On holding things loosely...

For some reason I was thinking about how the systems in our bodies are designed like pumps. Lungs pump air in and out. The digestive system pumps food in and waste out. Blood is pumped through a closed system--but there is still exchange on a cellular level of in/out. (I'm actually curious if the nervous system is a pump for energy and scientists just haven't sorted that out yet.)

As long as there is flow, our bodies work beautifully. But any stoppage creates a buildup of waste and consequently disease. If there is catastrophic failure of a pump system--we're done. Nothing good comes in. Nothing bad goes out. Failure.

We see it in nature. Moving air and water create life. Stagnant air and water create disease.

I wonder if the pump design doesn't actually work at a soul level.

As humans, we want to keep. It's the reason souvenier stands are successful. (As if for pocket change, we could take the ocean home with us.) It's the reason we buy things from infomercials. We aren't buying a plastic resistance band, we are buying the hope that we could keep the body we had at 20. It's the reason people pay large money for celebrity tchotcke's--as if owning The Boss's jeans would make you friends.

What if we shifted from a position of ownership, to a position of enjoyment?

After all, sunsets are transitory. There is no expectation to keep them. They are completely different every day. If a cloudy sky produces a disappointing sunset, you just have to show up the next day to see what happens. It might be spectacular. And they happen in stunning rhythm.

What if we approached life like a walk in the woods? Passing and enjoying what we find there instead of feeling the need to camp forever--or to pack it all up and take it home?

If life were a pump, we would enjoy what came and not try to stop the flow. We wouldn't grasp after what used to be or toward what hadn't passed through our hands yet. We would take nourishment from the beauty of the now and dispose the waste. We wouldn't become distorted by the stoppages and infections of hording and holding on.

Yeah. I'm pretty sure life was designed as a pump.

1 comment

NancyJ said...

This hits home after being with my folks this weekend. I found myself recreating in my mind moments I'd had in their home. My parents are now in their 80s, Mom has Alzheimer's and Dad's sefl-proclaimed ONLY priority and focus is caring for her. They're making it...but it's not the life I wish for them...or for me when I visit them! I want to find the souvenir stand that has a little bottle of "life in the 80s or 90s" and pull that out when I visit them! We'd all go back to younger bodies and minds and make more memories.

But I guess I don't want the memories...or I'd be happy now. I want that life...

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© Random Cathy
Maira Gall