Monday, June 20, 2011

The Beautiful Game

I tend to think of making magic as writing, painting, sketching, making music, dancing, or finding joy in the little things. I often overlook the magic of physicality, of using the body as an instrument. It is easy to sit at my desk all day working away on my own brand of magic while my body atrophies. I intend to wake early to exercise, but I fall prey to the seductive snooze button. In the last six months, if it wasn't for walking the dog, I'd resemble a pile of mashed potatoes (my favorite food) more than a Greek statue. 

But why does it matter? 

I am a firm believer in the unity of the person. One is not split between the physical and the mental/spiritual; we are one being, and our aches and pains, our endurance and confidence, influence our art. In many faiths the body is seen as a key part of devotion. Why should we ignore it in our quest to create?  

Get a look at those gams on right fullback Steve Cherundolo.
Photo by Adam Austin   

Yesterday, Adam and I went to see the US Men's National Soccer Team play against Jamaica in the Gold Cup quarterfinals. Cheering from the sidelines, I could see why it is called the beautiful game. The body control honed over years reminds me of a flutist controlling fingers, hands, arms, posture, and breath. The action of the field stirred people to pride, hope, and joy, all worthy aims, especially in art. 

Thoughts on pride, identity, heritage all sparked by sports.
Photo by Adam Austin 
The athleticism was a call to care for myself, to respect my body, and to find the magic in all areas of my life, not just the mental or spiritual. 

Do you ever have similar wake-up calls? I think those events or people who spark an improvement in others can be a form of magic. 

How do you care for the instrument that allows you to make magic? 

PS You can see more of the beautiful game when the Women's World Cup starts this Sunday, June 26. 

No comments:

Post a Comment