Sunday, February 27, 2011

Body Intelligence (1)

Three Capetian French scholars
consulting an astrolabe, ca. AD 1200

Your intelligence is always with you,
overseeing your body, even though
you may not be aware of its work.

If you start doing something
against your health, your intelligence
will eventually scold you.

If it had not been so lovingly close by,
and so constantly monitoring,
how could it rebuke?

You and your body's intelligence
are like the beauty and precision
of an astrolabe.

Together, you calculate how near
existence is to the sun.

Your intelligence is marvelously intimate.
It is not in front of you or behind,
or to the left or the right.

Now, my friend, try to describe how near
is the creator of your intelligence.

3 comments:

christopher said...

I wrote a poem in response to this but it had no place here. I have been in rocky shape and the poem reflects a darkness that is more a current part of me than it has to do with anything in this poem.

I will say only that it is quite possible to resist this wise body and deny its voice. Those who are not awake can do this for an entire lifetime. So many are not awake.

Ruth said...

Christopher, it sounds as though the light from this poem helped you explore some intimate darkness for yourself. I hope that giving expression to that part of you will be a very good thing, continually so.

To resist this wise body is, I'm afraid, what society teaches us to do from the moment we're born. To find a way to return to it, to pay attention, to listen, to wake up to all its authority, takes great perseverance and courage. I think it gets a bit easier in time, in the sense of understanding. But monitoring it is a constant task.

M.L. Gallagher said...

I read this poem with an open mind and heart and then... I got to the last stanza.

Oooohhhh. now how do I do that? What a brilliant task -- and near impossible -- how do I describe eternity, perfection, bliss?

I also appreciate your comment and Chris comment -- so true. To awaken is to find the creator of our intelligence always was there, even when we were hiding in the dark.

Thanks!