Meditations on Peggy Baker’s Portal

Mavis Himes, Ph.D., C. Psych.

Cross currents. A fascination with the human psyche and a curiosity about the human body. Mind and body meet in the remarkable rapture of a dancer’s leap and the power of a still pose. The demands of a discipline that requires the full extension of a leg to its utmost limit, the contortion of the spine as an arm twists around its waist, the flexibility and stamina to sustain unbound motion. Passion and desire animate the dancer who communicates in a language beyond words: the mysterious and private language of the human body.

The psychoanalyst is a listener and reader of texts. He is the interpreter of constructed narratives. He has learnt how to decode the discourse of speech that betrays the effects of an unconscious on everyday life. He tries to unknot repetitive patterns of pain and suffering. He works in a different language that weaves the desires and drives of both the mind and the body. The analyst is reluctant to seal meaning, to ‘understand’ what is beyond reason and logic. Instead he searches for clues through those formations of the unconscious – slips, dreams, unintended comments – that are revealed in langauge.

The analyst and the dancer can meet in the field of another discourse – a discourse with a grammar of movement and a vocabulary of moving collages. For there is a realm of the human psyche that also attempts to express the inexpressible, to symbolize the unsymbolizable and to challenge the constraints and limitations of words

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