I asked Noah, "What do you think I should write about today buddy?"
"Definitely the body."
"The body? What do you mean?"
"You know, like the bones, muscles, blood, arteries, stuff like that."
(as if i already knew what his brain was thinking.)
With surprise I said, "Ok then, I'll write something about the body."
"That's good, because sometimes you don't write about real stuff."
I giggled back and said 'thank you for the suggestion, i never would have thought of that.'
He giggled back with a look like, 'duh mom, you know i always have the best ideas...'
and he ran off to play basketball.
As I sat there, i pondered his line of thinking. I do need to write about the body. Not just about feelings, or internal process, or motivation, or 'why do we do what we do'. Our body is a tangible, visible, artistic phenomenon. And I don't mean in a Victoria's Secret or David Beckham sort of phenomenon.
I mean like Noah said-- the bones, muscles, blood, arteries, stuff like that.
The fact that we have bones that know what to do when we come out of the womb, that know to grow and develop and get strong to carry us through years of a life... its quite amazing when you stop to think about it.
The fact that our muscles have memory and can be taught, trained, loved on, abused, neglected, transformed... its quite amazing when you stop to think about it.
It suddenly occurred to me that if our muscles and other bodily family systems can have memory, and can be taught, trained, loved on, abused, neglected, and transformed... aha! we have all kinds of relationships going on inside us that will either lead to healthy relating or unhealthy relationship stuff- in which case our body ends up needed to take us to the 'therapist'.
The thoughts started flowing as soon as i started typing. The metaphor Noah had inadvertently fed me. I needed to hear it.
Often my head is so lost in the clouds, my imagination running amok, all for the good reason of 'well, you see, i'm a writer, that's what i do to brainstorm new projects.' The boys see, they notice that i might be trying to 'work' and be creative, but they also notice i don't take time to stick on my running shoes and walk Murphy while listening to This American Life on headphones. They notice by the end of the day when i'm worn slick- instead of building a meal in the kitchen that helps the blood, muscles, bones, etc. feel nurtured that now i'm back to the old 'i don't have time to cook, you boys just want sandwiches?' They notice the excuses and i haven't noticed how often excuses have taken the place of nurturing the relationship.
Balance. Its all comes back to balance.
I've been out of balance. Too much in my head, too much running amok. Too many excuses about why i don't have time to take care of the body. What i put in it, how much i move it, how much attention i give it. No wonder its running empty. The relationship is on the rocks. But today I'm re-grateful for it's uniqueness, its kindness to me, even with the faux pas and quirks that have developed through the years or gifted to me at birth. I'm thankful that my feet are nice to me whether or not i stick running shoes on them. They are so kind. I think i'll do my part and nurture them again with walks and Murphy and This American Life. Thanks Ira Glass. And Thanks Noah.
Out of the mouth of babes. Just about every time.