I don’t ordinarily talk to strangers. Maybe Dan Hoyle’s play, “Each and Every Thing” got under my skin. The play introduces the concept of “open time.” That is, no smart phone fourth wall. No screens. Face-to-face conversation with people on the street becomes possible.
I saw a tall woman on a steep hill with her small daughter perched on her shoulders. The woman was leaning down to remove a Frisbee from her dog’s mouth. These are common activities that are to perform gracefully. The hill was slanted steeply. The woman and her daughter’s backs formed elegant parallel lines. As she bent to reach her dog, the women’s knees flowed away from her hip joints neatly countering the angle of her torso. The beagle’s head flowed up to her hand to complete the euclidean ideal. There were no broken lines. No crouched spines. All heads were up. All eyes were bright and observant.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think people should have good posture. But the dancer in me is attracted to line and fluid motion. And I miss the time when people’s faces and eyes were regularly up and out. The “look” of posture is just a side effect of alert engagement and knowing how to move with ease.
So I piped up, “I couldn’t help noticing your amazing form.”
“It’s not easy negotiating daughter and dog,” she said. And with that, we struck up a conversation. She had just returned from an afternoon with her friend and Alexander Technique teacher Anne Bluethenthal.
Thumbs up for the Alexander Technique conspiracy of surprising grace in everyday activities.
Body Project Blog: Where Thought is the Active Ingredient.