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Daily Verse 11.5.20: Being A Mammal

Remember that one beautiful line in Mary Oliver’s poem Wild Geese, where she writes about letting “the soft animal of our body love what it loves.” That part. The animal. I forget I am one sometimes. Many times, in fact. I forget the basics like drinking water and remembering to pee. I fall asleep to the fact that animals don’t function well—or long–under abusive conditions. Can I be that strong here to say abuse? Okay, so I just checked the definition (v. to treat a person or animal with cruelty or violence, especially regularly or repeatedly) and yup, it seems I can. I’ve always known that is the cost of my high energy and hard-driving nature, and at the age of 52, I’ve learned how to care for my wild nature that lives inside this human body, but I guess I never did modeling to factor in a pandemic…or this election (again). But it wasn’t until I was working with a client earlier this week that it landed with me fully. She said the only thing she was doing right now was being a mammal. She spoke about food and sleep and play in nature and moving her body to remember she was inside it—tending to the basic needs we have as animals. Part of me melted when she said that. Something in me thawed, not realizing I had been chilled the bone inside of what felt like a block of hard ice. I’m pretty sure my mammal in that moment bowed deeply to her mammal.


Want to know what these daily verses are all about? Read here to learn what inspired this practice on my birthday post, November 1st.