The Quote Garden ™
I dig old books. ™
Quotations about the Body
AGE & AGING,
GROUNDING & BARE FEET,
The body is a big sagacity, a plurality with one sense, a war and a peace, a flock and a shepherd. ~Friedrich Nietzsche, as quoted in What Nietzsche Taught, by Willard Huntington Wright, 1915
I had fast in my heart's keeping the new truth that in the body, and the instincts of the body, there should be no shame but rather a frank, joyous pride. ~Arnold Bennett (1867–1931)
It would, said Biran, be much nearer the truth to say asservie à des organes. Man is an intelligence, not served by, but in servitude to his organs. ~Aldous Huxley
The integrity of the organism is indispensable to the manifestations of consciousness. Man thinks, invents, loves, suffers, admires, and prays with his brain and all his organs. ~Alexis Carrel, Man the Unknown, 1935
Most of the ills we suffer from are directly traceable to our own behavior... Our own physical body possesses a wisdom which we who inhabit the body lack. We give it orders which make no sense. There is no mystery about disease, nor crime, nor war, nor the thousand and one things which plague us. Live simply and wisely. ~Henry Miller
Every man is the builder of a temple, called his body, to the god he worships, after a style purely his own, nor can he get off by hammering marble instead. We are all sculptors and painters, and our material is our own flesh and blood and bones. ~Henry David Thoreau
Let nothing divert you from your duty to your body. ~Mose Velsor (Walt Whitman), "Manly Health and Training," New York Atlas, 1858 September 12th
The heart's regulation of the pulse fashions the body into a musical microcosm keeping time with the rhythms of the universe... ~Bruce W. Holsinger, Music, Body, and Desire in Medieval Culture: Hildegard of Bingen to Chaucer, 2001
Spirit and flesh would have a hard time untangling if they were put to it. ~Henry Stanley Haskins, "New England's Accents," Meditations in Wall Street, 1940
He felt it, he said, an honor to wash his face, being, as it was, the temple of the Spirit. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1838 journal, about Jones Very
Virtue! a fig! 'tis in ourselves that we are thus
or thus. Our bodies are our gardens, to the which
our wills are gardeners: so that if we will plant
nettles, or sow lettuce, set hyssop and weed up
thyme, supply it with one gender of herbs, or
distract it with many, either to have it sterile
with idleness, or manured with industry, why, the
power and corrigible authority of this lies in our
wills. If the balance of our lives had not one
scale of reason to poise another of sensuality, the
blood and baseness of our natures would conduct us
to most preposterous conclusions: but we have
reason to cool our raging motions, our carnal
stings, our unbitted lusts, whereof I take this that
you call love to be a sect or scion... It is merely
a lust of the blood and a permission of the will.
~William Shakespeare, Othello, c.1604 [I, 3, Iago]
The body too has its rights; and it will have them: they cannot be trampled on without peril. The body ought to be the soul's best friend. Many good men however have neglected to make it such: so it has become a fiend and has plagued them. ~Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare, Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers, 1827
If we neglect the body the body will have its revenge. ~Boston Courier editor, quoted in Friends' Intelligencer, 1858 January 2nd [Based on my research thus far, I think the author is either George Lunt or George Stillman Hillard. —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]
Hormones, vitamines, stimulants and depressives are oils upon the creaky machinery of life. Principal item, however, is the machinery. ~Martin H. Fischer (1879–1962)
When I regard anything first as body and then as spirit, it produces a tremendous parallax. ~Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742–1799), translated by Norman Alliston, 1908
...a man must keep his BODY in good trim or his MIND will never work to advantage. ~Josh Billings, revised by H. Montague
Feelin' it in your bones, that's a very facetious doctrine, an' ain't no more to be depended upon than my flour sieve for an umbrella. I wrote a poem on it, like this:
Trust 'em not, them fickle bones,
Always talkin' moans an' groans.
Jest as if inside of you,
Lived a thing could tell you true,
Whether it was goin' to rain,
Whether you would have a pain,
Whether him or you would beat,
Whether you'd have 'nuf to eat!
Bones was give to hold us straight,
Not to tell us 'bout our Fate.
