I offer here a humble translation of the transcendental closing track of Lena Platonos’ iconic album ‘Gallop‘. I do this to honor the feat of storytelling that many of the pieces on the album represent, as well as the fact she employs imagery which featured in the guided meditation that concluded my very first yoga practice, occurring some eight years ago in Thessaloniki, Greece.
Now, just as a little air lifted, everyone expected these days to be cool. At least that’s what they all said.
Even the lady at the street pavilion made mistakes in her transactions from the excessive heat.
And on the radio they prepare the winter with humour and stability, seriousness,
galloping through and choosing different answers.
You close your eyes. You arrange a date. You close your eyes and dream of different cities. Sparsely populated cities in the night lacking unnecessary sounds whose light emanates from within the people, from the walls of the houses.
A door opens. Someone lifts their hand and their greeting traces the shape of a star,
or rather a moon.
You reciprocate. Slowly many gather, then even more.
They all reciprocate and their greeting traces the shape of a moon
and as they approach one another they are united by that same gallop of the first rain; by the colour of the moon in their own touch.
Yes, and further down there is a couple that have only a moon that they cut in two, biting the half
and again the half, until crumbs are left behind. Until nothingness remains.
But they share even that nothingness as it appears that nothing doesn’t exist.
As I began to feel I began to swim through life. Reality was no longer a spectacle of observation, but a feat of sensation; no longer made up of air, but the fluid which binds all existence – past, present and future, faraway and immediately close – into the mesh constituting each moment’s experience. I sense, therefore I am. I take my body with me as I permit it to inform me of concepts thinking alone could never conjure.
The current age of exalted analytical reason had clouded my corporal intelligence for too long. It is no wonder we suffer from mental illness if all we inhabit, if all we are taught is worthy of inhabiting, is the realm of the mind. It is but an imbalance, a healthy part of a rounded whole turned sour in receiving undivided focus at the expense of other organs of sense. To reflect is a great gift, but our ability to feel must consciously envelop our capacity for analytical evaluation should we seek wisdom in a state where we do not abuse one another, or the greater ecological whole we are a part of.
Inhabiting our bodies carries a knowledge whose value is not undermined because it is ineffable; it merely exists in a realm that language, our analytical mind’s primary tool, cannot access. To dismiss its existence based on this failure of representation is foolish; and to access it begs dedicated practice with tools which can. The body is where I begin and as my practice deepens, I peek within my tissues to discover a sensory organ, ubiquitous and intuitive, which processes information much the way my brain does – by receiving endless stimuli and unconsciously transforming them into guidance for my being, as I swim and sway and dance lightly between past, present and future, feeling.
This excerpt is inspired by my readings of Susanne K. Langer’s work on the symbology of music, as well as a love for rhythmic, embodied and undulating movement.