In Narcissus Leaves the Pool: Familiar Essays, Joseph Epstein discusses athletic coordination. In the title essay, he writes ‘. . . I saw a famous professor from the university where I teach carrying hand weights as he walked home. He was doing it in such a herky-jerky fashion that I could read in every step a boy who had never known physical grace.’ I have known physical grace. I have known deep bodily reactivity and the joy of moving. I had no such joyful reactivity of emotions. Those came in a thick volcanic flow of copious, twitching eruptions. I poured myself out to manage this flood. I call it an unholy compensation for unspeakable emptiness -- a self-wounding to feel something other than nothingness – and I call it the best I could do. Not grounded in reality, I was buried in reality’s former presentation. In my deepest self I have flailed no matter how well my body moved.
I had a nightmare about working at a new job. There was too much – too much work and herky-jerky change. I could not manage. I flailed in body and time. I once dreamed that I could fly seated on disk, dressed in a slick hooded body suit, with fingers tightly gripping the wafer under me. Without fear and with perfectly abandoned elegance, I flew over and under the telephone wires with flying neighbors, past our houses with trees and parked cars flashing below. I swooped in blissful response and exquisite control. All was physical grace and grace of deep psychic peace and harmony.