Elbows allow us to both establish our space and to care for ourselves and get closer to others
Ever wondered why we have elbows? I never did until I was leading a group several years ago. When I asked that question, some of my folks with dementia suggested “to hold our heads up”. So we incorporate that move, as though we are holding our heads up. In the image above we are doing just that, as we sing along to “Oh What a Beautiful Morning” from Oklahoma. The line is actually “All the cattle are standing like statues”, but we sing, “all the people are sitting like statues”.
I jokingly refer to the movement pictured immediately above as my “Filene’s Basement move”. I tell them the true story, that when I was a child standing with my mother at the original Filene’s Basement in Boston waiting for the store to open, I couldn’t believe that the little old ladies were elbowing me to gain entry before me. Elbows are great for keeping people away. That is guaranteed to elicit laughter, especially in the Boston area where many of the older women certainly remember that landmark location.
But truthfully – our elbows are what allow us to care for ourselves – to feed and bathe ourselves. And, if we couldn’t bend our elbows, how could we hug or hold our dance partners? Our elbows allow us to love and care for ourselves and others.
So this Valentine’s Day, show appreciation for your elbows.