After herniating a lumbar disc a month ago, the challenge of living an embodied life has expanded dramatically. On the one hand, there is chronic pain. On the other are all the subtle sensations of learning to move with my core muscles. Constantly having to lay flat on my back in the middle of the day is depressing until suddenly I find creativity there. My body is being forced to fully relax several times a day, when I’m not actually tired, and – who knew? – a quickening lives there.
Quickening is an old word that is still sometimes used to describe the sensations a pregnant woman feels when her baby first begins to move. I’ve often thought it a useful word for creativity. That moment when you’ve solved a problem, generated a new idea, written a complete piece of thinking (even if it is simply a well-composed tweet), or remembered something elusive. I’ve often felt it in the classroom when responding to the energy and questions of my students, particularly when I’m willing to change course and follow them instead of my own agenda.
So I’m interested in how creativity is generated in and through the body. For me, leaving my body behind resulted in injury. And working creatively from within the sensations of embodiment seems especially promising. I’m sure I don’t know how to do that yet, so this will be a story of discovery.