Norman O. Brown of Life Against Death and Love’s Body taught me how to incorporate silence and listening into my writing, allowing disjunctions, extra spaces, and the seemingly irrelevant to exist in my texts, both reflecting the spontaneous ramblings of the imaginative mind, and room for readers to engage your own peculiar logics. Not long before he died, he wrote this :
“Revisioning as I have experienced it is not a luxury but life itself, a matter of survival; trying to stay alive in history; improvising a raft after shipwreck, out of whatever materials are available. . . bits of books, the fragments we shore up against our ruin. Historical identity is made out of identifications: ancestral figures we identify with, the authors who are our authorities. Carving our own persona (“mask”) in their image.”
Apocalypse and/or Metamorphois, 158.
I bring to a close this site with fragments of some of the kinds of things that are always nurturing me:
Akram Kahn, the dancer and choreographer who has gathered dancers from many cultures who transform the suffering of the world into works of great beauty. This link is to his performance Xenos which I saw as I was finishing this project, a heart-rending expression of the suffering of the displaced peoples of the world.
Valeria Luiselli, whose craft in her novel Lost Children Archive transforms, as does Kahn’s choreography, the vast tragedy of the world into an inspiration to confront and deal with it.
Linda Hogan, a Chikasaw poet, whose work has inspired me for decades:
Elizabeth Behnke, who calls herself a “barefoot phenomenologist,” and who, like myself, joined Thomas Hanna in the 1970s in his venture with the journal Somatics, to create this field. In her hut in the Pacific Northwest, she continues to write brilliant essays on how to engage in the intricate journey of exploring direct experiences of our bodies.
The late Eugene Gendlin, the creator of Focusing, who more than anyone I know, showed how to maintain the link between our intricate bodily experiences and our language emerging from those experiences.