Category Archives: Body

Collective Joy

Thailand soccer boysThey’re out. All twelve boys and their soccer coach are free. What is it about that news sends me to the verge of tears?

  • I’m a soccer coach. I have taken my teams on excursions as team building opportunities. None of these have gone badly wrong, but they could have.
  • I’m a parent. I cannot possibly imagine the angst of these parents and the roller coaster of emotions as they were lost, then found. Located and rescued.
  • I’m a human and I find human interest stories riveting, especially when the stakes are high and there is a happy ending. I am desperate for good news.

Yes, this captures all of me. And to have this play out, the rescue literally occurring between games in the Men’s World Cup competition, is just astonishing. At the one time when our collective sporting world has all eyes turned in one direction, the final week of matches, we all — and I mean all — expire the collective breath we’ve been holding.

They’re free! The boys are free. Hallelujah!

There is just something that happens to us when, in a time when all seems lost, a thing we desperately desire is found. Not by magic, but by effort, by toil, by ingenuity, by reasoning, by sacrifice, by teamwork, by capability, by prayer and by waiting. When the odds are stacked against us and we overcome them, it’s miraculous. This moment has captured us because we know it, even though we don’t know them.

We know that lives matter, that life matters. Though yes, we might pause to consider how to prevent these circumstances from repeating themselves in the future, today we hear the good news of their rescue and we cry out, unbidden, unprompted, and unrehearsed.  Pure JOY! It sounds the same in every language.

Oh, how I hope these boys are able to attend the World Cup championship game, to which, I understand, they have been invited. Just imagine the moment of their introduction. The moment when the love of sport and the love of children collide in a terrific outpouring of love.  When we join together in a collective roar from supporters of all teams, all children, all parents, all coaches, and all of humanity everywhere.

What joy there is in heaven, we’re told, when the one who has been lost is found. The news today is good news: the ones who had been lost are found and now free. What is that feeling I’m feeling and so are you? It’s joy. Pure joy.

I wonder what these boys will now do with the lives that have been given back to them, don’t you? One thing’s for sure: the Wild Boars will be tough to beat in their next game. In fact, one wonders whether any of them will make their own appearance on the pitch in a future World Cup match.

Starting today, don’t count out Thailand.

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Got that feeling in my body*

Ugly words hurt.
Clashing colors make me nauseous.
Stripes with plaid make me dizzy.

Grim news turns my stomach
Loss twists my heart.
A word stabs
A look penetrates
Criticism batters.

Thoughts and experiences are, for me, physical.
I quite literally feel your pain.

Yet,
Accept me and my heart bursts!
Kindness enfolds
Caring caresses
Eyes that listen warm me
Ears that see startle me.

My body tells me how I feel.

I am especially susceptible
vulnerable
touched
lit
loosed
Easily ground down to nothing.

Yet,
sensitive
responsive
afloat
aloft
Easily lifted to everything.

My body tells me how I feel,
but not how to feel.
I tell it.

Fast ball coming
Take a two-footed stance:
Me (step) and Thee (steady)
We.

Ready.

*Thank you, Justin Timberlake

We are All Learning to Walk

Walking,
it’s as natural as breathing.
Put one foot in front of the other.
Move it on out.

It wasn’t always this way.
Once, we couldn’t hold our head up,
couldn’t roll over
couldn’t sit without toppling
couldn’t rock on all fours
could not even crawl.

Imagine,
there was a time
when we were stuck in one place,
couldn’t move without help,
needed someone to pick us up
and carry us.

We went where they took us,
when they took us,
had no say in the matter,
just happy we got to go
for a ride.

crawling baby

But once we got creeping
and then on to crawling,
we were going places,
places on our own,
pulling our self up,
cruising along the coffee table,
going who knows where?
didn’t care.

What if you let go?
who SAID that?

What if you let go?
are you CRAZY?

What if you let go?
with both hands?!

What if you let go?
I let go

and there I stood.

Look at me!
and then, I went!
one foot, then the other…
Where am I going?

Moving on out…

Falling
getting up, and
getting up again,
rolling, rocking,
toppling, crawling,
creeping, cruising,
pulling up to
standing.

Walking,
it’s as natural as breathing.
Put one foot in front of the other.
Move it on out.

We are all learning to walk.
First we must stand.

baby walking beach

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