~Eleanor H. Porter, "The Worry of It," Dawn, 1918 [a little altered —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]
The trouble with having a body is that people know it's where you hang out and you don't get any privacy. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
Your body is a beautiful manifestation powered by spirit. ~Mike Dolan, @HawaiianLife, tweet, 2009
DEAR reader, man admits with acclamation that he is the epitome of anthropological acumen and biological brilliance—in fact the biggest and brownest bun produced by cosmic cookery; and certainly, when one considers the multifariousness of his mundane mechanism, he seems compact and complete; apparently nothing has been omitted from his body-work which might have been added with advantage, and nothing has been added which might have been subtracted. He sports no decorative doo-dahs, futile fizz-gigs, or exotic extras, and in fact, is a euphony of utility. ~Kenneth Alfred Evelyn Alexander (c.1890–1953), "More Madness and Fuddled Philosophy: The Works of Man," in The New Zealand Railways Magazine, 1930 June 1st
It's your body. Tell it what to do. ~Chris Powell
Flesh goes on pleasuring us, and humiliating us, right to the end. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic's Notebook, 1966, © Thomas Paine McLaughlin
Cousin Horace is back from a three-day bender. Grandma says the way he treats his body, you’d think he was renting. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
If you don't take care of your body, where will you live? ~Author unknown
A trembling in the bones carries often a more convincing testimony than the dry documented deductions of the brain. ~Llewelyn Powys, 1930
It would fare but ill with many of us if we were left to superintend our own digestion and circulation. 'Bless me!' one would cry, 'I forgot to wind up my heart this morning! To think that it has been standing still for the last three hours!' 'I can't walk with you this afternoon,' a friend would say, 'as I have no less than eleven dinners to digest. I had to let them stand over from last week, being so busy, and my doctor says he will not answer for the consequences if I wait any longer!' ~Lewis Carroll
With regard to the body, there are certainly as many imaginary invalids as actual, if indeed not more... ~Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742–1799), translated by Norman Alliston, 1908
You know the Model of your Car.
You know just what its powers are.
You treat it with a deal of care,
Nor tax it more than it will bear.
But as to self — that's different.
Your mechanism may be bent,
Your carburetor gone to grass,
Your engine just a rusty mass.
Your wheels may wobble and your cogs
Be handed over to the dogs,
And on you skip, and skid, and slide,
Without a thought of things inside.
What fools indeed we mortals are
To lavish care upon a Car,
With ne'er a bit of time to see
About our own machinery!
~John Kendrick Bangs (1862-1922), "Motors" (September Eighteenth), The Cheery Way: A Bit of Verse For Every Day, 1920
Many people serve their bodies as rented houses are used. The plaster begins to fall, the weather draws out the nails, and the clapboards spring off. "No matter—we won't have to stay here long." It will matter, though, if, through your neglect to mend the roof or the windows, you get a rheumatism that will hound you to the grave, filling your old years with misery.... I believe much of the muscular decay of old age comes from inactivity. At sixty the man sees the folly of his early ambitions, and lays them aside. He has a competence now, so he hands his business over to his sons. Thus the stimulus to exertion is gone. This relaxation of effort would have been bad at twenty-five. It is disastrous at sixty-five. No unused muscle can hold its vigor. ~Mrs. J.F. Willing, "Growing Old," in The Ladies' Repository, July 1867
There's more to our bodies than a sack of bones and flesh. ~Dr. Joe Dispenza, You Are the Placebo: Making Your Mind Matter, 2014
I sing the body electric...
I see my soul reflected in Nature...
If any thing is sacred the human body is sacred...
And in man or woman a clean, strong, firm-fibred body, is more beautiful than the most beautiful face.
Have you seen the fool that corrupted his own live body? or the fool that corrupted her own live body?...
O my body! I dare not desert the likes of you in other men and women, nor the likes of the parts of you,
I believe the likes of you are to stand or fall with the likes of the soul (and that they are the soul)...
All attitudes, all the shapeliness, all the belongings of my or your body or of any one's body...
Head, neck, hair, ears, eyes, mouth, tongue, lips, teeth, jaws, nose, cheeks, throat,
Arms, elbows, wrists, hands, fingers, ribs, belly, backbone, hips, thighs, legs, ankles, feet,
The lung-sponges, the stomach-sac, the bowels sweet and clean,
The brain in its folds inside the skull-frame...
