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Old 27-01-2012, 10:04 PM   #1
amacs
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Default When touch is extraordinary

I was listening to the radio two days ago when Brian Keenan was interviewed as part of a bigger piece. Within it he made the following comments,

Having discussed how during his detainment he was afraid of the dark and hoarded candle stumps he had been given to eat by. These he lit at night and at one stage danced around his 4’x6’ cell to music only he could hear.

Quote:
He went on to say,

I had been in solitary for, I don’t know I think 7 or 8 months and I was moved somewhere. I was pulled out of this small cell and thrown into the back, the trunk of a van bound and blindfolded. I could hear other people around me who I new were not guards but were prisoners, afraid their breathing nervous, anxious, afraid even to breathe. Then I felt a hand reach out and and touch me on the foot and I thought ooooohhh it was a kind of explosion. It was the first touch that wasn’t malign or tried to hurt you ….
As he described that touch, that reassurance the entire timbre of his voice changed, he sounded like a man describing food after abstinence, his voice still rich, redolent with meaning as he made that "oohhh" sound some twenty years on. Rich, vibrant, alive with the texture, the sensation, the experience of that touch.

It made my hair stand up

It made me think of some of the practitioners here, I imagine their touch would feel the similar to a hurting patient.

I think it would be fascinating to talk to him about it.


For those who don't remember or know who he is see here

regards

ANdy
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Last edited by amacs; 28-01-2012 at 12:06 PM.
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Old 28-01-2012, 06:24 AM   #2
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Wow..
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Old 28-01-2012, 11:08 AM   #3
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I think that his experience would be the extreme side of what a hurting patient feels. At least a hurting patient can go to their own home and bed at night and have their loved ones to give them care. What a beautiful story, thank you so much for sharing!
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Old 28-01-2012, 03:13 PM   #4
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Quote:
he sounded like a man describing food after abstinence, his voice still rich, redolent with meaning as he made that "oohhh" sound some twenty years on. Rich, vibrant, alive with the texture, the sensation, the experience of that touch.
This made my hair stand up.
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" Toute douleur déchire ; mais ce qui la rend intolérable, c’est que celui qui la subit se sent séparé du monde ; partagée, elle cesse au moins d’être un exil. Ce n’est pas par délectation morose, par exhibitionnisme, par provocation que souvent les écrivains relatent des expériences affreuses ou désolantes : par le truchement des mots, ils les universalisent et ils permettent aux lecteurs de connaître, au fond de leurs malheurs individuels, les consolations de la fraternité. C’est à mon avis une des tâches essentielles de la littérature et ce qui la rend irremplaçable : surmonter cette solitude qui nous est commune à tous et qui cependant nous rend étrangers les uns aux autres. ''
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Old 28-01-2012, 10:42 PM   #5
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It was one of those moments hearing it - still get a shiver thinking about it, how "thirsty" he was for non-malign human contact and how, oh how that touch must have felt.

I have been trying to figure out a way of getting at the interview - it is available on BBC iplayer for those in the UK who are interested. I don't think it will work outside the UK however.

seehere The interview begins at 24:44 and is embedded in a wider interview on a related dance production.

regards
ANdy
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Old 29-01-2012, 12:41 AM   #6
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The link worked for me. Thank you. I listened to the whole thing. Wow.
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" Toute douleur déchire ; mais ce qui la rend intolérable, c’est que celui qui la subit se sent séparé du monde ; partagée, elle cesse au moins d’être un exil. Ce n’est pas par délectation morose, par exhibitionnisme, par provocation que souvent les écrivains relatent des expériences affreuses ou désolantes : par le truchement des mots, ils les universalisent et ils permettent aux lecteurs de connaître, au fond de leurs malheurs individuels, les consolations de la fraternité. C’est à mon avis une des tâches essentielles de la littérature et ce qui la rend irremplaçable : surmonter cette solitude qui nous est commune à tous et qui cependant nous rend étrangers les uns aux autres. ''
Simone de Beauvoir (Tout compte fait)
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Old 29-01-2012, 12:59 AM   #7
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I was able to hear it too. Thanks ANdy.
It must be a big relief for him to be able to externalize all that by having a dance company interpret it sociopsychically (to his own satisfaction) to the rest of the human troop. Artistic version of social grooming, reclaiming him back inside the human primate troop, repairing the isolation/exile of it all.

Canada had a guy like that (who wrote a book) a number of years ago, who had been imprisoned for years, tortured, in Saudi Arabia. I don't think any dance troupe took on the job of re-enacting it, though. That is really something. Very daring, going into those dark places of humanity and dancing them.

And the touch thing - yes, could hear his feeling about that.
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"Rene Descartes was very very smart, but as it turned out, he was wrong." ~Lorimer Moseley

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“If you make people think they're thinking, they'll love you, but if you really make them think, they'll hate you." ~Don Marquis

"In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists" ~Roland Barth

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