short story

Up and Down are Relative

Here is an 'Upside-Down' world map and 'The Peters Projection' (an equal area projection of the world) and a 'Red Hair Map of Europe', just because I wish I had Auburn locks. At first glance nothing what-so-ever to do with the world of human movement and my art practice musings that is the main reason for this blog, but consider this....

The earth is round. The challenge of any world map is to represent a round earth on a flat surface. There are literally thousands of map projections. Each has certain strengths and corresponding weaknesses. Choosing among them is an exercise in values clarification: you have to decide what's important to you. That is generally determined by the way you intend to use the map.

The implications of any projection are enormous. Images we see shape our perceptions of the world. It's enriching to see a variety of points-of-view. Like the 'Upside-Down' map, whoever said that North must be "up"? We are literally on a moving ball in space and, as Katy Bowman wrote on her facebook page a while back (it has stuck with me), "UP and DOWN are relative and the maps we've come to memorize have shaped our brain to one particular perspective. This "south is up" map is just a reminder that what we've come to understand as right and wrong often depends on how you've set up the problem."

This was of looking at the world can be used with the small universe that is your own body too. Maps/diets/exercise routines/fitness fads/ancient movement practices/meditations techniques are based on a variety of assumptions, most of which are subliminal and below our threshold of consciousness. We can all benefit from challenging implicit assumptions and deciding for ourselves what 'maps of the world' are valid and useful for us.

The moral of the story? keep researching, try different things, gain different perspectives, challenge what you think to be 'true', include lots of variation and KEEP MOVING.