There swells and jets a heart, there all passions, desires, reachings, aspirations — red-running blood!...
Sexuality, maternity, womanhood, and all that is a woman, and the man that comes from woman,
Strong shoulders, manly beard, scapula, hind-shoulders, and the ample side-round of the chest...
The voice, articulation, language, whispering, shouting aloud,
Food, drink, pulse, digestion, sweat, sleep, walking, swimming...
The curious sympathy one feels when feeling with the hand the naked meat of the body,
The circling rivers the breath, and breathing it in and out...
The thin red jellies within you or within me, the bones and the marrow in the bones,
The exquisite realization of health;
O I say these are not parts and poems of the body only, but of the soul,
O I say now these are the soul!
~Walt Whitman, "Children of Adam: I Sing the Body Electric," Leaves of Grass [modified —tg]
Clay lies still, but blood's a rover;
Breath's a ware that will not keep.
~A. E. Housman, A Shropshire Lad, 1896
The human mechanism is marvelous. But why not — it is the result of three-and-a-half billion years of tinkering. ~Isaac Asimov
The lungs have been usually regarded as the great fire-place of the human system; but whether or not this is so, the stronger the lungs are the better, without a doubt. ~William Andrus Alcott (1798–1859), The Physiology of Marriage, 1855 [On original publication, author was cited simply as "An Old Physician." —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]
Massage is the only form of physical pleasure to which nature forgot to attach consequences. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
For what we think and feel and are is to a great extent determined by the state of our ductless glands and our viscera. ~Aldous Huxley
Ah me! the red is yet upon my cheek,
And in my veins life's vigorous currents play...
~Elizabeth Chase Akers Allen (1832–1911), "Consolation," c.1866
Our veins are rivers of the body, navigated by angels, who call at various nerve stations. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Seven Seventy Seven Sensations, 1897
Beyond my body my veins are invisible.~Antonio Porchia (1886–1968), Voces, 1943–1966, translated from the Spanish by W.S. Merwin (1927–2019), Voices, 1988
I have my rhythm like the tides and the seasons, I have my fitness. God did not give a law unto the planets, unto the ebb and flow of seas, and leave me out. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "Songs of Longing: XIX," At the Roots of Grasses, 1923
Every human soul is surrounded with an atmosphere, more or less pure and influential. This atmosphere is an emanation from the individual, just as flowers exhale their fragrance. ~Andrew Jackson Davis (1826–1910), The Great Harmonia, 1850
Before maps, we had elevation. We used mind instead of paper, and the contours of the land were recorded in our bodies. A knoll, a mountaintop, any high point would do. The earth unfolded before us. ~Craig Childs, "Land Bridge," Atlas of a Lost World: Travels in Ice Age America, 2018
I began by being perplexed about my body; and I ended by being anxious about my soul. In short, I wished to know what I was. ~Adolphe Monod, "Introduction. Letter I: Lucilla to the Abbe Favien," Lucilla; or, The Reading of the Bible, translated from the French by an unnamed translator, 1842
Most guys aren't that picky. They may have quicker reflexes around large breasts, but they need more to keep them interested. We know plenty of women whose sex appeal makes their breasts exactly the right size. ~From "The Playboy Advisor," Playboy magazine, March 2004, in answer to the question, "If you have small breasts, how do you make yourself look sexy? Most guys want girls with large breasts."
Sensuality reconciles us with the human race. The misanthropy of the old is due in large part to the fading of the magic glow of desire. ~Eric Hoffer, Reflections on the Human Condition, 1973
I love the body. Flesh is so honest, and organs do not lie. ~Terri Guillemets, "Symptoms, waiting for signs," 2001
[T]he body will not, or cannot, lie about emotions. ~Ian McEwan, On Chesil Beach, 2007
Don't worry too much about your heart, as so many healthy people seem to be doing nowadays; rejoice, rather, that Nature has placed in your breast one of her most delicate yet durable marvels, an organ of surpassing patience, flexibility and strength. ~Henry Morton Robinson, "The Heart—Wondrous and Courageous Organ," Reader's Digest, February 1948
Anatomy — a lacy blue flowering of veins in human shape, a scarlet mistletoe of arteries. ~Cid Ricketts Sumner, Sudden Glory, 1951 [a little altered —tg]
...the wisdom of the blood, that fragile scarlet tree we carry within us... ~Osbert Sitwell, Left Hand, Right Hand!, Volume I: The Cruel Month, 1945
Blood... 'tis the ink of lovers. ~George Chapman (c.1559–1634), Bussy D'Ambois: A Tragedie, c.1603, quoted from the 1646 printing, Actus Quinti, Scena Prima [A little altered — D'Ambois: "What? writ in bloud?" Mont∫urry: "I, 'tis the ink of lovers." —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]
The light of the heart is hidden in a drop of blood. ~Rumi, translated by Edward Henry Whinfield
A man is no better than his blood! ~C. Franklin Miller, "The Hermit of Ghost Mountain," in Weird Tales: The Unique Magazine, 1924
I injured three fingers, both thumbs and both lips,
My shinbone, my backbone, my wishbone and hips!...
