Thinking about what is wiggly and what is straight has really been influencing my relationship with the world around me and my thinking. I guess one of the great joys of teaching is that you end up teaching yourself! On Being Wiggly (part 1 here.)
On wiggly walking –
Until recently wiggly walking might have been a bit Marylyn Monroe, ‘let those hips wiggle sexy lady’, but now being a wiggly walker is more than that.
When I walk in the countryside my body has to wiggle to constantly adjust to the environment in a mobile way. The bones and muscles of my body are shifting and flowing to cope with the wiggliness of an uneven ground. My whole self is in a constant state of adjustment and refinement to the environment – heightened awareness. My body moves not just in a forward and upwards way, but in a wiggly forward and upwards, downwards, roundabout, blending, absorbing, changing, readjusting kind of way.
When I walk in the city, I notice my innate wiggliness is largely lost. The linear, flat, straight, man made environment is influencing the way I use my body. I am no longer being called upon to allow the wiggle of planet earth up through my body in order to adjust to the terrain in such a mobile elastic contour shaping way. In the city there is no need to allow such freedom in the expansive way that the countryside demands. The flat pavement flattens and possibly hardens both my movement and my thinking! Walking is easier in one way, in that you have to think less to stay balanced, but is it really easier if the body is not moving and adjusting in the way that it is designed to do in a wiggly world?
A couple of weeks ago I visited a fairly recently abandoned traditional village in Oman. The houses were a direct reflection of the wiggly mountain landscape. Hand built not machine built. This was a wiggly higgledy piggledy organically constructed man made world. This is how our ancestors lived until relatively recently – in a more naturally formed architecture.
I realise that both my thoughts and movability change as I think about the differences between the wiggly and straight worlds that I inhabit. I have started to notice when my thoughts are ‘flat’ and ‘straight’ and when I allow my thinking to move in the wiggly flow.
It is really rather lovely living in a wiggly world!
A Mountain path, Oman
Abandoned village at the base of the mountain
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