William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

The Earth Says Hello

There were high winds and heavy rain throughout the night. Now that it’s light, I see several more fir branches are down. Most are about six to eight feet in length; the longest, with its thick end leaning against the fig tree, is about twelve feet, and two inches in diameter. And so nature’s cleanup of last year’s ice storm continues. Later I’ll go out and have a look at the roof.

For better or for worse, my body does what my mind tells it to do. It’s a catalog of thoughts, choices, actions, and events. It’s also a teacher. One of its lessons is patience. Another is that my mind and my body are meant to be friends, not adversaries. Each is of, and for, the other. They inhabit each other; they care for each other; they keep each other informed. As Thich Nhat Hanh says, they inter-are.

I’ve apologized to my body for the times I’ve made it suffer through my arrogance and carelessness. I appreciate it now, and do my best not to confuse or abuse it. We’re loving companions. We say please and thank you. Then we sit in silence, or go out to be with the birds and clouds and trees. And we do our best to acknowledge the other bodies and minds we meet — human bodies, rock bodies, leaf bodies, insect bodies; their hum, their light, their wisdom, their face.

January 3, 2022


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