~Dr. Seuss, I Had Trouble in Getting to Solla Sollew, 1965
Destroy the roots of the healthiest plants, their heads will droop and die. Many excellent qualities of the mind have their roots, in fact, in the body: their summits, which adorn the spiritual being, the mind, will wither, if we neglect the soil of these valuable plants... ~C.G. Salzmann, Gymnastics for Youth: or, A Practical Guide to Healthful and Amusing Exercises for the Use of Schools. An Essay Toward the Necessary Improvement of Education, Chiefly as It Relates to the Body, 1793, translated from the German, 1799 [Translator name not provided in publication. —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]
The essence of education is the education of the body. ~The Earl of Beaconsfield (Benjamin Disraeli, 1804–1881), Lothair
But one thing, at least, is certain, that no system can be satisfactory, much less successful, which does not provide for the healthy training of the whole being of the child, dividing and distinguishing mental and bodily exercise if it will, but at the same time co-ordinating them in due relations to each other... ~E. Warre, 1884
Skin is a covering for our immortality. ~Terri Guillemets
I am beautiful as I am. I am the shape that was gifted. My breasts are no longer perky and upright like when I was a teenager. My hips are wider than that of a fashion model's. For this I am glad, for these are the signs of a life lived. ~Cindy Olsen, co-owner of The Body Objective website, 1999
It's all in the mind and a bit in the heart but it goes in the body and that's where all the trouble comes in. ~Terri Guillemets
Those X-rays desecrate your bones! ~Charles M. Schulz, Peanuts, 1964 [Lucy to Charlie —tg]
The body and the mind are meant to be woven together: thought into emotion into sensation into senses into flesh. But for most of my life I have been rootless, unmoored, a ghost. All thought, no physicality. I have been a person made of artistic sensibility and grief. I have imagined that my mind is paramount, my body secondary — the former an intricate instrument, the latter only a vehicle. My flesh has not factored into my identity. ~Abby Geni, The Lightkeepers, 2016
He was still a young man. He had blood in his cheeks, and bright eyes. He had a good beard on his face: good, healthy hair, well fed with blood. He had a fine layer of flesh on his bones — the firm flesh of a man matured by forty years of life. His hands were strong. The strength flowed like oil right to his finger-tips. ~Jean Giono (1895–1970), Regain, 1930, translated from the French by Henri Fluchè and Geoffrey Myers, Harvest, 1939
Man, it is true, does not go on all fours, but he goes with all fours. Nobody can run quickly without moving his hands in much the same way as he moves his legs. Many people fling their arms about in walking, not from imitation, but by nature. It appears that what moves the feet must at the same time move the hands. ~Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742–1799), translated by Norman Alliston, 1908
The brain forgets much, but the lower back remembers everything. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
We use our brains very little, and when we do, it is only to make excuses for our reflexes and our instincts — only to make our acts appear more studied. ~Martin H. Fischer (1879–1962)
BRAIN The top-floor apartment in the Human Block, known as the Cranium, and kept by the Sarah Sisters — Sarah Brum and Sarah Belum, assisted by Medulla Oblongata. All three are nervous, but are always confined in their cells. ~Charles Wayland Towne, The Foolish Dictionary, Executed by Gideon Wurdz, Master of Pholly, Doctor of Loquacious Lunacy, etc., 1904
Most of us have become deaf to our own bodies, which is why we are out of tune. ~Terri Guillemets
Once admitted that human nature resembles a machine, I may ask: What will become of the machine which is not frequently oiled, which in its working daily accumulates much dust and dirt and is never thoroughly cleansed? Will it not one day, perhaps when in full activity, suddenly stop or collapse and refuse further service? So it will happen to many who do not keep up the needful bodily activity.... And when any part of the body loses its vitality, disorganisation of the system sets in, spreading more every day, until at last the whole body becomes incapable of sustaining life. ~Sebastian Kneipp, Thus Shalt Thou Live: Hints and Advice for the Healthy and the Sick on a Simple and Rational Mode of Life and a Natural Method of Cure, 1889, translated from the 19th German edition
Exercise, play, move.
