Dialogue with the Body

I enjoyed re-reading this post from 5 years ago….and I am still an admirer of swans (even as I learned about some of their not-so-flattering traits) and of listening to our body….

The Beauty Along the Road

dedicated to cleanliness

I watched two swans go through their lengthy preening process, cleaning and smoothing their feathers with the help of their beak.

How did they know which feathers needed tidying up and re-arranging? Could they feel somehow the slightest tension of feathers out of place? The way we would feel hair matting down or the slightest weight of something foreign on our skin?

Did they know how to clean themselves by learning from their parents, through pure instinct or a combination of both?

How do we know how to clean ourselves? First our mother washes us and then we begin to use soap and shampoo and lotions on our own as we get older. Some people do a pretty good job at it while others don’t seem to be so aware of greasy hair, dirt under the fingernails, stains on their clothing, or simply don’t care.

And beyond cleanliness, what else…

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A blog about discovering beauty in all its ordinary and extraordinary manifestations.
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7 Responses to Dialogue with the Body

  1. Tish Farrell says:

    So glad you re-ran this, Annette, as I missed it first time around. Fabulous photos, but also I’m thinking on those occasions when we do listen to our bodies, we only start an argument with it 🙂


  2. I wonder if there will be a way to understand such personal behaviors in animals. What they are doing is obvious but, as you wonder, exactly why and how. I’m a firm believer that there is more going on in their heads than most give them the ability. We fuss with our hair, they with their feathers. 🙂


  3. shoreacres says:

    It’s only been in the past couple of years that i’ve learned they not only clean their feathers, they distribute protective oils along their feathers during the preening process, and realign all the little barbs that keep them together.

    I’ve never published the photo because it comes from a time when I was still learning how to use a macro lens, but I have an image in my files of a prairie katydid nymph cleaning its antennae, drawing it through its mouth. I still can’t believe I actually saw that, but I did. Some practices seem to be species wide.

    Liked by 1 person

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