Summertime, J.M. Coetzee. “You know the word disembodied? This man was disembodied. He was divorced from his body. To him, the body was like one of those wooden puppets that you move with strings. You pull this string and the left arm moves, you pull that string and the right leg moves. And the real self sits up above, where you cannot see him, like the puppet-master pulling the strings.

“Now this man comes to me, to the mistress of the dance. Show me how to dance! he implores. So I show him, show him how we move in the dance. So, I say to him —move your feet so and then so. And he listens and tells himself, Aha, she means pull the red string followed by the blue string! — Turn your shoulder so, I say to him, and he tells himself, Aha, she means pull the green string!

“But that is not how you dance! That is not how you dance! Dance is incarnation. In dance it is not the puppet-master in the head that leads and the body that follows, it is the body itself that leads, the body with its soul, its body-soul. Because the body knows! It knows! When the body feels the rhythm inside it, it does not need to think. That is how we are if we are human. That is why the wooden puppet cannot dance. The wood has no soul. The wood cannot feel rhythm.”

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