Stretch, feel, reach, sweat.
Skip, dance, hug!
Use the body God gave you,
don't let it rot.
Let the body receive an injury less than mortal, and what follows? Before the swiftest foot can bring the physician, Nature has begun her healing work. The physician is at best only her humble assistant. Medical science is learning more and more to trust to the vis medicatrix Naturæ—the healing power of Nature. It is she, whom we call stern and merciless, that knits together the broken bone that no artificer on earth could mend. It is she that deftly works out of the system the injurious matter which we in our ignorance have forced upon it. She is not only kind when we obey her: she repairs our mistakes and heals the hurts we have done ourselves. Is not this the very counterpart of what the Divine Physician does for our spirits? ~George S. Merriam
FAT An unpleasant oleaginous superfluity in the adipose tissue of a human being, whereby the victim, handicapped by the gross excess of turgidity, tonnage and volume, and attitudinously envious of the stringed bean and the fiddle-string, seeks, by the use of Anti-Fat, Rubber Garments, Reduso, Sweaterino, and Starvation, to achieve such a diminution in bodily stature, such a corporeal angustation, as to produce the Perfect Human Stilt. ~Charles Wayland Towne, The Altogether New Foolish Dictionary, by Gideon Wurdz, 1914
OBESITY A surplus gone to waist. ~Charles Wayland Towne, The Foolish Dictionary, Executed by Gideon Wurdz, Master of Pholly, Doctor of Loquacious Lunacy, etc., 1904
And grew a seething bath, which yet men prove
Against strange maladies a sovereign cure.
There must be quite a few things a hot bath won't cure, but I don't know many of them. ~Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar, 1963
I test my bath before I sit,
And I'm always moved to wonderment
That what chills the finger not a bit
Is so frigid upon the fundament.
~Ogden Nash, "Samson Agonistes"
Some might call me clumsy, but I prefer to think of it as "unscheduled parkour." ~Tony Delgrosso, @Tony_D, tweet, 2015
He had two hands, two legs, two eyes, two ears, a nose, the usual array of toes, a dome on which to wear his hats, a liver and a set of slats, and whiskers till we couldn't rest; the whole equipment he possessed... He had a wishbone and a lung, a solar plexus and a tongue, he had two kidneys and a wart, and vital organs by the quart; and yet he raised the same old whine — because he hadn't any spine. ~Walt Mason (1862–1939), "No Chance" [a little altered —tg]
Why throw trash into the treasure-house of your body? ~Terri Guillemets, "Junk food curse," 2007
The teeth are renewed at the 7th year.
Puberty arrives at twice seven — 14.
Full stature at three times seven — 21.
The perfection of growth at four times seven — 28.
The greatest vigour of body and mind at five times seven — 35.
The commencement of partial decay at six times seven — 42.
General decay and decrease of energy, at seven times seven — 49.
Arrival of old age at eight times seven — 56.
And the grand climacteric of the ancients at nine times seven — 63.
