What is embedded in the two hands that write these words? Memories of childhood, when I’ve felt lost and tiny. Memories of expression, when I’ve felt confused and full. Memories unnamed, unfiltered, uncensored.
What is embedded in these two hands of mine? The power to be in contact with other and feel my way into the memories of muscle. The agility to explore the content of tension with patience and compassion. The tenderness of the gentle breeze that has taught me so much about being human.
One of the miraculous things about being a human, and certainly there are many, is what exists in our two hands. For me, and I wonder if this is the same for you, my identity is deeply intertwined with these two hands of mine. My identity as an herbalist, a bodyworker, a writer…all tied into the ways my hands are able to navigate the world. To be myself is to live not only from my heart, but through my hands, these two hands that define so much of who I am.
In my adventures back to my body, the twists and turns toward and away from myself have given me endless surprises; unexpected moments of clarity about myself anchored in the way my body is becoming unto itself. I have learned that “being embodied” is not an end goal, but a recognition that the body is an endless process, constantly being shaped and and altered through a never ending dance with the rest of life – the animals, the wind, the terrain, the obstacles, the thoughts, the emotions, the community in which we find ourselves forever embedded. To be embodied is to actively participate in the everlasting relationship with all the world; with the different moments in life that offer us reflections of our truths, moments of life that offer us questions about ourselves.The relief, and perhaps the fear, is that it is never-ending. We are not even approaching completion; we are approaching wholeness. A wholeness that shifts with every new place we land in, every new sound, every new moment that shifts our shape.
Most recently, I have been coming into a new relationship with my two hands as they have been changed by my experiences with life. I have heard them crack and crunch as my skin changes, reflecting the age that I am slowly accumulating. To re-emerge into my hands is to recognize them as a powerful truth of me, less of an appendage of myself and more of the source of my truth…the source of my power.
In these moments of re-emerging, I find myself wondering about that moment of contact, when my two hands make contact with another body. For me, when I have permission to place my hands on the body of another, I am granted the most precious gift, the gift of another’s life force as it moves around them and through me. I can feel the flow of energy from one body into my body, and back again. I can track in my own body where energy is lodged in the other, where there is a feeling of grief or pleasure. In those moments of contact, my body and the other body are not so separate, but in a shared experience where they become one in a sacred way.
As I come into my hands, they seek to be in contact with others. They seek to find the other bodies that will allow them a moment of contact and connection so, together, we can arrive a little closer to wholeness. They ache for contact with myself, with place, with other. The lead the way, seeking that which allows me a moment of fullness that is only possible when in contact with another. They run the show, and that is always toward Other.
I share this in a moment of discovery. I share this as a moment of inquiry. I share this because my hands have something to say, and through the keyboard, they are currently seeking to make contact with you…to the best of their ability.
I’m honored to occupy my body. I’m baffled by its power and humbled by its wisdom. And mostly, I am eager to continue in the process of becoming not just my hands, but all that I am.
If my hands have reached you, please reach back. Let us make contact. Let us be in touch.
For All Bodies,