Friday, October 12, 2007

Big Picture: Walking and Being Human

water bear Reed College
The Big Picture:
Upright bodies on little feet.

Most of us can walk. If we can’t walk easily, or suddenly have trouble, we realize how precious is this skill that so many take for granted. To walk on two feet, circus tigers and trained bears aside, is a uniquely human ability.

This ability is amazing.
If you attempt to make a sculptural model of a human being,
two little feet way down there holding up this long body,
with big head,
and ribs and arms to balance
and support,
this scupture will topple,
unless you give your figure a staff to hold,
or put a big pedestal gluing the feet

But, two feet are unstable.
That means: a huge increase in mobility.
It also means walking is easier than standing

(we don’t need to go into that now,
but think of it this way:
since we are inherently unstable,
falling forward from one foot to the next
catching ourselves witht the moving forward
as we fall,
a that's walking, folks,
more or less)

If we have a bum knee
or a hip trouble
or get old and creaky
or have had a stroke
or have a neurological difficulty,
we begin to appreciate
how miraculous
and wonder this walking gift
and ability of ours is.

And how does this fit into the Big Picture?
We are human beings.
We don't automatically scamper around
like a calf or a young goat.
We have a lot of learning to
come to walking.
We have a big brain,
that was designed to learn
by movement and discovery.

how are we improving and learning
and using our big brains
these days?

use it or lose it.

Ability to learn:
use it our lose it.

Wonderful brain:
use it or lose it.

use it our lose it.

What's that got to do with walking?

Can we love ourselves
and everyone we see
and all that we see and notice
around us
as we take a walk?

Doesn't that sound
like a powerful meditation?

I think so.


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