~Thomas Jameson, M.D., "Coincidence of the epochs with the changes of the body," Essays on the Changes of the Human Body, at its Different Ages; the Diseases to Which It is Predisposed in Each Period of Life; and the Physiological Principles of Its Longevity, 1811 [Note: Formatting has been changed for ease of reading, as well as a few words added or slightly restated, but ages and principles remain intact. Jameson referred to this coincidence with the number seven relating to the body as "the septennial evolutions of the machine" and his observations were based on long-time London dwellers. However, the doctrine of septenniads, or septennial phases of life, is actually a much older concept (Hippocrates and earlier) — this is simply the best version I've found for quoting, thus far. Format source: "The Art of Invigorating and Prolonging Life," The Medical Adviser, and Guide to Health and Long Life, edited by Alex. Burnett, M.D., 1824 July 24th —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]
I am emotion and bone held together by flesh and reality. ~Terri Guillemets
If we were meant to be nude, we would have been born that way. ~Author unknown
With some whose nerves have a deep covering of fat, happiness is less of a problem than it is an accident of anatomy. ~Henry Stanley Haskins, "Happiness," Meditations in Wall Street, 1940
...of enormous rotundity of paunch... ~A New Edition of the Old Joe Miller; or, Universal Jester: Being a Collection of Wit and Humour, Calculated at Once to Banish Care and Inspire Mirth and Delight1810
I think body and mind are closely coordinated. Fattening of the body can lead to fattening of the mind. ~Ernest Hemingway, as quoted in A. E. Hotchner, The Good Life According To Hemingway, 2008
MANICURING The art of making lady-fingers out of nails. ~Charles Wayland Towne, The Altogether New Foolish Dictionary, by Gideon Wurdz, 1914
Our biochemistry bolts and revolts at our modern life. ~Terri Guillemets
No Senses stronger than his brain can bear.
Why has not Man a microscopic eye?
For this plain reason, Man is not a Fly:
What the advantage, if his finer eyes
Study a Mite, not comprehend the Skies?...
Or quick Effluvia darting thro' his brain,
Die of a Rose, in Aromatic pain?
If Nature thunder'd in his opening ears,
And stunn'd him with the music of the Spheres...
Who finds not Providence all-good and wise,
Alike in what it gives, and what denies?
~Alexander Pope, An Essay on Man
Each dosha recognizes a particular kind of weather that brings it out.... The reason a dosha can affect you out of season... is that there is a delay, or a spillover effect.... The principle at work here is the same as with a morning hangover: It takes a while for your body to process a mistake and spit it out in the form of a symptom. ~Deepak Chopra, M.D., Perfect Health: The Complete Mind/Body Guide, 1991
Man in some respects resembles a plant. He carries his soil in his stomach, which is a kind of portable flowerpot, and he grows round it, instead of out of it. ~F. J. Groner, M.D., "Health Hints," 1889
The great thing, then... is to make our nervous system our ally instead of our enemy. ~William James
The heart and the gut are siblings. ~Terri Guillemets
The physiologists persuade you that thoughts come from the brain, and talk of its activity, discharges of nervous force, &c. But don't take that as the whole truth. The fact is, the brain is a sort of Æolian instrument of many strings, whereupon several organs play. There are no thoughts in the brain without the whirl of blood through it. The brain in its vast complex receives influences which stir it to action in various regions and manners according to the appetites and passions connected with the several functionary parts of the body, as many winds move upon the vast expanse of the sea. The heart is an agent for eliciting thoughts from the brain but also the stomach and other parts of the body. If any organ is over-active, hypertrophying beyond its just proportions and playing too vigorous a tune on the nervous stringed instrument in the cranium, one must watch the energies of that dominant organ and withdraw from circumstances that rouse its too great activity. ~Pilocereus Senilis (Walter Moxon, 1836–1886), "The Thoughts of the Heart," 1874 November 4th, in Guy's Hospital Gazette [a little altered –tg]
A corpulent man strolled in front of us, sweating and drinking soda from a straw. He was fat enough that each step cost him something. ~Abby Geni, The Wildlands, 2018
Fat-arsed. — Broad in the breech. ~Slang and its Analogues: A Dictionary of Heterodox Speech, John S. Farmer and W. E. Henley, 1890s
We are not our bodies, we are souls with bodies. ~Wayne W. Dyer (1940–2015)
All in all, we lead rather odd and artificial lives. Many of us are schooled to ignore our bodies and mistrust our instincts, which is a great pity because they are usually very sound indeed. ~Beryl Kingston, Lifting the Curse, 1980
