A Written Workshop

by Jaz Papadopoulos

Pick something. Something you can do with your body. Something easy.

Something easy you can do with your body.

Something easy you can do with your body every day.

drink a glass of water say hi to yourself in the mirror look out the window and count to
ten do you favourite stretch for five breaths read one page of a book sign a song light a
candle light two candles light three candles light four candles and say your
grandparents’ names say your own name say all your names learn all your names so
that you can say them every day

For the first week (or so),
Your body will learn the thing.
You will remember to breathe while you’re doing it.
You will feel cool air in your nose and warm air on your lip and growing and shrinking
space inside your chest and back and stomach and diaphragm.
You will see your hands move or you will hear your weight pushing out of your feet.
You will learn where your floor creaks and where the dust in your home hides.

For the first week (or so),
Try to do the thing the same way every time.
You will wonder which hand you use
or which way you hold the glass
or which candle you light first.
You will notice patterns:
Where you focus your eyes,
and the rhythm of your breath.
If the floor creaks change, you can’t control it.

After the first week (or so — I’m no expert),
All of those first week noticings will become old hat.
They are easy now, and they just happen that way.
That same way.
Now you will notice new things.
What is the shape of your spine?
When you breathe, your shoulders move too.
You have so many more muscles than you realized.
You can slowly learn where they live and what they answer to.

Something easy you can do with your body every day.

It’s still not always easy.

Tape a piece of paper to the wall
and on the days you don’t want to do the thing,
write on the paper why not.
(Then, you will be free to do the thing.)

After some weeks (or so),
Think about:

  • all the other times you did the thing
  • all the other people who do the thing
  • all the other people who have ever done the thing

Think of the thing like mycelium
All of the enactments of the thing that have ever happened anywhere on this earth over
millennia —
they can communicate.
Your thing secretly knows all those other things.

you do too.