes, bank accounts, Facebook pages. Our ears have grown deaf to the chatters and hums and beats that mark the monotonous rhythms of the afternoon. Our thoughts are obsessing, calculating, and getting lost in our unspoken griefs or hopes or plans.
We are, as T.S. Eliot reminds us in Burnt Norton, “distracted from distraction by distraction.” Many of our “distractions” our entirely necessary and good: bills certainly need to be paid, emails need to be written, grief needs to be grieved, hopes need to be dreamed up, stored up, pondered.
And yet this article still made something explode inside me, even if I know full well why hundreds of people ignored Joshua Bell. I just know that I don’t want to live my life ignoring beauty. I don’t want to not see the “trees with the lights in it,” as Annie Dillard writes.
After I read this article today, I looked up at my day’s to-do list, which I hang every morning on my dining room wall. In a blue Sketchers marker, its notes remind me to read, teach, write, call, email, plan, pack….Perhaps the list needs a few more verbs.
Listen. Notice. Receive.