I drew the image below on a sticky note as an impromptu teaching tool for a client working through asymmetries. This is how I think about symmetry. We’re not symmetrical, but we are organized around a midline.
Midlines, the beginnings of spinal cords, are one of the earliest structures to develop, evolutionarily and embryologically.
If you think about the placement and flow of organs, it becomes really clear. We’re not symmetrical. But we are organized around a midline.
Makes me think about Bracha Ettinger’s “reciprocal, but not symmetrical”. How relationships are complex and differences exist across the space between us.
Makes me think about the wisdom and gift and beauty of queerness. Of life spilling out past straight lines and easy boxes.
This is how I invite clients and students to think about side to side differences. We don’t need to organize and control our bodies, forcing two sides to be the same. Instead, we can be with the beauty of asymmetry, following the flow of both sides, and letting new worlds open and strengthen across the midline.