Monday, April 6, 2015

LOLLING OUT LOUD – Waking Up to Wonder

I seldom loll in bed in the morning. Too many to-dos—and perhaps a few last vestiges of guilt after my last useless-emotions housecleaning. But, once in a great while, I allow myself the great luxury of lying there a while, with no pretense of either getting up nor going back to sleep, and simply being.

I enjoy the sense of my weight, evenly supported from head to toe; of the various spaces I inhabit—the room, the imaginary cube extending from the perimeter of the mattress up to the ceiling, even the amorphous blob of air warmed by my breath.

I study the patterns formed by slats of sunlight sawn by nearly-closed Venetian blinds, and how they warp around forms on the bureau. Specks of dust blink on and off like minute fireflies as they drift through the light grid.

I am also present, as perhaps at no other time of the day, with my body. I drift effortlessly on my breathing; bask in the rare absence of nondescript pain; savor the coolness of my feet moving to cooler tracts of sheet. I stretch luxuriantly, appreciating the easing in every muscle, the blood coursing through every capillary in every digit.

        I trace figures in the air with my hand, 
        as if I were a dancer or choreographer 
        testing the limits of my instrument.

Image credit *
And this morning I play with the astoundingly complex and elegant mechanics of my right arm. With it resting flat on the mattress, I put the machinery through a functionality test. Bending at the elbow, I raise the lower part to 90 degrees—vertical—then beyond until, not quite able to touch my shoulder with my thumb, I get to the most acute angle I can reach, about 140 degrees. (I’m aware that, during an athletic life spanning all my school years and far beyond, I’ve exhausted some of these abilities’ best days.)

Back to 90 degrees, I try to find the precise angle
at which the forearm will remain upright, balanced with absolutely no effort on my part. I marvel at the sheer simplicity of a trick I could just as well have pulled off with a big stick.

I explore all the other dimensions of my arm’s amazing range of motion: flexion/extension, adduction/abduction, supination/pronation and all manner of rotation at shoulder, elbow and wrist, right down to the last joint on my pinky finger. Finally, using various combinations of these dexterities, I trace figures in the air with my hand, as if I were a dancer or choreographer testing the limits of my instrument.

Eventually, my delicious dawdling runs its course and I get up, appreciating anew that the human body and mind are miraculous things. And so, as I re-discovery occasionally, is time.

* Image Credit: “Grant 1962 79" by Grant, John Charles Boileau - An atlas of anatomy, / by regions 1962. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons -


jean said...

Hi Jeff. I think this is how babies experience being in their bodies ----- such an in-the -moment experience! And just seeing how everything was and what it is doing, a moment of just being with yourself before everything else pulls you out.

Jeffrey Willius said...

Thanks, Jean. That's a great way to put it: "...before everything else pulls you out." True of how we see our world, and also true of happiness. I think curiosity, play and happiness are all our default settings; the trick is to keep outside influences from messing with them.
Here's to you finding/keeping your default settings today!

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