Friday, February 23, 2007

handshakes / body contact

in Alexandria, frequent handshakes and body contact like brotherly hugs were very common, at least among men, and certainly once if we'd know each other. friends and acquaintances expect to at least be greeted clearly, if there is any time at all move toward each other and shake hands for hello, on confirming decisions together (e.g. appointments etc.) saying thank you, or goodbye.

towards the end of our stay I realized that my own handshakes were always firm and vigorous. then I realized that because of this I was actually missing the body-movement information that the other person would communicate to me rather directly through the handshake. a few times towards the end of our journey I gave more physical awareness to how the handshake would go (as in a contact-improvisation dance, or when I do the body-sensory-based movement training Kinetic Awareness™)

now back in Rotterdam, I fortunately remembered again at another occasion, and hey the person I'd been introduced to and whose hand I had shaken habitually/vigorously, offered me his hand again to say goodbye, and this time I got it right and in time in the moment that we shook hands I'd try to open my sensation to how his energy felt, to how he might be feeling, just while in contact. it felt much better, and we actually got to shake hands a third time, as we'd found something more to discuss /say :-)

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