Living in the Body by Joyce Sutphen

Perness Norbert
Because we could all do well to remember this...

Living in the Body by Joyce Sutphen

Body is something you need in order to stay
on this planet and you only get one.
And no matter which one you get, it will not
be satisfactory. It will not be beautiful
enough, it will not be fast enough, it will
not keep on for days at a time, but will
pull you down into a sleepy swamp and
demand apples and coffee and chocolate cake.

Body is a thing you have to carry
from one day into the next. Always the
same eyebrows over the same eyes in the same
skin when you look in the mirror, and the
same creaky knee when you get up from the
floor and the same wrist under the watchband.
The changes you can make are small and
costly—better to leave it as it is.

Body is a thing that you have to leave
eventually. You know that because you have
seen others do it, others who were once like you,
living inside their pile of bones and
flesh, smiling at you, loving you,
leaning in the doorway, talking to you
for hours and then one day they
are gone. No forwarding address.


  1. As someone whose body kept her awake literally all night last night, this was probably important for me to read today. ;)

  2. This is a good one. It's like the author knows me (especially the demand for coffee and chocolate cake)!

  3. I love this, especially the part about leaving your body. Thanks so much for sharing!

  4. This is a good reminder, thank you. But I'm not sure if I agree with the very first statement. I may try to hang around a while afterwards. :)
    And I'm okay with my body, even as it breaks down. It helped me accomplish a lot and I don't plan on living forever anyway--just until 140. lol

    Happy Friday!

  5. Beautiful. Though I have to say, the thing about the eyebrows always being the same? Has the author never seen a 16 year old girl who just discovered tweezers? They all look perpetually frightened of something. Not a good look ;)

  6. erin's comment made me giggle, which is nice because reading that poem felt like it was pulling up all this emotion from the pit of my belly. by the end my eyes were stinging. really beautiful, and so powerfully written.

  7. Such beautiful words! Just the kind of thing I needed to hear as I sit here in guilt of shoving three Ferrero Rochers into my mouth!

  8. Wow. I tweeted it. It's the perfect pick-me-up!

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