With a bit of a mind flip

In his book Understanding Reading the much regarded (by me, at least) psycholinguist Frank Smith writes:

“it is misleading if not inaccurate to regard reading as a matter of »following the text« or to say that a listener »follows« the meaning of a speaker. Language is understood by keeping ahead of the incoming detail. By having some expectation of what the speaker or writer is likely to say, by making use of what we know already”

I wonder if the same could be said for movement classes (of Somatic Education, where sequences are like coherent stories.) Sometimes students anticipate the next movement, or a movement that I had planned to share half an hour down the road.

In spoken conversations I sometimes dart sideways, especially if I have the feeling my conversation partner can handle it, or is up to it. Not so much as a test of skills and judgement, but for fun, a breeze of fresh air, to stimulate the mind. I sometimes do this when I talk to children, to show them that not all grown-ups are stiff and boring and dead serious to the point of grey face… and hope that they figure they may play with words and thoughts themselves as well. Can you follow me? I think comedians do this too, they put things in a new context, introduce a new twist. It’s just a jump to the left. And then a step to the right. With your hands on your hips. But they do it in order to stimulate the mind AND to get a laugh. Maybe that’s why it’s so easy to listen (to some of) them.

I think there’s much to be said about movement classes. Might be we’re just at the beginning.