Everyday Miracles

I’m just not having a good day good month good year. And I bet most of you aren’t either. It’s making it so much harder to look at things positively. It’s making me angry. It’s making me sad and frustrated. I need a boost. So, I’m trying a channel just a little Walt Whitman.

Miracles ~ by Walt Whitman

Why! who makes much of a miracle? 
As to me, I know of nothing else but miracles, 
Whether I walk the streets of Manhattan, 
Or dart my sight over the roofs of houses toward the sky, 
Or wade with naked feet along the beach, just in the edge of the water,
Or stand under trees in the woods,
Or talk by day with any one I love—or sleep in the bed at night with any one I love, 
Or sit at table at dinner with my mother,
Or look at strangers opposite me riding in the car,
Or watch honey-bees busy around the hive, of a summer forenoon, 
Or animals feeding in the fields,
Or birds—or the wonderfulness of insects in the air, 
Or the wonderfulness of the sun-down—or of stars shining so quiet and bright, 
Or the exquisite, delicate, thin curve of the new moon in spring;
Or whether I go among those I like best, and that like me best—mechanics, boatmen, farmers,
Or among the savans—or to the soiree—or to the opera,
Or stand a long while looking at the movements of machinery, 
Or behold children at their sports,
Or the admirable sight of the perfect old man, or the perfect old woman, 
Or the sick in hospitals, or the dead carried to burial, 
Or my own eyes and figure in the glass;
These, with the rest, one and all, are to me miracles, 
The whole referring—yet each distinct, and in its place.

To me, every hour of the light and dark is a miracle, 
Every cubic inch of space is a miracle,
Every square yard of the surface of the earth is spread with the same, 
Every foot of the interior swarms with the same;
Every spear of grass—the frames, limbs, organs, of men and women, and all that concerns them, 
All these to me are unspeakably perfect miracles.

To me the sea is a continual miracle; 
The fishes that swim—the rocks—the motion of the waves—the ships, with men in them,
What stranger miracles are there?

A Body Incredible

Image: Body Electric by Atomicjeep on Flickr

I am not always happy with you, body. You have bits that wobble in a way that I don’t like. You have marks and discolorations that annoy. Your blood pressure is fussy. You have rheumatoid arthritis and the associated pain. Your hamstrings are tight and your lower back is too. You grow hair in places I could pass on, but not in the areas where I would like some. Some days I would happily trade you in for another.

But, look what you have done:

  • 46+ years of heart beating, 60-100 beats per minute or more, on and on through over 24,500,000 minutes.
  • The same length of time in breathing, in and out, chest rising and falling knowing on your own when more is needed or less.
  • Countless meals digested and processed into energy to power the movement, the breath, the heartbeat, the thoughts.
  • The care and growing of six full beings. Six FULL beings that developed there, with precision, with care.
  • Moving through waiting tables, bartending, teaching, and other tasks with little obvious direction required.
  • Accomplishing the art of balance, mostly on the soles of two feet that represent a tiny portion of the overall surface of the body, micro-movements occurring in every instant to maintain the fragile balance. Sometimes even balancing on hands or head or one leg, or on a narrow surface, or while negotiating a tricky path.
  • Shifting and changing to accommodate the life changes around, belly growing and shrinking in pregnancy, center of balance moving when needed, producing this hormone or that one, more stomach acid or less, heart pumping harder or slowing.
  • Helping me to find my way to new modes of being in the body that create and support new modes of being in the mind and the heart.
  • Healing wounds and bruises and viruses, mostly with only the internal mechanisms of cell growth and immune response.
  • And so much more…

And still more to do.

So, body, you are pretty impressive.

O my body! I dare not desert the likes of you in other men and women, nor the likes of the parts of you,
I believe the likes of you are to stand or fall with the likes of the soul, (and that they are the soul,)
I believe the likes of you shall stand or fall with my poems, and that they are my poems,
Man’s, woman’s, child’s, youth’s, wife’s, husband’s, mother’s, father’s, young man’s, young woman’s poems,
Head, neck, hair, ears, drop and tympan of the ears,
Eyes, eye-fringes, iris of the eye, eyebrows, and the waking or sleeping of the lids,
Mouth, tongue, lips, teeth, roof of the mouth, jaws, and the jaw-hinges,
Nose, nostrils of the nose, and the partition,
Cheeks, temples, forehead, chin, throat, back of the neck, neck-slue,
Strong shoulders, manly beard, scapula, hind-shoulders, and the ample side-round of the chest,
Upper-arm, armpit, elbow-socket, lower-arm, arm-sinews, arm-bones,
Wrist and wrist-joints, hand, palm, knuckles, thumb, forefinger, finger-joints, finger-nails,
Broad breast-front, curling hair of the breast, breast-bone, breast-side,
Ribs, belly, backbone, joints of the backbone,
Hips, hip-sockets, hip-strength, inward and outward round, man-balls, man-root,
Strong set of thighs, well carrying the trunk above,
Leg fibres, knee, knee-pan, upper-leg, under-leg,
Ankles, instep, foot-ball, toes, toe-joints, the heel;
All attitudes, all the shapeliness, all the belongings of my or your body or of any one’s body, male or female,
The lung-sponges, the stomach-sac, the bowels sweet and clean,
The brain in its folds inside the skull-frame,
Sympathies, heart-valves, palate-valves, sexuality, maternity,
Womanhood, and all that is a woman, and the man that comes from woman,
The womb, the teats, nipples, breast-milk, tears, laughter, weeping, love-looks, love-perturbations and risings,
The voice, articulation, language, whispering, shouting aloud,
Food, drink, pulse, digestion, sweat, sleep, walking, swimming,
Poise on the hips, leaping, reclining, embracing, arm-curving and tightening,
The continual changes of the flex of the mouth, and around the eyes,
The skin, the sunburnt shade, freckles, hair,
The curious sympathy one feels when feeling with the hand the naked meat of the body,
The circling rivers the breath, and breathing it in and out,
The beauty of the waist, and thence of the hips, and thence downward toward the knees,
The thin red jellies within you or within me, the bones and the marrow in the bones,
The exquisite realization of health;
O I say these are not the parts and poems of the body only, but of the soul,
O I say now these are the soul!

~ Walt Whitman, ‘I Sing the Body Electric’