Situated Body 2

This morning we had an unusually early start, rising with the sun and heading over to Bundanon to resume Jonathan’s workshop. I started off where I had left, walking up the Amphitheatre Track. I passed by the tall spindly tree but it didn’t call to me like the other day. I kept walking up the steep track towards the peeling bark tree, hoping for a rekindling of the sensorial effects of the previous day. I slowed in my tracks to watch a few birds hopping about in the bush. It was quieter today, the insect din not so loud, a few bird calls, the occasional rustle of a larger animal. I started to think about the noise I was introducing into this scene. I walked up the slope as quietly as I could, very carefully placing my feet on the ground, taking note of what was below – crisp leaf, crackling bark, rubble, stone, sand. I was forced to slow down my movements, becoming highly aware of the shift of weight from leg to leg, the articulation of the joints in my feet, the shifting tensions in my muscles, where I placed my arms. My aim was to minimise my intrusion on this landscape, all the while listening to what the bush was singing. This was a possible ‘intervention’ for others to enact.

My reverie was interrupted by a pestering horse fly. It circled me tyrannically. I pelted down the slope back out onto the open pasture. And still it followed me. I walked back past the fence until I neared the garden of the house. I stopped and noticed a large stick that had caught my attention the other day. I picked it up, thinking I needed something to defend myself from the giant flies and other potential dangers lurking in the bush. I proceeded to practice spearing fallen leaves, in preparation for the flies. I took care to involve my whole body in the action, recalling the problem with girls throwing balls of only using their arm.

Speared leaves (substitute for flies)

Broken tip with speared leaves (substitute for flies)

I confess I got bored with the bush. I headed to the river for a swim. The river was perfection. A large still body of water, encompassed by bush and a thin strip of sandy beach. Translucent and warm, an invitation to submerge oneself. I entered slowly, walking straight ahead into the water as the sand slowly dropped away below my feet, the water creeping up my skin in a soothing caress. As the water reached my chest, I felt my breathing become more laboured, the compression of the water. I wanted to keep walking in until my head was under, but as soon as my feet lost the bottom, I destabilised, feeling the contradictory thrusts of gravity and buoyancy.

It was so peaceful in the water, my body felt young and lissome. Little fish cavorted around my ankles, one brave enough to take a nibble. I tried to catch them with my hand. I created structures with my body for them to swim in and around.

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