Poetics and Paralysis

Matthew Sanford reading from his book: demo video screenshot
Matthew Sanford reading from his book. His site is http://www.matthewsanford.com/

Continuing this theme of learning to listen to silence, consider Matthew Sanford. He teaches yoga, his spinal cord has an interruption, and his story and poetic observations teach us about the mind-body connection–how miraculous it is in every ordinary moment. He’s reading from his memoir, Waking: A Memoir of Trauma and Transcendence, in an interview with Krista Tippett:

Mr. Sanford: (reading) Imagine walking from a well-lit room into a dark one. Imagine the darkness as a visual expression of silence. My rehabilitation made a mistake with the silence by focusing on the absence of light. It too quickly accepted the loss and taught me to willfully strike out against the darkness. It told me to move faster rather than slower, push harder rather than softer. It guided me to compensate for what I could not see.

“Another course of action, however, is patience. Stop moving, wait for the eyes to adjust, allow for stillness and then see what’s possible. Although full-fledged vision does not return, usually there is enough light to find one’s way across the room. After a while, the moon may come out, sounds might gain texture, the world might reveal itself once again, only darker.”

Obviously, his poetic mind is part of the story here. And his words are a great example of the power of story–as in experience plus interpretation–to transform all who are touched by it.

Here’s the whole interview: http://being.publicradio.org/programs/bodysgrace/

I’d love to know what inspired you most about Mathew’s interview.


Comment © Gwyn Nichols 2012. All rights reserved. WritersResort.com
Image: YouTube screenshot of Matthew Sanford’s demo video

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