Monday, July 16, 2007

Where's the user manual?

See, you're born with this body and it takes you a while to figure out exactly how everything works. But you do it. Pretty soon you can read the signals. That's hunger....that's tiredness... Then something happens and suddenly the body changes. And it's not an upgrade either. Now, your body works in different kinds of ways and, whereas before, you could read the signs, this body doesn't give you many clues at all. So, it feels sleepy all the time. But is it really sleepy? Well, it seems to be because if you close your eyes, pow, you're out of it right away. Still, wait a minute, if I go to sleep every minute my body tells me I should, I'll spend all day, every day asleep. Is that what I want?
This is scarier than it seems because, in a fundamental way, my body is me. Whoever I am is related to this mass of bone and tissue and water. So how can I not understand it and read its signs? And how could it betray me by growing this terrible thing inside me without me knowing?Where's the user manual?

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3 Comments:

Blogger Craphammer said...

I think about this connection to our body more and more as I grow older.

Are we really this bunch of bones and flesh? Or are we inside it? Is it a part of us or are we a part of it?

I don't have any answers. And I also don't know how long I have here.

All I have is this poem which I shared with Charles when he first showed me your site.

"All day I think about it, then at night I say it.
Where did I come from, and what am I supposed to be doing?
I have no idea.
My soul is from elsewhere, I'm sure of that,
and I intend to end up there.

This drunkenness began in some other tavern.
When I get back around to that place,
I'll be completely sober. Meanwhile,
I'm like a bird from another continent, sitting in this aviary.
The day is coming when I fly off,
but who is it now in my ear who hears my voice?
Who says words with my mouth?

Who looks out with my eyes? What is the soul?
I cannot stop asking.
If I could taste one sip of an answer,
I could break out of this prison for drunks.
I didn't come here of my own accord, and I can't leave that way.
Whoever brought me here, will have to take me home.

This poetry. I never know what I'm going to say.
I don't plan it.
When I'm outside the saying of it,
I get very quiet and rarely speak at all."

July 17, 2007 at 6:55 AM  
Blogger Mark said...

Brian,
Not long back from the USA; Festival was mighty and made lots of connections with like-minded folks, esp Virginians!

Reading this post reminds me of the lyrics of the Willie Nelson song "My Body's Just a Suitcase for My Soul" on his album "Peace in the Valley". I'm pretty sure you loaned it to me years ago! I'll let you have some of it back, here goes:


Blind man playing the blues, Down on the corner of the street.
Skin like Juarez leather, Teeth like old piano keys.
Businessmen walk by him, And quickly look away,
They don't know he was a hero, Back in '68.

They don't know when he was younger,
He dreamed dreams much like their own.
'Till fighting for their freedom,
Left him in darkness all alone.
But in the anger of their shadows,
Where empty anthems ring,
He found the light of truth in this song he sings.

Chorus:
My body's just a suitcase for my soul,
My body's just a suitcase for my soul.
When my last breath is drawn,
I'll unpack and ramble on,
And play my blues down on those streets of gold.
My body's just a suitcase for my soul.

His eyes are closed, his head bends low,
Then upwards to the sky.
He dreams and sings of simple things,
That money cannot buy.
I'm glad I stopped to listen, for that blind man made me see,
That life's most precious treasures still lie ahead of me.

July 18, 2007 at 2:33 PM  
Blogger eda said...

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February 1, 2010 at 12:43 AM  

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