Friday, January 31, 2014

Three Olive Trees:

Three olive trees currently sit on my balcony, waiting for winter to soon be over. Their branches are sturdy; their leaves a deep hued green. Their tiny bodies need my nurturing, but that I can only do once the sunshine returns–when their bodies are again able to withstand pruning, so that they remain as healthy as possible. These tiny branches are only a piece of the souls of these three olive trees. Their bodies are their trunks, leaves, and branches. They too, will one day die. All three. I know that one day my own body will fail me; but that day is not today. I know that one day I won’t be able to gesticulate so fluidly; be able to float about so freely. But that day is also not today. And so until that day is here, I’ve recently decided, I will take care of my body as if it were sacred; very few things in my life are sacred. My body and I have never been very close friends, though we know one another intimately. Luckily this body of mine is in shape, young, and quite handsome–if I may say so myself. Self confidence I do not lack. Yet it is so insightful, when self confidence is mistakenly perceived as arrogance. As I grow, the lines in my forehead become more pronounced, my hands no longer look like the soft supple hands that I once knew during my childhood–when consciously aware of these situations, I am able to literally see the ways in which I have grown. Which is wonderful. All my life I have wanted to be ‘grown’, older, wiser, known by my contemporaries and yet stronger suited toward those older. My body and I have become one, recently–though it has been and will continue to be, a learning process of affection and desire. I’ve accepted that my body is mine, and that it needs me, as I need it. Yet until we depart ways upon my death–whenever that may be, I must maintain it; run it; feed it properly; bathe it; transport it; love it. And that’s the thing: my body is finite and yet my soul is not. The former Queen Wilhemina stated that, ’…earthly death [is] the beginning of eternal life.’ And as I grow older, I begin to think more and more each day, that she is right. There is nothing to fear; nothing to be shameful for; nothing to discourage me from waking each and every day, to begin with a new adventure. Free from the repetition of life; free from the constraints of any human emanated situations of stress; free from bodily limitations. And yet my body and I need one another to function today, tomorrow, and those still thereafter. While I may live forever, my body will not. And yet with each passing year I begin to understand the intimate inter-workings of our relationships: which nutrients and energy sources my body tolerates, anticipates, and requests; how much pressure to excerpt and how much to retain; with whom to be socially engaged and with whom not; when to barrel forward, and when to fall back. Each day anew here in Amsterdam is a fresh beginning; a new start. Certainly now that the January sun has disappeared and the February days of darkness have arrived–a new moon is even on the horizon tonight. The three olive trees currently sitting on my balcony eagerly anticipate spring. As they grow, so do I.