thanks for bodies, cognitive spurts, and mermaids

I know I ramble on when we talk sometimes, but some of the things she says blow me away . . . She said that she has rage over the fact that she has to live in a physical body. Wow. But I know what she’s saying. I know the struggle to get up and live. The triumph to get through a day! The triumph it is to live. I told her about when I was five and I realized I was alive and that I could no longer walk through walls because I was in a body. I also have memories of leaving my body to check on family members at night.

Ramblings from December 2, 2001

Talking to K in the kitchen. I know I ramble on when we talk sometimes, but some of the things she says blow me away . . . She said that she has rage over the fact that she has to live in a physical body. Wow. But I know what she’s saying. I know the struggle to get up and live. The triumph to get through a day! The triumph it is to live. I told her about when I was five and I realized I was alive and that I could no longer walk through walls because I was in a body. I also have memories of leaving my body to check on family members at night.

I think now, and I realize I don’t have much memory of being 6 or 7, although for some reason I knew that 7 was an important year. My memories become foggy from the age of six until I am about 11. I cannot recall my life for almost 5 years, however, I do remember being younger than six. Perhaps because I was learning so much in school, about reading and writing and math. Most of my recollections from that time are vignettes of school days, and one recollection of being excited to be seven because seven was a lucky number. Maybe I remember lying on the couch reading or being in the cool basement reading or climbing a tree and reading. Mrs. Ziray and Mrs. Palma I remember. I remember not being able to see the chalkboard at school in the second grade when I forgot my glasses, and how the pink and blue lined special paper would give me a headache. I remember how the nurse would weigh us and yell out our weight. I remember bending over in my underwear to be checked once a year for scoliosis. I remember how the nurse gave me a note to give to my mother saying that I needed glasses and that I should see an eye doctor immediately. I remember always feeling fat. I remember being lonely. I remember being teased a lot at home, and left to be alone, or chose to be alone. I remember growing plants in milk cartons at school, that must have been second grade, in Ms. Miller’s class. I loved Ms. Miller. I remember disliking that weird redheaded teacher in fourth grade. Little flashes. I remember my mind working hard to grasp phonics and reading and locking on quickly. I remember feeling like reading, and hearing my voice follow the words on the page was magic. I remember reading music the same way, with ease. Playing flute was simple, it was just a matter of reading properly, and instead of talking, you pushed air through the pipe and let your fingers dance to the appropriate keys. I remember realizing that there is no need to get frustrated over anything, with trust and patience, everything works if you just focus on what you are doing. It doesn’t matter how long it takes, because once you figure something out, you never forget it. I think that’s what I remember as a child. Everything that I was learning is what I know now. I didn’t have time to remember what was going on outside my mind.

I need to look at my life as an adventure; this body of mine is temporary. I think our spirits naturally want to fly but we need to be bound. I’m reminded of The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Anderson. The mermaid sacrifices her life for the prince, and when she throws herself into the water, she turns into sea foam, but her spirit does not die. She is light as a bubble and rises with the ethereal spirits, the daughters of the air. Their jobs, and now the job of the little Mermaid as she has been transformed into one of them, is to become the soothing breezes that carry sweet sounds and pleasant smells. In 300 years time, she will acquire an undying soul and go to heaven. When she passes good children and smiles, one year is taken off her probation, but for each tear she sheds for a bad child, a day is added to her sentence. Is it not true that life seems lighter and full of gifts when we are around good people—obviously much more rare than bad if a year is taken off for a smile, but a day added for each tear shed. It seems Hans Christian Anderson was saying pay attention to the good. Seek it out and let it in, but beware of the bad, do not take it personally—and say your prayers, because if other’s good deeds make your heart smile, then might not your own goodness rub off on someone who is bad.

If this physical body is some sort of stage of enlightenment, of being, then why not enjoy it. Be good to it and be good to others. Conversely, if this is the only form we ever shall exist in, it’s far more comfortable when the day is done to be good.

Sometimes giving thanks is the hardest thing to do of all.

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