“Every reader, as he reads, is actually the reader of himself. The writer’s work is only a kind of optical instrument he provides the reader so he can discern what he might never have seen in himself without this book. The reader’s recognition in himself of what the book says is the proof of the book’s truth.” So wrote Marcel Proust.
Leaving monkey aside for the moment…changing the subject for now…to change of the entire psycho-physical self…and memory.
Who would have thought? I started taking Alexander Technique lessons in hope of alleviating neck pain. A month of lessons and the pain went away. And then I wanted more and more lessons. So I started training. Still took lessons along with the training. Then I had to stop training. Now I’ve started training again. And I had thought I was going into Alexander Technique only to manage that neck pain. Yeah the neck pain went away. The height that I lost due to the neurosurgery on my cervical spine came back. Yay! I am five feet tall again! But…here’s the thing. I find along the way that my whole mind and body are being totally reworked. My kishkas are definitely becoming untwisted. My brain is being re-wired. My trainer says that I’m going to be an entirely new person by the end of the training. So…a new Rena is emerging…
Also, as I progress in Alexander Technique teacher training, the more I am being revisited by old memories. Thus the core of myself is re-emerging…but in a different light. Childhood memories are re-appearing into my consciousness with the speed of lightening. My very first important memories are flooding back. Like, when I was so proud of myself for throwing that egg I was supposed to eat behind the washing machine…I was three at the time. I’m feeling again the glee of coming up with that solution for getting rid of the egg. I am so happy to be remembering that triumph of deception!
I find that I’m in über Ukrainian Russian Jewish mode. I feel like I am communing with past generations of my family. I have been needing to cook myself the Russian food that I grew up on. I wish I could blab away with impunity in Russian and Yiddish! It hits me that I really would like to have my real name back…the one that was summarily changed and dumped at Ellis Island…too Russian…an American, pronounceable name was needed. How sad!
All this happening makes me feel so in touch with myself. A validation of who I am. So…could my remembrances just be a coincidentally timed, or are they being set free by my going through Alexander Technique teacher training? Am I experiencing a re-reading of myself? Is there some kind of cause and effect here? Is the Alexander Technique proustienne in this way? It seems to me that it is the book tool par excellence with which to read oneself.