Since talking about practicing the flute with the metronome at slightly different speeds so as to help feel the rhythm of the phrase itself, had the realization that what I was trying to get at has to do with that recent link to the article saying that we keep time in different ways in different parts of the brain. Just as music, our sense of time is not localized in a single area or two, as are most of our activities.
This is also what I was trying to get at saying Kyle Gann's The Planets refreshes our ears to rhythm shapes outside of repetitive triple and duple meters.
For me it's a given that music and physical gesture are deeply connected, and unless we're doing something like dancing, we don't count off to create a rigid time line when we nod, wink, use our hands when talking or any of the other thousands of physical gestures we make every day.
In ensemble playing we have to keep time in the metronome part of our brain so that we are, in fact, an ensemble. But for the music to trigger emotional responses in the audience, our sense of time needs to register in the other parts of the brain that perceive time as well.
photo - over in Echo Valley last year. John's wall; Kate's flowers.