06th July 2017

There are days when, as they draw to a close, there’s an ache in the back, just beneath the shoulders, and it is uncomfortable and yet it is good because it signals a day spent active, doing things, making food, digging the garden, cleaning, working with the body. The body is not a machine, it is not a tool, it is not a container, it is what we are. We cannot separate from it, no matter how much we convince ourselves we can. When we use our bodies, we use ourselves. We are occupied, busy, working or playing. We are fully engaged, experiencing the world not just through the eyes or the mind but through all our senses. I ache today. I ache but I have been here, present in the moment. I have made food. I have talked with my daughter, we have played. I have walked. I have carried a heavy shopping bag and felt the sun toasting the bare skin on the back of my neck, a sensitive spot. I have sweated. I do not smell good (though my daughter says otherwise). There’s a faint buzzing sound in one ear and the regular beat of a clock ticking and, if I sit still enough, my heart pumping in my chest. There is a beautiful light coming through the window, the sound of an aircraft somewhere high above me. My fingers tingle, my body feels tense in places, numb in others. My house smells of sweet fried onions and the tang of chilli which catches at the back of the throat. How can I experience this except through the agency of my body, derided and under-appreciated as it is? I must love it more which is a way of saying, I suppose, that I must love myself more.

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