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Author: Karl Cronin

Date: June 20, 2014

I sat in the audience. I didn’t know where to begin. He was stretching his arms up, and then gathering them in again. There was music. His companion, the one in the purple sequin jumpsuit, was weaving through the audience. Closer than people usually get. If you smiled, she would also smile. That was the first clue. That she saw us. That they saw us. But there was something else. It wasn’t just seeing. There was something else. 

Then they were joined by others. They emerged. They were gyrating. They had objects. The kind you might have in your everyday life. A purse. Flowers. They were shaking. But not to be cool, you know? The way dancers sometimes shake when they are trying to be cool on stage. No. They were doing something else. What was it? What were they doing? 

I saw Olive shift off the stage into the aisle. She moved towards a pole, grabbing hold and shaking vigorously. Wait a minute. Oh yes. What is? Wait. This shaking. Yes. The shaking. That’s what’s happening. Oh I… yes, I see. They are feeling. The are feeling their bodies. They are feeling their bodies awake. They are remembering the life of their bodies.

My eyes reached out to Olive. I had seen her body feel in this way before. Two years ago. I had followed her through the woods, with others. We had spent days awakening our bodies in the moss, air, and sweat of a collective understanding in Western Mass. I had followed her, and saw her feel the aliveness in her body alongside the aliveness of trees, rhizomes and animals. And here I was, in a theater in Minneapolis, and she had found it again. That place inside herself. Her body both here, but also there in that distant place and all the other distant places her body has known.

I smiled, and she smiled. She had reminded me of my aliveness. How we each, always, are swimming in this sea of aliveness, and yet, like fish, perhaps we forget. We forget, and need each other to remind ourselves of our own beautiful, unfolding presence. 

With deep appreciation, thank you BodyCartography!