William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Health’

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 […]

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Birds and Words

Early yesterday afternoon, like a feathered storm, a swarm of bushtits settled briefly in the juniper, then moved to the dahlias, where, in communal glee, they hopped and pecked their way from joint to joint along the branches and stems as if they were attending a fall smorgasbord. Their visit lasted about five of our human earth minutes. Part of it took place within my reach, as I stood motionless […]

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No Thinker to Think, No Doer to Do

I try to learn something every day. The subjects vary from the natural environment, to diet, exercise, and health from ancient and modern perspectives, to human behavior and the mechanics of habit and addiction, to sleep, dreams, and memory, and to other things seemingly related or unrelated that suggest themselves along the way, and which seem to shed light on this existence. That this does little to allay my general […]

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Unplanned, Unrehearsed

For adventure, I need look no further than the changes in my body. I’m happy and fortunate it’s willing to have me along. Even my most basic habits need to be reexamined occasionally and held up to the light. Practical and beneficial as they may be, they all have the potential of becoming dead weight. In essence, they really shouldn’t be habits at all, but ideal, spontaneous acts born of […]

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My Trust, My Hand

Cedar, juniper, green maple, red maple, pine. Arborvitae, crape myrtle, rhododendron, barberry, apricot. Blueberry, grape, fig, birch, fir. Grasses. Such, in varying numbers, constitute the perennials on this relatively average-sized suburban lot. Hosta, fern, moss. Lilac. Ivy. Rose. To arrive at a complete list, one would need to comb the area with notebook in hand, to look carefully, see calmly, patiently, making it the work of a lifetime, his own […]

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Sweet Yellow Lanterns

Fifty-eight degrees. Standing shirtless on the grass at dawn under a steady rain, face to the sky, I was surprised at how warm I felt. Twenty minutes later, inside, while finishing my shower with the water turned completely to cold, I was surprised again by how much colder the water was coming from the city well and up through the pipes that run under the house. What, in degrees, is […]

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Smoke in the Canyon

How proud we are of the useless nonsense recorded in our brains — jingles, slogans, brands, styles, and trivia of every kind — none of which truly enriches our lives or helps us survive. That these things have replaced a dependable catalog of natural wonders, such as bird song, the habits of insects, and the subtle changes in our environment and signs in the weather, is a sad commentary on […]

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Inside and Out

It’s our very good fortune that every window of this house looks out on lush green growth: the maples, pine, and cedar; the birches and firs; the garden, vine, apricot, and blueberry; the juniper and the dense, tall arborvitae; the fig, the lilacs, the rhododendrons; the ferns, moss, grass, and volunteer oak and hazelnut seedlings; and in the distance, the trees of the neighborhood. Each view changes from hour to […]

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The First to Sneeze

A healthy body wants only what it needs. A healthy mind acts accordingly. The stars were still bright at four this morning. Even then I could hear robins singing up the street. No shoes or socks: I was listening with my feet. Red, purple, pink: three big barrels of geraniums, three plants in each. They join us at each meal. Being geraniums is an art: sometimes we are in the […]

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Light In Your Body

Observe, listen to your body. It always speaks the truth, sometimes loudly, sometimes softly. In every muscle, wrinkle, and cell, it shows, demonstrates, reminds, proves. The mind is a storyteller. The body is the story’s meaning revealed. The mind says, I need coffee, I need pills, I need eight hours of sleep, I need gravy, I need meat. The body replies with aches and pains. It gives you clouds. It […]

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