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Reginald A. Ray in Awakening The Body 2016

I’m taking a ten-week class in Somatic Meditation, which involves spending time deep in my body each day. In the throes of this darkness, I’m discovering something I have always faintly suspected: discursive thinking is a strategy of avoidance. When it’s too scary inside my body, my left-brain takes over and off into the clouds I go. Keeping my attention in my body is terrifying – or rather, I am invited to feel the terror stored up in me. Healing from trauma, no matter how large or small, happens in the feeling of unprocessed pain. It’s safe here, my body tells me daily. NO IT’S FUCKING NOT, my left-brain screams back at me.

Film Review | Joe (2013)

Film Review | Joe (2013)

This movie is one of those rare pieces of art that manages to capture the tragedy and majesty of real life, the astonishing pain of abuse, and the resilience of the human spirit.  Set in the badlands of Austin, Texas, “Joe” offers a refreshingly un-romanticized review of real poverty in a population with delightfully unintelligible accents.

This film will transport you thoroughly and stay on your mind for days. A film of the ‘whoa-life…’ genre (my favorite genre by far) that will make you smile and weep all at once. Magnificent performances by Tye Sheridan and Nicolas Cage.  Easily my favorite film of the year!

My only criticism is of the narrative itself. There is a strong ‘bootstraps’ feel to the script, which is a common myth: that one can overcome trauma by Being a Hard Working American.  No you really can’t. But you can elevate yourself out of the kind of crushing poverty that perpetuates abuse. You can do that, you can get Safe. But, once safe, you will still have to learn how to heal.