Saturday, July 31, 2010

First Happenings

A morning-glory morning with its usual glory, dawn particularly startling with citrons and mauves, petunias in the garden flashing their tender signals of gratitude. The sunflowers creak in their grass-colored dresses. Cosmos, the four o’clocks, the sweet alyssum nod to the roses who so very politely nod back.

And now it is time to go to work. At my desk I look out over the flutter petals, little fires. Each one fresh and almost but not quite replicable.

Consider wearing such a satisfying body! Consider being, with your entire self, such a quiet prayer!

Henry David Thoreau wrote: “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.” Consider that we don’t. Instead imagine the phrase “We humans lead lives of quiet prayers, satisfied with our bodies so that we go to the grave with a song in us.” No really, imagine that now. Look down at your body and what do you see? I can tell you what I see in the dimly lit hotel room in which I write. I haven’t had my coffee yet so there is no extravagant dressing of reality here. I see loosening skin, crinkling in the joint areas and even over major muscle masses – what if my skin is folding up, trying to repress a smile or a giggle, hence pinching its lips? Oh the things it has seen me do, so much under the sun and so much in the shadows of night and questionable decisions. I see scars of all shapes and sizes, some visible, some not, but all a tribute to my humanity, my embodiness, my stories of accident and ill health. I see a roll of fat peaking out under my t-shirt, wanting to be seen for what it is – a sign of miraculous physiology that keeps me going when the meals are few and far between.

Wow, that felt good! What a way to begin a day of work, especially my day before the public for I am presenting 3 talks at an international conference. My skin will giggle, my scars will speak, and my fat will nourish me. What a satisfying body! What if every day began like this with a song for our bodies and the body of humanity.

What do you see when you survey your body?

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