Saturday, December 09, 2006

Moving and Learning, the Miracle Continues

When we are very young the world is simple and wonderful. The miracle continues. (Yesterday's essay, "You are Alive, the Miracle of it All," at Life on Earth/Slow Sonoma started this series). We eat, nursing if we are lucky. We sleep. We are held and cooed over. We wiggle around and discover who and what we are.

At first we have no direction, really, to our movements. They are less even than exploratory, they are more like thrashing around. But this thrashing around is our life, and we have a brain that is noticing and learning from this thrashing and we begin to pick up patterns that seem to get the same results.

A certain movement will bring this hand thing to our mouth. We like our mouth, this is where pleasure centers in our young world, and this hand thing, which seems a pretty interesting and wiggly part as well, can touch and make friends with our mouth. This is nice. This is interesting. Who really knows what it is to a baby, except it seems from the outside to be compelling enough to try again and again.

Sucking on the hand, wiggling the fingers, this is the stuff of young scientists, young geniuses, the explorer is set in motion.

We are learning. This is what human life is. Eating, sleeping, eliminating, being held and hugged and coed over, moving around and learning and exploring. Life is near and close and entirely sensual. No concepts, no words, just learning, and, if things are going right, wanting food and getting food when we want it, wanting release and sleep and getting it when we want it.


Think of falling in love as a brief chance to return to this close and sensual cooing and touching and exploring and eating and sleeping a lot place. The stories aren't yet up and between us, the words are in our way, this other person is brand new and the glories of the flesh are once again ours for the feasting.

Anyway, back to babies, and being a young genius.

Life is good and it's new and we have a lot more, we discover, than hands and mouths. This back can curl up forward, can arch us back. This combines pleasantly and usefully with things we can do with our arms and legs. Suddenly, by accident the first one or two times, we have reached and arched in a combination that sends us rolling onto our stomachs.

The world is radically expanded in possibilities. We can bring our head upright. We can look in all sorts of directions. We can flap our arms and legs around in pleasantly coordinated fashion.

We are on the way. Reaching is clearer. Seeing what we want is clearer. There is a lot out there we want to touch, or bring to our mouths, or simply (simply!) explore. Scooting or crawling is discovered. The miracle continues. We are alive and learning by moving. Yes!

(Continues, in a fashion, at Food is Good on the Taichiyog... channel.)

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