Giving Ourselves Over
On How We Open Our Body Onto The World
Excerpts from the Dust & Shadow Reader #2
Attunement means giving ourselves over to another and with the resistance, insistence, and weight of bodies. These bodies feel the give and take of being in a place with another. A hand may press into the flesh of another and feel the yielding and the taut resistance of muscle and bone. Another body may reach out to meet our own and call for a new posture and orientation. The sensation of heat moving from skin to a cool rock on a winter day. The prick of a needle along the smooth ridge of a paddle cactus. We give ourselves over to thinking at a register far different from a self-conscious I and the angular forms of reason. Bodies in a plenum abiding, tethered to the world.
Other paths challenge us in how we open our body onto the world. They ask something new of us and so we find something different in ourselves. We have a new conversation with the surroundings as we squeeze past rocks on a precarious cliff, hunch and huddle tightly in a cold and windy storm, align and realign grip to the feel of fur unfamiliar to us. These plants and rocks and animals and humans and multitude of things of the world ask something from us. They call for particular conversations which we respond to with corporeal postures. In doing so we get to know these others but only by way of remaking ourselves in ways that respond and ways that fit with what is asked of us. And in these conversational alignments we get to know something different of ourselves.