The pectoral girdle of bone consists of the double-bent archery bow of the clavicle and the handled blades of the scapula. A complex muscular structure has grown up around the varied movement this structure enables at the interface of upper back, neck and arms.
At the center of all this muscle and bone is the throat. Here we smell and taste, swallow and breathe. Here we moan and mutter and shout and sing. Vocal chords give the breath a tone, and the mouth and tongue give that tone expression. The voice projects our deepest consciousness into the world.
From the base of the throat the shoulders and arms reach out to the world, to tend, to gather, to grasp, to wield, to fight, to caress, to create.
The extremity of the voice is the tongue and the extremities of the arms are the hands. Both tongue and hands are exquisitely sensitive and marvelously dextrous.
As the perineum is the body’s lower bottleneck where flow is regulated, the throat is the upper bottleneck, a locus of both openness and restraint. Here the infant’s first cry makes it a being in the world. Here, over time, the voice is modulated to express a distinct persona, to move and persuade others.
From this level the hands feel the warmth of other bodies and the physicality of the world. With practice they may come to embody uncanny grace. Extended by tools, they build a world, or tear a world down.
Before breath goes to the lungs or food to the gut, we smell and taste them, seeking health and pleasure and avoiding pollution and corruption.
Lower in the body are the ovens of internal transformation and circulation. Where the arms emerge from the trunk and where the throat gives a voice to the breath, we engage with a world outside ourselves.