William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Live, Dance, Play

While out running yesterday morning before dawn, and then again an hour or so later while doing some bending, stretching, and breathing exercises, I thought about what I was really doing. I was, in some small degree, lessening the distance between the life I’m living and the life I would have lived as a primitive, wandering, foraging human whose activities were devoted almost entirely to survival, a life in which the only other physical activity needed would have been filled by dance and play — vital components of physical and mental health missing from the lives of most adults today. Both are much different than enforced, purposeful, and often competitive exercise regimens, where heartbeats and steps are counted, distance measured, altitude gain tallied, and all can be published by an expensive gadget to a social media page. Play and dance are the dynamic, wonderful things they are because their movements are free-flowing, uncalculated, and involve the imagination. A primitive human would have had no need of a gadget, or of reminders that he would feel better if he spent more time outdoors. He would have been beyond puzzled by deodorants, laxatives, and strangely fitting exercise clothes. And he would have pitied someone who didn’t play or dance, or try, at least on a bright spring morning, to sing like the birds.


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Categories: Daybook

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