Sheila-Na-Gig online


Suzanne Noel-Bentley

Suzanne Noel.Bentley and cello

Suzanne Noel-Bentley has had several intersecting careers as a musician-cellist, dancer, Alexander Technique teacher and writer/researcher, and has been a cross-disciplinary teacher in those fields, inside and outside of academia.  Her background is reflected in her writing, and she includes poetry in her academic writing in bioethics, cognitive neuroscience and embodied philosophy of mind. She is a Canadian-New Zealander, and has recently completed a PhD in bioethics at the University of Otago, Dunedin.


I looked at
my cello teacher’s hands
veins   bones   muscles
defined by actions of artistry
they were beautiful, sculpted,
inscribed with blue like white marble.

I wondered
after how many years
would mine be the same,
how much music does it take
to create that skilled facility
a fusion of responsiveness and will?

Time passed
my hands changed shape from
writing   building   caring
as much as from music-making,
taking on forms that reflect
the patterns of a different life.

Now I see
how fate and force of actions
perception   capacity   desire
the materiality of intentions,
design the expressions of my being
in my embodiment of meanings made.

In a lesson I saw
a cello student looking at my hands
rough   knobby   articulate
adept at demonstrating ideas,
his face pondered the complexity
of beauty expressed by experience.

%d bloggers like this: