We are born and soon crying and reaching out into the world. Some babies do not cry when they are born. Some are born not breathing. A pat on the back, a cough and the air comes into the body. Then there are tears, wiggles, squirms of arms, flinching of a face, licking lips with tongue and sounds, gurgles. Some smile with adoration, some eyes widen with disgust, some with a panicked twinge of flight, some with a coming forward of arms-upon the sight of life.
These outstretched hands, widening palms, reach and grasp for something to hold onto in the out there of space. Reaching out from the body. So funny and confounding I often find the different responses people have to encountering an outstretched palm. Much like the different responses to a baby being born, people walk by an outstretched hand with a sense of softening and warmth, confusion, indignancy, disdain. This reaching into space, a function related to the misunderstanding of time. As reaching into space, the body remains still, at rest, or in the instance of a yoga or dance practiced-focused on observing the sensation occurring through the body reaching through space. The stretching out of hands and widened palms in an understanding of time, produces something of a different sensation. The body moves. That which does not come to the body through space, comes to the body by movement, by activity-the human moving through space, arriving at the time when the item reached for lines up with the body itself. Moving through time, then deeply connected to the body, and moving through space, deeply connected to the sensation of reaching-that unmet desire within the body. Space and unmet desire are endless as far as we have discovered. People continue to press on.
For a simple reason: Bodies want.
Where did the suspicion of wanting arise? I tend to gravitate toward the rise of ideological value. Values which are suspended in a flux-concoction determined by players which-they themselves have outstretched hands. These hands are not seeking only for their needs, but also for their dreams and ideals. The wanting, opens up to more wanting, and the abyss of wanting never full-and instead justified by an idea for the world-something often promised as grand and wonderful. But time and time again the people as we understand as a a larger population than the small group of promisers, sees such promises as failed. And it’s quite simple you know, one or a few cannot promise the life for all because the things going on in their heads is not the same things going on in the heads of the many. The wanting and the ideals are different. So here we are rolling through space and time with groups of creators effecting many people. More and more people realize this and attempt to take such a flux-concoction of value down. But it doesn’t work. The efforts to take down, end up directing attention away from the bodies which also they themselves have outstretched hands. The take down efforts direct attention, yes, and also direct attention toward a sense of injustice, a wanting body reaching out and in the face of seeing another outstretched hand filled, curling back until itself to form fists which so often go along with fits of anger. Anger as a denial confronted with an ideal partnered with a combination of expectation and justification. This kind of effort seems to never find resolve, since the combination of the emotion of anger coupled with an ideal harboured in a single mind tends to produce nothing but the very thing it started with-an outstretched hand. An opening and reaching and a curling and defending. The punch hurting both the aggressed and the aggressor.
Reaching and grasping in the word, we now have devices to hold. Items which comfort our bodies and show our minds a world of possibility. A realm of ideas, or the material of potentials. Pictures. Pictures as reading materials. A dynamic text that has less concrete signs and connotations, readings which also require translations. Except with a picture, there is not a hired linguist or translator to delineate the intention of the message, there is the viewer. The mind of the reader writing up a whole world from the sensory input, right in their hand. The stories flowing up and swirling so fast, they sink into the mass of our bodies and brains without noticing. The vertical scroll through digital space becomes acceleration of the speed of the Ferrari through horizontal space. Except, notice, as you scroll, you are going down. You are traveling in a downward motion. You head and your attention flows from your mind, right down to the screen, and the screen flowing down toward your chest or your navel. Just beyond your screen, your feet. Standing on the earth. This grasped device the only thing between your line of vision and recognition of your stance upon the earth.
Have you ever had something in your hand and then had it snatched away from you? “Hey! That’s not fair.” That’s not quite right. We all know, but sometimes people come and grab things out of your hand. Sometimes people tickle you in a way you loose your grip. Then there are the times which really spin my mind on an inside out cycle. There are times something in the hand transforms, a solid turns into sand. And the harder the grip, the faster the sand falls-blowing with the breeze of autumn. Again, a bare palm, reaching out into the world. What if, instead, we put the thing we are holding down for a moment, to take a look at the connecting points of your body to the ground, chair, sofa, wherever you happen to be located at the moment. Empty hands. What does it feel like to not reach, to not grasp? To resist the actions so innate to being born.
And here’s a funny thing I started to think about today, of noticing what’s happening while it is happening. There is a choice. The immediate response of grip and release can be chosen. When that which was held transforms into another material, an open palm is the only choice if a bare palm is not the desired outcome. When a solid turns to grains of sand, upon an outstretched palm, a new form waits with potential. A new landscape can be formed with the transformed substance. The hand still full. The reaching ends and realizes that which was, became, and offers a different kind of material to work with. Something less predetermined. The difference between buying a prepared meal and buying the ingredients. And this kind of recognition, the activating of the part of that baby that has grown into the image of an adult, functions as the creator. Forever until our bodies stop to respirate and digest material, we remain with these impulses to reach and grasp. When these actions meet also the working and making- a balance comes about. And the body in all its contents becomes the source greatest source of value. For the body serves life, that produces life, sight of life. With the body all social, political, economic, relational, designed, functional, ideal, imagined and dreamed, comes to be realized. The body will decide that which can be described as real.