Soul and Body, Seeing and Being

I’ve lost the ability to sleep in. This morning, I laid awake for 3 hours, watching the sun rise and willing myself to sleep. That passive effort was futile.

Now it’s 11:20am, and a quick glimpse out of the window reveals more snow. I’m not sure if it’s powdery or crunchy and slippery. Treacherous snow.

It occurred to me last night that I find contentment by suppressing my awareness of my ‘wants’ and focusing exclusively on utilitarian aims. Not to get Freudian (never!), but I have turned ‘needs’ into ‘wants.’ Some days, that want-need is food. On those days, I tell myself that I am ‘too tired’ or ‘too busy’ to cook or eat, and that buying cooked food is too expensive.

There’s something attractive about asceticism. There is no sugar in my cabinet, yet my body cries out for sweet. The only thing I have to sate those cravings is unsweetened black tea with lemon juice. Somehow that makes me feel… good. I realize that this stems from my Gnostic leanings. It is a soul-body repulsion that characterizes even my everyday movements (you’ll never see me dance) and self-care.

See, this is why I talk so much about self-care. I must be intentional about it, else I turn this body into a husk. I simply cannot give give give without taking care of my Self. I only have one Self. I only have one body.

One element of self-care is a loving touch. As an introvert loner who tends to eschew physical contact, I can tell you this: a loving, human touch is healing. I don’t know any better way of saying this than to say that the last hug I received was… electric. It was like a transfer of energy and memory, and I was the conduit. In my experience, touch is memory. It’s almost indescribable to *feel* everything- much deeper than the simple contact of hand on shoulder, arm on back, lip on cheek. It was like another way of seeing and feeling beyond flesh and sinew.

The only way I can characterize my soul-body connection is ‘slippery.’ It’s a slippery stasis, at best. My soul has wings and my body has feet. I worry at times that the wings will atrophy and the feet will become too accustomed to the earth beneath them. Why walk when you can fly? What’s the use of a birds-eye view when one’s feet never leave the earth? It’s a strange disconnect between seeing and being. I see so much more than language could convey. The simple binaries of the English language do not afford me the fluency to describe the richness that is occluded by said binaries.

The moment the world ceases to be wondrous, in all of its terror and might, is the moment I’ve ceased seeing. May I see with the eyes of a bird in flight and feel with the flesh and sinew of the human whose feet mark the earth for an imperceptible moment.

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