A few Fridays ago, I went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and totally geeked out in the Greek and Roman Art wing. …. for a few hours. :)
For those of you who aren’t intimately acquainted with the Metropolitan Museum of Art, this wing is devoted to:
“Acclaimed installation of Greek art, prehistoric through Hellenistic. Exceptional works from Cyprus and Etruria. Roman art from throughout the Empire’s expanse. Particular strengths in Greek and Roman sculpture, painting, bronzes, glass, and gems, and Etruscan bronzes” -taken from the Met Museum Map
And what was I coming to see?! Naked sculptures of course! okay, okay, let me explain…
I went with the intention of being an anatomy geek while looking at these naked sculptures.
(A totally brilliant thing to invite your boyfriend to attend with you, by the way)
I spent my whole two hours at the Met in one room mainly. I stared at these sculptures and was amazed at their beauty….
Although, at first I have to admit I was disturbed by the lack of neutral alignment in these sculptures. I began pinpointing all the ways the bones were misaligned. Were the Greeks and Romans just two races of misaligned people? I had always imaged them to be rather embodied races given the fact they had such amazing philosophers, artists and innovators…. and the Greeks even started the Olympic Games!
Nevertheless, I continued to stare and think about the bones underneath these sculptures and even started to embody the positions of the sculptures with my own body. …Sacrum counter-nutated, left pelvic half posteriorly rotated, cervical spine flexed… I started to see the movement as well as the emotional state being depicted by these sculptures. And seeing that was profoundly beautiful.
It would be one thing if these sculptors had just represented neutral (perfect) alignment in every one of their works of art. But it becomes a totally different thing when they are able to represent movement, represent emotions in their sculptures. Perhaps that is what makes these sculptures famous works of art so long after they were created. The beauty they present is timeless and appeals to the masses of humans who also have the same basic body, same bones, same muscles, same ligaments and tendons… Who move daily and have emotions that get represented in our bodies. That’s right our emotions get represented in our bodies! For example, someone with their shoulders rounded forward is usually sad, and/or lacking confidence. Try it! Round your shoulders forward, what does that feel like?
In my work as a dancer and Franklin Method educator, I have become very familiar with the amazing movement of the body. Though the Franklin Method I have learned a fundamental truth, movement is not a static position. When performing a movement in dance, you flow through positions and from an outside perspective it may seem that you are static at times… But, you never are! There is always movement happening in your body. Even when balancing and “holding” a position there are constant micro movements and adjustments occurring in your body. Muscles contracting and releasing, other muscles engaging to support your body, lungs breathing, stomach processing your last meal, heart pumping blood, nerves sending and receiving signals from your brain, the bone marrow of your bones rebuilding and strengthening… There is soooo much movement, even in the stillness of holding a position!
So…. back to the naked Greeks and Romans that I was spending my Friday night staring at. Sure, their bodies were imperfect because they were not perfectly aligned. But, they weren’t supposed to be. In fact, they would be much less interesting and beautiful if they were perfectly aligned! Their imperfections are perfectly imperfect and therefore perfectly human.
As you may have noticed (or not), I did not publish a blog post last Friday. I feel bad for letting you, my readership, down in that way and I hope to not to do it again in the future. My goal, my commitment, is to be here for you every week with a new blog post.
That said, I know I am human, a perfectly imperfect human being just doing my best every week, every day and every moment. Sometimes I meet failure, sometimes I meet heartbreak, sometimes I meet imperfection, sometimes I meet disappointment… Case in point on Monday, I woke up with no voice!
But other times I meet success, I meet accomplishment, I meet love, I meet beauty, I meet joy…
So every morning, I wake up and greet new possibilities, new opportunities for growth and improvement, …..
a new day. ….each and every morning.
Give it try, and greet every morning with happiness, joy and love, excited for the possibilities and opportunities the new day offers you. And let me know how it goes. 🙂
Much love to you xoxoxo