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It is in this bodily-felt space,
the inarticulate realm of the not-quite-sayable, that creativity stirs.
In the process of speaking about "something", I can begin to lose contact with the aliveness of what I have named...
The "something" is always more than words can immediately describe, and must itself be directly referred to, if the words are to carry it well.
Of course, this is not ALWAYS exactly true. At times, a way of speaking about it comes at once that is "just right" and carries it forward swimmingly.
More often than not, however,
I can move too quickly to articulate my experience.
I begin to interact, not with the whole of the thing itself, but with the not-quite-right idea I have of it, in my head.
I've been told I have a way with words.
As a Marriage and Family Therapist,
an Episcopal Priest, and a potter,
I enjoy sculpting language as clay,
playing with the texture of words
until something just right can be said.
Almost 20 years ago, I was introduced to the work of Eugene Gendlin. A mentor pressed a torn scrap of paper into my hand, with the words, "Focusing: Gene Gendlin" scribbled on it. "Check this out!" he said.
After my mentor died, the paper showed up in the bottom of a bag, and I began the explore.
Through Gendlin's process of "Focusing", I have begun to appreciate the way the living body knows, holds, is the process of living before, beneath, with and beyond our conceptualization of it.
The experience of the felt living body is a strange, often inarticulate frontier!
The intricacy of what is murky and not-quite-yet-sayable has awakened my interest.
... the intricacy ... the precision of it!!
I can approach this frontier
through what Gendlin calls a bodily 'felt sense'.
The frontier: vast, intricate, subtle yet precise.
It rejects habitual and scripted language.
It asks to be lived from freshly.
I have come to love being with the bodily felt sense in a way that allows fresh words to form spontaneously,
straight from the aliveness that's here.
Gendlin, in his work with Carl Rogers at the University of Chicago in the 1960s, observed that the most "successful" psychotherapy clients (based on multiple reporting tools) were not those who were immediately articulate. Instead, they noticed an unexpected skill among some who would pause and hold inarticulate space... who were willing and able to stammer, sigh and stumble through words that weren't quite right, pausing in the felt murkiness, waiting for something fresh and more precise. All of this is implicit in the body's living process. Gendlin and his colleagues found that this "skill" made all the difference. Real therapeutic movement came through the client's ability to pause at the murky edge.
I have come to call this skill "inarticulating".
inarticulating is tending the body's intricate felt sense of living, suspending premature, scripted language, and allowing the body's holding of the "more" of life to express and word itself freshly.
It is in this bodily-felt space, the inarticulate realm of the not-yet-sayable, that creativity stirs.
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