The little pain in my liver didn’t go away today when I thought it would. If it comes, it’s usually from eating too much of a certain kind of fat that I love in ice cream or peanut butter cookies, and usually the little pain reminds me to not be such a fool as to eat like I always eat, whatever and whenever. The first pain a couple years ago was serious and in the deep of night, classic pain as the gall bladder can’t work quickly enough to counteract the gush of fat from the bedtime ice cream. Anyway, I learned to moderate my pre-bed routine and shifted to an herbal tea, realizing that it wasn’t ice cream that I necessarily wanted before bed, but a ritual. Making, serving, drinking the hot liquid was completely fulfilling.

But today walking at dusk, the little pain that I noticed yesterday was there, making small talk. All pain is communication, if you let it be. Our organs, bones, and muscles know everything and talk to us all the time, but mostly we’re clueless to understand. Simply knowing that they are talking though, trying to tell us something important, is usually enough for us to get the idea. As I walked I continued the massage I remembered reading about decades ago, pushing one hand right to left from liver to stomach, and then the other hand from left to right, from stomach to liver, as a way to get the two to better commune with each other. Lovely idea, too, to think about the two geniuses in there taking care of the major business of turning food into blood, and needing to listen to each other, work together better. I love thinking that all my parts are tireless angels all working to keep me going, and that I need to honor them now and then with gratitude. Lately they are seeming less and less interested in hanging around, so I have to be sure to breathe deeply, stand up straight, keep a good mood and try anything else I can think of to give them the impression that I am doing important things here worthy of their time.

Anyway, the massaging and the honoring wasn’t totally doing the trick, and then I remembered running. Not that I run, I don’t. Never have. But I know my body like yours was made for it. There’s a major muscle in our necks that no other mammals have to keep our heads steady when we run; our glands produce a chemical to give us a euphoria when we should be dying of exhaustion; we even gave up all our thick body hair so we could dissipate heat and outrun any other animal on the planet. We were made to run, and I never do. So I jogged a hundred steps. While I did, I thought of all the organs that likely depend on my bouncing from time to time to clean out debris. I felt no pain. So I did another hundred bouncy steps, and another hundred, really just to clean out the crap. I remembered reading how breasts are in general much sadder in their confinement daily, and how bouncing is a necessary part of their health, and felt my liver sighing in relief.

Whatever we did for a million years is what we should be slow to give up (bouncing), and whatever we never did much of until the invention of chairs, we should probably be careful doing (sitting).

writer, beekeeper, technician, anti-fascist

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