We enter a process led by Catherine, in which we are invited to work with clay to create a body. The sensation of drying wet clay on my skin is unpleasant, while the experience of a body growing beneath my hands is exciting. Sitting at the “head end” of people is how I spend a great deal of time as a Feldenkrais practitioner. It’s often how I begin, as I find a place of connection. It’s a tender approach to another human being; the least invasive and the most mysterious. My clay person grows from this intimate perspective; ‘he’ grows from head to toes. Knowing is from my body, my heart, through my hands. The body shapes the clay, becomes a being. Respect for a being enters my touch as I begin to find the shapes in this body described by an active skeleton. The interaction animates, livens the clay. ‘He’ lives while we interact. Afterwards, it’s an interesting piece, enlivening curiosity.
We come back to clay again after an Awareness Through Movement session, and blindfolded, enter into another process, making ‘MY body’. I bring my attention to the feeling of my body in that moment – what stands out? My pelvis is strongly present to me through my sensation, really alive, and so my hands trace into a small ball of clay an impression of what I am feeling. Whereas yesterday, pen on paper, the pelvis remained elusive, frustrating, now excitement rushes through me, into my hands finding the bone-rich forms in 3-D, echoing my sense of this in me, the power of the sacrum and lower spine. Working upward is not possible with clay, and I really want to express the lightness of my spine upward through my chest. I’m lost for a while, feeling the darkness, listening to the sound of George moving rhythmically, insistently, moulding his clay alongside me. I REALLY want to look! Resigned to constraint, I take another small clump of clay and find the form of my shoulders and thorax. Time runs out, eyes are uncovered, and I am surprised by how much I can see in this latter piece.