Monday, November 16, 2009
Rhythm and blues
The first time my heart pumped too hard I was pregnant with my first child. I was told to take it easy, put my feet up and to come in for regular checks. Twenty years later it happened again. I was out out of rhythm. My challenge: to find my way back to the good beat, where pulse and impulse could slip into slow dance mode. The problem, I suspect, was my inclination to, well, not take it easy. And so I've been returning over the years, in a rather cyclical way, to the question of rhythms. What is the undriven rhythm? I hear the whack of a slow turning skip rope, and see myself, in small scuffed Clark shoes, waiting for my moment - the one where I leap into the gap, then relax into that slow, steady and seemingly endless pattern. Whack, hop, whoosh, one, two, three, whack, hop, whoosh... There would seem to be a clue in there for harnessing - or unharnessing- the heart. Another rhythmical insight came to me when I sought out a new remedy for a troublesome ankle and calf. I booked in for a lymphatic drainage, and, prone on the massage table, learned that this body system had a life of its own under the skin, with a five hourly rhythm. From there my mind has moved onward and outward to consider ever-diminishing rhythms. There's the diurnal rhythm, the one that will soon be calling me to bed. And it strikes me that if seasons are manifest in so many other organic beings, they are very likely having their say in me as well. I'm slowing down. Rhythm - you win!