What follows is my reflection and connection to Heather Menzies book No Time: Stress and the Crisis of Modern Life
“Lee’s writing now comes from what he calls ” cadence”, a particular rhythm associated with a half-buried life force, and what he calls “my body’s mind,” that is, his ideas coming from his body, not separate from it.” (Menzies,2005 p 229)
I find Dennis Lee’s concept of ideas coming from his body comforting. I have always felt connected to my body; I have to move, to experience and know the world with my whole being whether it be through running, dancing, or paddling. I don’t know if it’s because of the space I take up, but my body’s strength is my solace. I despair when it doesn’t cooperate, when I am limited in pursuing what I want because my old knees have already given what they could.
As I look back on my words, instead of seeing my limitations I revel in what I can do. Last night, 30 minutes on a rowing machine, sweating out my thoughts to the rhythm of my movement leads to clarity and a feeling of being alive, and of honouring my physical self. As Lee describes when interviewed by Menzies” I try to let myself be caught up by cadence” (p 230)
I relate Lee’s description of “being attuned to the jangle” (p 230)analogous to Maxine Greene’s being “wide awake”. Greene (1978) reflects that individuals who are not wide awake “ act on impulses of expedience” (p. 43). Back in May of 2015 I wrote “being wide awake, paying attention, takes time. It takes time to engage and to care, to be a moral person, to go beyond the surface, to dig deeper.”
Menzies writes, “I’ve regained enough full-bodied consciousness to know that if I lose my inner serenity, my capacity to experience the full amplitude of the moment, I cheat myself and my work in ways that cannot be measured in money” (p 231).
We must honour our voices, listen to both our minds and our bodies and trust what they (we) are telling ourselves. Reconnecting with our whole selves allows us to better connect with our world. Perhaps this is the learning statement of my life thus far, perhaps this is what myself has been telling me but I have not been awake enough to see.
” I am present, fully present to myself and to the universe just beyond my skin.” p 229