Karen’s Reflections on “Biotensegrity”

I started Biotensegrity thinking that I would relate to it through the lens of movement: maybe through the compression and suspension of dance, or maybe through the push and pull of a group or partnered yoga pose. Maybe I would even be thinking of my own body, all those intricate inner workings that together allow me to practice both yoga and dance.  By now you can probably guess that that’s not exactly how I related to this book.

You see, Biotensegrity begins with a discussion of art.  Reading it, I felt viscerally returned to the last time in my life when I was regularly reading descriptions of artworks: when I was finishing an undergraduate degree in Art History.

Art History and I were never meant to be.  It rewards long nights of careful analysis, hours spent teasing out some ambiguity in an otherwise well-known artwork or piece of existing research.  There is nothing wrong with this type of occupation, of course.  Many of my friends are excellent Art Historians who get a lot of intellectual and personal worth out of what they do.  For me, however, the pace of learning was not nearly fast enough.  I needed things to be ever changing.  I needed to be constantly learning as much as possible to keep up with the tide of new problems, solutions, opportunities.  Computers offered me that fast-paced world of knowledge, and so even before I graduated with my Art History degree, I began teaching myself everything that I could find about computers.  I thought that the “art” chapter of my life was behind me.

Yet, as I read Biotensegrity, I am reminded that that portion of my life has never really left me.  I call it to the fore whenever I analyze a text for meaning, whenever I organize my thoughts into writing, whenever I examine anything in this beautiful, visual world.   I think it is that part of my brain that wanted to participate in the deeply personal beauty of yoga, and that gave me the courage to take my first tango class.  I’m deeply thankful that I was able to learn those skills throughout my time at college, and that they have helped me become the person that I am today.

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