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the line

The world we visualize is given definition through shape. A line, seemingly a simple shape with two ends, gives rise to a world of complexity and dimension through its easily and endlessly replicated structure. Building definition and spectrum by its vertical, horizontal and diagonal depth, a simple line births an awareness of front, back and side spaces, informing our proprioceptive universe.

I remember a time driving through Kansas many years ago in an area where the road was slightly submerged for endless miles on a flattened landscape of green below and blue above. Looking out the window, my gaze met the line between earth and sky, and in this moment the whole of my visual field was drawn into a lateral, parallel space. Turning my head back to the front windshield, the lines of the straight road sent me through a forward and back plane of dimensionality, linearly disrupted only by lightning bolts in the distance as a storm signaled in the vast distance.

The line takes on a new spectrum of depth and color when used it to define ideas: the line between the sleeping state and wakefulness; togetherness and separation, wellness and dis-ease, for example. In some instances the line is associated with safety, a haven of known, bound and welcome containment; in other cases it acts as a limitation, a restriction. Regardless of our current perception of the many lines tethered in and around our lives, the more we can be aware of it as a tool to harness us in or repel away, the more it can be a resource. When the body/mind is stiff and avoiding, the line can be used as a place to soften into; contrarily, when the body/mind is overly fluid, the line can draw us back to foundation and structure.

The line is a visual aide for exploring the world. Superficial stockings of body and structural relationships of manifest objects begin to melt away as deeper sensory connections are evoked through space and containment.

Practically speaking, a physical embodiment practice such as yoga or dance stimulates the bio-mechanical matrix of the body, bound by relationships of magnetism and opposition. The more that core structures can find relationship through the gravitational forces rather than held tension, the more unbound the fluid sacs of the body muscles and organs are to move freely. This leads to greater extension into self and also out into the world.

More metaphorically, understanding relationships and belief systems as a matrix of connections with availability for change, leads to a shift of intention and action even when the line is initially tightly fixed to a predefined set of ideas. When we are open to dissolving the stiffness of a line with only two points and see a line as instead a set of multiple point on a single plane, we can more easily engage in a creative dance with other beings, belief systems and activities, ultimately enabling organic expansion.

At the end of the day, a line is just a object existing in space or in our mind. It invites us to interact with it or not, to fill it with meaning or leaving it empty. In fact, there is no line but a series of points…

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