She had found out a lot about the human body since she had decided to be a doctor. She was studying about the brain now and it seemed nice and ladylike compared to some of the parts. Only there ought to be something more there in the brain, some special place for the soul. There were so many puzzling things after one knew all the organs and innards. You thought with your brain. Why couldn't you see yourself thinking that you were seeing yourself thinking and so on forever like looking in a mirror seeing yourself looking in the mirror? ~Cid Ricketts Sumner, Sudden Glory, 1951
X-rays amuse God: all the things he can see that a machine can't. ~Terri Guillemets
Most men carry their souls in the medulla. ~Martin H. Fischer (1879–1962)
I shall take the liberty of transporting you one hundred years into the future, to the year 1982. If you look back to 1882 you will be surprised at the rapidity of human progress... We are now very particular to make the schools adapted to the development of bodies as well as minds. We recognize above all things that bodies and minds are one, and must be taken together. For the first twenty years no child is allowed to study with the brain more than one consecutive hour. Play is called body study, and is as carefully taught as any other science. So body study alternates hourly with brain study. ~Edward Payson Powell (1833–1915), "New Year in 1982," Liberty and Life: Discourses by E. P. Powell, 1889 [a little altered —tg]
Any major drugstore has thousands of different products shelved up, aisle after aisle, just to make people fit for each others' company. ~David J. Beard (1947–2016), @Raqhun, tweet, 2010
What man most passionately wants is his living wholeness and his living unison, not his own isolate salvation of his "soul." Man wants his physical fulfilment first and foremost, since now, once and once only, he is in the flesh and potent. For man, the vast marvel is to be alive. For man, as for flower and beast and bird, the supreme triumph is to be most vividly, most perfectly alive. Whatever the unborn and the dead may know, they cannot know the beauty, the marvel of being alive in the flesh... [T]he magnificent here and now of life in the flesh is ours, and ours alone, and ours only for a time. We ought to dance with rapture that we should be alive and in the flesh, and part of the living, incarnate cosmos. ~D. H. Lawrence (1885–1930), Apocalypse
That which matters hums within our guts. ~Terri Guillemets, "Inner being," 2008
Longevity is a vascular question, and has been well expressed in the axiom that "a man is only as old as his arteries." ~William Osler, M.D. (1849–1919) [quoting perhaps Thomas Sydenham from the 17th century? —tg]
A proverb there is with the popular seal
(You hear it in various places),
That a man is as old as he happens to feel,
A woman as old as her face is,
But Science, advancing with seven league boots,
Arousing the vulgar from coma,
The truth of the proverb most boldly disputes
If one's arteries show atheroma.
For we need to be told
(So pathologists hold)
That a man is as old
As his arteries.
~Easton Weston, "The True Age of Man," in Edinburgh Evening Dispatch, c.1899
So Shakespeare (or Bacon?) is totally wrong
In talking of Man's Seven Ages,
And Burns is at sea in his topical song
On the fellow who sweats for his wages.
For when a poor beggar is nearing his end,
And with Death and the Devil he wrestles,
His looks or his feelings no succour can lend,
But only the state of his vessels.
So now you are told
What pathologists hold,
That a man is as old
As his arteries.
~Easton Weston, "The True Age of Man," in Edinburgh Evening Dispatch, c.1899
Arteries are the body's thundering poetry. ~Terri Guillemets
Keeping your body healthy is an expression of gratitude to the whole cosmos — the trees, the clouds, everything. ~Thich Nhat Hanh
One of my patients the other day said I was the most uncivil person calling himself a gentleman she ever came across, just because I told her she couldn't expect her liver to act if she lived the life of a Strasbourg goose. 'Liver!' she cried, 'why, doctor, it's all heart that is the matter with me.' Now, my dear boy, can you tell me why that unfortunate viscera, the liver, has got into such disrepute? You may tell a patient every other organ in the body is in a disgraceful state of disrepair, but if you hint at bile it's no use trying to be a popular physician. Stick to the heart! that's my advice to a youngster entertaining the lists. Both for the healer and the healed it is ennobling. ~Flora Annie Webster Steel (1847–1929), "For the Faith"
