William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Movement’

Movement and Grace

Even an old elephant, as big and heavy as it is, shows grace in its movement and step. Squirrels, tigers, bears — all touch the earth with the minimum force necessary, whether engaged in foraging, hunting, teaching, or play. And the wild creatures that live alongside us in cities and towns are unfazed by our sidewalks, parking lots, and streets. Unshod and unclothed, they’re like animated springs. The idea that […]

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Cracks in the Sidewalk

In light of our ancient, wild heritage, it’s interesting that we imprison ourselves in flat, stale, climate-controlled boxes filled with every convenience, where we grow sicker and weaker with each passing year. We’d be better off climbing on the counter than cleaning it, swinging from the chandelier, and chattering from atop the nightstand and dining table. Such precision. Such order. Such safety. Such security. Teams of professionals trimming our bushes […]

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Street Song

Shorts, a T-shirt, and another run through the dark in the rain. Fifty-two degrees, a joy to move and breathe. And then there’s the news: the neighbor’s overflowing gutter, a streetlight out, a car with a for-sale sign, the sound of distant geese. Wet arms, wet face, wet hair, wet feet. Nations come and nations go. Rally ’round the flag — a mother’s grief, her bloody sheets, her once-bright tablecloth. […]

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Monkey See, Monkey Do

In addition to running, I walk once or twice a day. Sometimes, even then, I find myself almost running. Either way, I’ve been aware for months how the barefoot-and-huarache experience has changed the way I feel and move. After years of being tortured by shoes, walking and running is a joyful, pain-free activity that’s made it harder for me to sit for more than fifteen or twenty minutes at a […]

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The Fire Next Time

My reading has slowed to a crawl. I love it as much as ever, and possibly even more, but sitting and I are no longer the friends we once were. The body craves movement, and the more movement I give it, the more free and flexible it becomes. Still, there is James Baldwin. Thus far I’ve read over three hundred pages of his penetrating and insightful essays, and am near […]

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Things I Ask Myself

How slowly can I breathe? How deeply? How calm can I be? Somewhat calm? Quite calm? Infinitely calm? How far can I run? And for how long? How patient can I be? How helpful, how considerate, how understanding, how gentle? How little harm can I do? How little disturbance can I make in the world? How present can I be? How aware? How grateful? How devoid of ego? How much […]

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