This is something of a cop out update because I've gotten really busy with some freelance work lately. If only I got paid hourly to update this site! It's actually pretty exciting because they're letting me edit some books that one of the full time editors couldn't finish before she was promoted to another department. Better still, my first book to edit is one titled Ghosts and Poltergeists. Finally, something I learned in college will come in handy! Or rather, the hours I spent hanging around with my roommates watching episodes of Ghost Hunters will come in handy. I've already found a way to work "fear cage" into the glossary.
While I was looking for one of these assignments on my home computer, I ran across the text I'd saved from a short lived blog I kept several years back. I'd never revealed it publicly, but it ran under the heading "She only ate pops that were lolly" and chronicled my thoughts while living in South Africa in the spring of 2007. I enjoyed reading over it and being reminded of such things as the time I met a professional mime in a hostel in Namibia or the (I now realize) somewhat paranoid fear that my parents were hiding the fact that my dog had died because they didn't want to upset me (he actually lived another year after my return). While I'm busy researching hauntings, I thought I could entertain you with one such post from this former journal:
It started innocently enough; I just wanted to improve my posture. My friend Geraldine is often bemoaning my apparent "hunch" and telling me to "stand up straight!" and "be confident!" and "don't be ashamed to show off your breasts!" All good advice, I'm sure. At any rate, I asked my friend who is an actor about the Alexander technique and how I can train my body to better nurture my spinal column.
She explained it to me in the following way, which I shall publish for the benefit of anyone reading who suffers from hunching: First, stand with your feet shoulder width apart and imagine they are tripods-- your weight should be balanced in the center of each tripod naturally. Your knees should not be locked (keep them soft!) and your pelvis should be tucked but not jutting out. Don't suck your stomach in or let it hang out; try to keep it in a relaxed position. Feel your spine lengthening and widening (I'm not sure I've really mastered this step yet). Keep your shoulders back. As for your head, imagine it is a ping pong ball balanced by the fountain that is your spinal column. Congratulations! You are now aligned!
The problem though is that I've become obsessed with my alignment. When I'm walking past a reflective window, I have to look at myself to see if I'm standing up perfectly straight. People come up to me or say "hi" (its a pretty small town) and I don't even hear them because I'm so fixated on my own posture. Also, another part of the Alexander technique is that you take the time to "inhibit." The enemy of bad posture is feeling rushed and not taking the time when you stand up or sit down or even are just walking, to make sure that you are aligned. Thus periodically it is important if you feel you are slipping back into slovenly slouching, to stop wherever you are and repeat the steps I so thoughtfully outlined above. Inhibiting has also become a regular part of my day. At first, I minded the strange looks I got from passing cars when I stopped mid stride, spaced my feet shoulder length apart, had a look of concentration on my face not unlike when one is preparing a bowel movement, and then proceeded a minute later as if nothing had happened. But gradually my embarrassment faded as I became truly addicted to inhibiting.
The thing is I do feel taller, more confident, and oddly prouder of my breasts, but I also really miss thinking about other things. I've been promised that once my body is really retrained under the Alexander technique that I won't even have to think about it. I just hope that day comes soon, before I get mugged because I'm too busy looking at myself in a car window to pay attention to where I'm walking.
Here I am back in 2007, posturing against the wind.