Slowing Down is the over-arching theme this week and we explore how it relates to inside/outside and KI life-force. Slowing down is accessing deep primordial space that is ever present with no inside or outside
“The innerness of the so-called world is nowhere so evident as in the life of our body. The air we breathe one moment will be breathed by someone else the next and has been breathed by someone else before. We exist as respiring, pulsating organisms within a sea of life-serving beings. As we become able to hold this more and more steadily in our consciousness, we experience relatedness at an elemental level. We see that it is not a matter of trying to be related, but rather of living consciously into the actuality of being related. As we yield ourselves to the living presence of this relatedness, we find that life begins to possess an ease and a freedom and a naturalness that fill our hearts with joy.”
M.C. Richards from Centering
Inside/outside is an expedient labeling that is useful but can also distort understanding of the whole. This is demonstrated in the concept of notan, where any mark is integral to the space around it, not separate but instead informing each other. We can easily see how locking into place as subject/background or object/space distorts the whole. This week in our marking endeavors we are exploring inside/outside in relation to body and like notan we are interested in the wholeness of container/contained and place in the field.
Another point in our context with marking this week is how life-force or ki or chi relates to this wholeness. David Abram, in Becoming Animal, describes the shadow as not just a flat stain on the cement but really the volume of lightlessness. In the same way our markings, whether actual physical, material or in metaphor, are not simply residue. A meager delineation of inside/outside or object/background would stunt the information that is held in the whole constellation. We are seeking a volume that connects mark to history, place, event and context and is graphically evident in drawing where we see how the non-linear time of the psyche interacts and constitutes that volume.
In the imaginal field consider that there is no outside/inside but as you breathe there is a constant flow of contraction/expansion. Just at last we felt the constant give in our relationship to the substrate of our marking and marking implements, we considered the requisite yielding.
Cup of Tea
dropping down into the arm chair
into the lap of the blue-winged bear
cup of tea in hand rises and falls
with the lever of my arm
to absorb the sudden change
of altitude, without spill
steam streaming upward
liquid surface flattens,
brought to my lips—which open
to admit… pool in my mouth
shooting like a shot
down my throat—chest
into the center of gravity