March 18, 2012

plait memory

The body is a pretty amazing thing. Last night my stepdaughter offered to plait my hair for me, it was like being 11 again and sitting on the lounge room floor while my mum braided my hair for dancing concerts.

She’s into hair at the moment, she spends hours creating new do’s much to my husbands frustration (what is she doing in there…I tell him he’s not a girl, he doesn’t get it). As she attempted a very complicated hair manoeuvre across my head, her little fingers pulled harder and harder, making my eyes water but making me stay still all the same. When the girls were finally asleep my husband asked if my scalp had recovered and he wondered why she was so rough trying to get a hairdo done. I explained that my fingers had spent years braiding my own hair, the hair of my cabbage patch doll and my sisters. It wasn’t even a conscious move anymore, my fingers knew the dance and they moved accordingly. She was still teaching her hands how to move, there was time still for the memory to be laid down.

Im always amazed at the way my hands remembers things without me having to prompt them. Phone numbers, bank account details, log-ins on the computer. The other day I picked up the phone to call my mum and I watched my fingers dance across the keypad except it wasn’t my mum I was calling, it was the home I grew up in that I left behind 16 years ago. I stopped, I looked at the number across the screen and felt a little bit of my heart deflate when the telstra woman told me that the phone number was disconnected, please try again.

My daughter asked me how her mouth knows when to talk when she has something to say. I explained that her brain tells her tongue and mouth to start moving and then it just happens. She tried to continue to talk and think about the brain at the same time and she got really frustrated with her break in transmission.

Just chill babe I said don’t think about it and it will happen.

Its nice when life reminds you that the things from the past form part of your body memory, that some days you don’t need to over-think the things you know how to do, some days it would be lovely if we could just stop and let our body show us where we need to go…don’t you think?

Join the conversation! 5 Comments

  1. Hi
    Just dropping in, I have been meaning to from FB fro quitesometime to check you out.
    The name of your blog makes me think of my favourite Dave Matthews song ‘the space between’. Was that inspiration? It is funny that your posts are so similar to what I think about when I listen to that song. Uncanny and lovely that there is for me an extension to it. I’ll drop in again sometime soon

    • Hi Karen! No I don’t know that song, funny you ask the phrase ‘that space in between’ came from a woman I met whose brother was missing. She explained that she lived in the space between him being here and gone. I can remember the restaurant and the wine we were drinking and the amazing honesty that she shared. I remember walking away thinking that so many of us live in a space between different emotions or realities an d I guess it stuck…glad you’re enjoying the writing – I’m off to listen to the song now x

  2. I love this post. So nostalgic; you write beautifully. I found your blog through Stephanie Brown. Thanks so much for sharing X

  3. Thanks for re-sharing this one Sarah. I’ve had that experience with phone numbers before too. Our minds are amazing when we combine them with our hearts – I think those things that we just remember must be both emotional and psychological/practical memories somehow. I’ve been thinking about doing up a guided meditation based on recalling memories – not a therapy kind of trawling up the past, but to take us back to childhood and other ‘simpler’ memories that leave you feeling safe and grounded. Love to know what you think of the idea from your expertise…cheers and Happy Easter…kathy


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