Multimodality and Embodied Learning in Communities and Schools
Edited By Mira-Lisa Katz
11. Literacies of Touch: Massage Therapy and the Body Composed
Literacies of Touch
Massage Therapy and the Body Composed
CORY HOLDING & HANNAH BELLWOAR
This can happen only if my hand, which is felt from within, is also accessible from without, itself intangible, for my other hand, for example, if it takes place among the things it touches, is in a sense one of them, opens finally upon a tangible being of which it is also a part. Through this crisscrossing within it of the touching and the tangible, its own movements incorporate themselves into the universe they interrogate, are recorded on the same map as it; the two systems are applied one upon another, as the two halves of an orange.
—MERLEAU-PONTY (2004: 251)
We are such stuff as dreams are made of, but we are also just stuff.
—LEHRER (2007: XII)
It seems that we do not often notice our writing bodies until we must. The co-author of this piece, Hannah, for example, became acutely aware of her typing fingers and wrists eleven years ago, just after finishing college. A tightness, she recalls, that came with every mouse click and keystroke was quickly diagnosed as carpal tunnel syndrome. At first, the pain could be alleviated with simple treatment—Ibuprofen, mousing with her left hand. But in graduate school, the sensation ← 229 | 230 → became stronger and less easily managed. In order to continue to write, Hannah turned to physical therapy and...
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