Contact Ken gilbert | embodyment

Contact ken gilbert | EMBODYMENT

Let me know what you sense, imagine, feel and create . . . 

22 East Victoria Street
Santa Barbara, CA, 93101
United States

(805) 452-7164

Somatic Education in Body-Centered Movement:

Pilates | Nia | Expressivity


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Today, I am Sixty-Four

Ken Gilbert

When I was 16 (1967), I was getting a glimpse into my sense of existentialism; I could grasp Albert Camus’ “The Stranger” and talk about it; not knowing, then, that it would become the epicenter of my Master of Arts Thesis project at UC Davis – my one-man show – “This Sound of Being Alone: A Search and Portrait of Albert Camus’ ‘Absurd’ Man.”

At this same time, although not an avid Beatles fan, I occasionally listened to their music. But, when they changed their direction with Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band I heard their existential twist on life. “With a Little Help from My Friends” and “Lovely Rita”– I could sing along, “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” –the metaphor made me curious, “Within You Without You” – the sounds of the sitar intrigued me, “Good Morning Good Morning”, “A Day in the Life” and a few others – unsettled me in their stories of futility and subtle despair in everyday living, simply, it was strange. Suddenly, I was enamored by the sound and lyrics of the Beatles. From this entire album, only one song had not context for me other than making the statement of getting old, it seemed silly to me – “When I’m Sixty-Four” – a  time 48 years from my age of 16, until today . . .

This morning, I’m thinking back about where I was and where I have come, sure that I feel no older than I did then. Yet, as I look back at myself at 16, today . . . for me, these are good questions of current relevance:

“When I get older losing my hair
Many years from now
Will you still be sending me a valentine
Birthday greetings, bottle of wine?

If I'd been out till quarter to three
Would you lock the door?
Will you still need me
Will you still feed me
When I'm sixty-four?

You'll be older too
And if you say the word
I could stay with you

I could be handy mending a fuse
When your lights have gone
You can knit a sweater by the fireside
Sunday mornings, go for a ride

Doing the garden, digging the weeds
Who could ask for more?
Will you still need me
Will you still feed me
When I'm sixty-four?

Every summer we can rent a cottage on the
Isle of Wight, if it's not too dear
We shall scrimp and save
Grandchildren on your knee
Vera, Chuck, and Dave

Send me a postcard, drop me a line
Stating point of view
Indicate precisely what you mean to say
Yours sincerely, wasting away

Give me your answer, fill in a form
Mine forever more
Will you still need me
Will you still feed me
When I'm sixty-four?

                       ~ John Lennon & Paul McCartney

Photo: Forte Fotos

Accidental Companion or in Your Body

Ken Gilbert

Forte29-10May15 - crop - web.jpg

During my day, I love to witness and observe people in their bodies. I have done this most of my life. I remember my mother tugging on my arm and saying "Kenneth don't stare". I would say to her: "I'm not!" What I was doing was watching and observing how they were living in their body; particularly if they had a physical issue with which they were living. I was  never judgmental, just curious.

I am curious about myself and others. And, from this curiosity I have created my career as a Theater Artist and a Somatic Educator. I love the human form and what it is capable of doing in Posture, Body-Center and Gesture. This awareness and consciousness, first about myself and then, about others, keeps me interested in all of us human beings.  

There is no hiding when moving in the physical realm of the body. The body is reflecting every choice in every moment, even if we think we are masking something; the mask is revealing something that is being concealed. Our physical practice, in our body, is revealed in its silhouette. Our emotional state is "written" in every gesture. Our thoughts are in every tension and relaxation of our bones and muscle. Our spirit, our uniqueness, is seen and felt with every step we take.

One morning, over the past several months, the title of "Accidental Companion" came to me as I observe and witness people in their bodies. Noticing how they move: are they an "appendicular mover" (moving from their legs and arms) or a "core mover" (moving from their spine, their core)? Without thinking, the title came. Some people have their head and eyes cast down, some people have their heads forward of their spine, some have their heads balanced over their shoulders. All of these are ways people sit, stand and walk. 

I realize, in this observation, that some people appear to have an "Accidental Companion", their body, coming along with them rather than being in the present, in the moment, sitting, standing or walking with eyes up looking out into the world.

Being an extreme introvert, learning to survive in an extraverted world I am making a bold choice, particularly since my Pilates and Nia practices over the past 20+ years, to keep my eyes "up" - looking out into the world, willing to be seen. Head on top of my spine as I sit, stand and walk, I am with my body more than having an "Accidental Companion".

Photo: Forte Fotos