“I am a naked volunteer soldier who forces this treading to confront the handling of legs that have been domesticated by floors.” – Tatsumi Hijikata6
We have to undomesticate ourselves from the usual usage of the floor. Try building another kind of relationship with the floor. The floor is your friend. The floor is power. Prostrate. Show respect for everything.
“If you fall, I will be there.” – Floor
Exercise 1: Paint Every Surface
The floor has paint (pick a color) and you want to get this paint to reach every part of your body. Roll accordingly.
Exercise 2: Suction/Gravitron
The participant moves with as much surface of the body suctioned to the ground or wall as possible. One can also imagine a high gravity or centrifugal force situation. Example qualia-world: One enters the carnival ride known as Gravitron, which is a spinning space ship causing those inside to stick to the walls. Try to un-stick yourself in various ways, though it proves almost impossible.
Being subjected to the law of gravity is an example of a the ATTRACTION image schema.
Exercise 3: Body Floor Lines
This is a floor exercise composed of finding lines in the actual body to contact on the floor. For instance, I may draw a real or imaginary line that spans from the underside of my arm, cutting across my chest and winding up on the upper-side of my other arm. This will be the pathway that the body will draw on the floor.
Exercise 4: Suction with Partner
We might not be aware how much more body surface we can touch to either the ground or wall, so a partner will see any gaps and gently push any of these areas, whether with the hands or other parts of the body.
The hover is a low level movement (though can also take place along a wall) with the focus being a constant hover one inch from the ground by as many parts of the body as possible. Example qualia-world: You are a cheap and hollow plastic doll who has been nailed to the ground through your Dan tien, so the lower back is completely attached to the ground. The rest of the body glides freely along a one inch surface force field. The same can be done while on the stomach.
Contemporary Metaphor Theory
In terms of contemporary metaphor theory, the floor goes back to a prenatal barrier (think the wall of the womb), so we have the image schemas of BLOCKAGE and SURFACE.¹ Image schemas to Lakoff and Johnson are “recurrent patterns in perceptual-motor experience that derive from our bodily interaction with the physical world.”² According to SIL International Glossary of Linguistic terms, a blockage schema entails “a force schema in which a force is physically or metaphorically stopped or redirected by an obstacle.”³ Like so many other image schemas, we are bombarded with this schema at all moments of our lives.
Any interaction with the floor is a COUNTERFORCE: “the active meeting of physically or metaphorically opposing forces”4 and any resonances (such as sitting, lying, standing, or stepping) will form a connection or image schema known as CONTACT and/or SUPPORT.1, 5
We can deterritorialize the implication of floor anywhere so as to create a new way to work with level. The floor can raise. Or the floor can become the wall. The wall can become one’s torso even.