Wednesday, June 3, 2009

On Bodies

Right now, my heart is beating. It will continue beating until the day I die. It is made of cardiac muscle which never, ever tires, it is physically incapable of tiring like other muscles. Electrical impulses from my brain are telling it to beat. It contracts and expands almost 73 times per minute, this is slightly more than once per second. Due to it's physical structure of valves, this allows it to pump blood through my body. I never thought of it that way, but I am constantly in motion. Every second blood is coursing through my body, supplying oxygen and other things to my muscles. My body contains muscles, which akin to my heart, rely on electrical impulses. There is a way for me to exert my will upon this universe, my conciousness made manifest in my decision to move, to contract and expand my vocal cords, my arms, my fingers. All of this is done without thought. My stomach is consuming my lunch. I had Alfredo. And as we speak my endlessly complex body is producing, creating acid to reduce and destroy it's chemical bonds to release energy into my body, into my blood, for this energy to be used elsewhere. All of this is happening without thought, effortlessly on my behalf, like a great, infinately complex clockwork golem lumbering along unaware of the infinite beauty and complexity housed within himself.

Most of the blood's work is in keeping my brain functioning, it takes up nearly a quarter of my body's energy. It is all made up of cells. And those cells are made up of chemicals, and those chemicals are made of of bonded atoms, and those atoms are made up of neutrons, protons, and electrons, and the neutrons and protons are made up of quarks. Quarks are incapable of thought, of emotion. It is ridiculous that once you stack it all this high, it becomes concious. It becomes capable of thought and emotion and blogging all it's thoughts and feelings. It is all made up of cells and electricity and interactions, and yet through some sort of glorious, beautiful exception, it all makes sense and is alive. And that life is me. I am alive. That is so easily taken for granted, even now as I type this. I have mass, I take up space in this universe. I exist. That is so crazy. That I exist, like some sort of precious gift that was never asked for or understood or even decided to be accepted.

My hands are healing up nicely since the frisbee incident. It is so bizzare to watch your flesh twist and turn and expand and contract and inflame and harden and live and die, all for the purpose of keeping the organism alive. At first it expanded and bled, raw nerves telling my body that something had gone wrong. Then it became gooey. All my body's fluids rose to the surface as if driven by some sort of inner shamanistic medicine man, drying and softening in bizzare colours and patterns. This slowly became flesh, as it was pushed to the surface by the skin beneath it. This hardened very hard, and for a day or so, it was so bizzare to see myself as something other than human, other than myself, but as an organism, the definition of "flesh" stretched to include this self-sacrificing shield formed out of hardened myself created and existing for the sole purpose of defending the vulnerabilities that lied beneath, before eventually  falling away, like a generation of soldiers bent on the safety of future generations. And now my wounds have become my flesh again, my skin, and though they are red, they are also me, and they are cells made of quarks and nuclei, both biological and sub-atomic, and I am the sum of their parts, and yet contain a divine spark that makes me so much more than cells and electricity.

"Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don't be afraid of it, or what other people think of it, it's the greatest instrument you'll ever own.": [Advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young] - Mary Schmich

6 comments:

Nicoley said...

You should have done Biology.

Phiasmir said...

Haha, well, maybe. I find wonder in creation, but I always sucked at learning biology stuff! I can talk about how wonderous the complexity of the 4.. tube... things leading out of the heart are, but watch me try to name them! (All Monkeys Drink Vodka...) Hmmm.... Aorta, Muh... m... (skip), D... (skip also), ... Ventricles? (Come to think of it, All Monkeys Drink Vodka might have been for something else! Or maybe I just got bored and imagined monkeys drinking vodka in JC science). Wait! Vena Cava, Inferior Vena.. Something... See what I mean?

Nicoley said...

There's the aorta, pulmonary vein, pulmonary artery, and the vena cavae.

Phiasmir said...

Ah! Then that leaves the question of where the heck I got "All Monkeys Drink Vodka" from! >.>

Phiasmir said...

I searched it in Google and all I got were bizzare mixers. Perhaps we will never know!

Bernard said...

You are quite the philosopher late at night!