It began as a poem by Walt Whitman, published in 1885, and then became the title of the 100th episode of The Twilight Zone, written by science fiction genius Ray Bradbury in 1962. He would later publish a superb collection of short stories in ‘69 under the same title - I Sing the Body Electric. I can still picture the jacket cover: a dark haired woman, reminiscent of Cher, nude, enshrined within the tomb of an Egyptian pharaoh and surrounded by swirling arcs of yellow and green.
Lately, I have not been singing this body - my body - electric. I’ve been singing it bloated, fatigued, sore, headachey, jittery, irritable and gassy like some raspy old pirate boozer, garbling songs of the sea in a pub alley ditch. I’ve been binge consuming Orange is the New Black in lieu of the precious elixir of sleep, while feeding my machine low-grade, shit fuel. Such subtly delinquent living takes it’s toll, and my body has begun to feel along the lines of what writer Lauren O’Neal describes as, “a soggy box of horrors.”
Being fed up with chronically low energy levels ultimately triggered a change in my behavior and perspective. I looked at my 35-year-old body-mind system and asked, “Have I reached the ceiling on what’s possible in terms of vitality? Am I staring down the barrel of a lifetime of caffeination to merely subsist?” That shit ain’t right.
My personal trainer homegirl, Silvia, suggested a 3-day cleanse, which proved to be a life-altering way of shaking shit up, and despite loathing the dumb gym with the fire of a thousand suns, I put myself into a structure of working out with her 2 days a week. I schedule hikes with the dogs and strolls and swims and kayaks with friends to get my social-active fix, and every morning I greet the day with an apple, kale, lemon and sea salt green drink. Forever the “just five more minutes!” little girl, I struggle to put myself to bed each night at a reasonable hour, but with the helpful suggestions of sleep experts like Arianna Huffington and Christine Hansen, I’ve got that wiry little squirt counting sheep. Because of these incremental changes and the positive systems I’ve put in place, good things are definitely happening.
I ain’t perfect, and never will be, but I’m riding a positive arc of health at the moment that feels nourishing, enlivening, and revitalizing. Singing the body electric begins with a moment, a step, a simple action. As Whitman wrote so long ago,