For a long time, I’ve wanted to write about the renewal of the culture of “the body”, but writing about the experience of the body seems paradoxical. However, I can’t really hold it in anymore, I’ve had so many beautiful experiences lately connecting to this subject.
All the while I grew up, my father used to go on rants (now you know where I get the habit) about “the joy of labor”, full of references to stories of Jack London, my father’s adventures as a merchant marine, and his days as a longshoreman on the wharf in San Francisco. I remember how I responded then: “Gimme a break, Dad! I know what you want to pull over me. Chores suck, you can’t hide that!”.
Now. In fairness to myself, my father’s unique rhetorical style intrinsically tended to inspire his audiences to put up their defenses, and resist his messages. However, I still really missed out on the profound secret that he had to share.
Yes, another secret. And, like all secrets, we’ve hidden it best by leaving it in plain sight.
This secret concerns the world of the body, and those who play in the body’s world.
What does the secret contain? That this world exists, has its own languages, landscapes, cultures, riddles, its own vast joyful dimension. The extent to which our ability to enter this world atrophies, surely must determine the extent to which we can understand ourselves, our moods, our passions and hungers, our dream life, both waking and sleeping.
To not play in this world means that you do not know yourself. To not play in this world at the very least seals the terms of the domestication of your spirit.