In these testing times, I’m embracing the art of navel-gazing | Coco Khan

In these testing times, I’m embracing the art of navel-gazing | Coco Khan

The Guardian

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I have tried to find calm through meditation and yoga, unblinking in my focus on my belly button.

My favourite misunderstanding – which lasted an embarrassingly long time – was around the phrase navel-gazing. I knew what it meant, introspective at the cost of wider perspective, but for years I thought the literal translation was “staring at boats” (“naval” gazing).

It made sense. Boats are on the sea, and the sea is very spiritually moving, with its unknowable depths and changeable temper. Of course boat-staring would be considered myopic. Plus, navel-gazing is a phrase pejoratively hurled at artists, and I don’t know if anyone else has noticed but, historically, artists sure did paint a lot of boats.

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