Now the man's liver was a little scarred, but it was better. It was regenerating. It was almost new again. Toby... loved this part... You couldn't believe what the liver was capable of... Livers behaved in some erratic ways, sure, all the organs do. But the liver was unique in the way that it healed. It was full of forgiveness. It understood that you needed a few chances before you got your life right. And it wouldn't just forgive you; it would practically forget... We should all be like the liver, he thought. ~Taffy Brodesser-Akner, Fleishman Is in Trouble, 2019, www.taffyakner.com
Why do we pay for psychotherapy when massages cost half as much? ~Jason Love
No man has imagined what private discourse his members have with surrounding nature, or how much the tenor of that intercourse affects his own health and sickness. While the head goes star-gazing, the legs are not necessarily astronomers, too, but are acquiring independent experience in lower strata of nature. How much do they feel which they do not impart! How much rumor dies between the knees and the ears! Surely instinct was this experience. I am no more a freeman of my members than of universal nature. After all, the body takes care of itself. It eats, drinks, sleeps, digests, grows, dies, and the best economy is to let it alone in all these. ~Henry David Thoreau, Oct. 3, 1840
We have five senses in which we glory and which we recognise and celebrate, senses that constitute the sensible world for us. But there are other senses — secret senses, sixth senses, if you will — equally vital, but unrecognised, and unlauded. ~Oliver Sacks, "On the Level," 1985
All sorts of bodily diseases are produced by half used minds; for it is the mind that makes the body: that is my secret, and the secret of all true healers. ~Bernard Shaw (1856–1950)
The ability to move disappears earlier than the ability to hear. Wherefore, beside the comatose and in the operating room, keep your mouth shut. ~Martin H. Fischer (1879–1962)
Two people who have chemistry evolve quickly to biology. ~Terri Guillemets, "Sparks & sizzle," 1994
I am weary, unto desire of death,
Of the thought fretting in my body,
Of the body wrapped around my thought.
~Laurence Vail, "Grey Crust," c.1921
My body is the one particular portion of the universe which my thoughts can alter. Even imaginary complaints may become real ones. As regards all else in the world my theories are unable to affect the order of things. ~Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742–1799), translated by Norman Alliston, 1908
With the acute perception of a fevered brain... ~Charles Gibbon, The Flower of the Forest, 1882
You are going into college life, boys, and you must take care of your bodies. Many a boy breaks down because he keeps his country appetite and loses his country exercise. You must balance study and brain-work by exercise and muscle-work, or you 'll be down with dyspepsia, and won't know what ails you. People have wondered where the seat of original sin is; I think it 's in the stomach. A man eats too much and neglects exercise, and the Devil has him all his own way, and the little imps, with their long black fingers, play on his nerves like a piano. Never overwork either body or mind, boys. All the work that a man can do that can be rested by one night's sleep is good for him, but fatigue that goes into the next day is always bad. ~Harriet Beecher Stowe, "Last Days in Cloudland," Oldtown Folks, 1869
A girl without freckles is like a night without stars. ~Author unknown
What golden spider warmed himself and spun
This web that is the flesh upon your bones...
~Mark Van Doren, 1932
Pulse persists with rhythmic instinct. ~Terri Guillemets, "Body sublime," 2006
Of a steady winking beat between
Systole, diastole spokes-of-a-wheel...
~Hart Crane (1899–1932), "Paraphrase"
Eagle Wing stood as one charmed, while the blood surged through his veins like a flood of old wine. ~Pliny Berthier Seymour, Woodhull, 1907
My body is like the moon which is melting for Love... ~Rumi, translated by Reynold Alleyne Nicholson
Body and flesh —
machinery beyond machine
mind, the student and master
a break is to break free
not to break down
the duty of health
chance and second chances
beauty and mechanics
frailty and primal gears
courage laced with fears
laughter spiked with tears
galloping years —
~Terri Guillemets, "Machinery beyond machine," 2009
The Autocrat of Russia possesses more power than any other man in the earth; but he cannot stop a sneeze. ~Mark Twain
There is one thing I do not understand,
Which is how anybody successfully cuts the fingernails on their right hand,
Because it is easy to cut your left-hand fingernails, but with your right-hand fingernails, why you either have to let them grow ad infinitum,
Or else bitum...
~Ogden Nash (1902–1971), "Do Sphinxes Think?"
I am a private person, but I will reveal this about myself: if you start massaging my shoulders, don't expect me to tell you to stop. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
Your arms can speak
More readily than your voice.
Your shoulder touching mine tells breathless news.
~Mary Carolyn Davies, "Songs of a Girl: XXIV," Youth Riding, 1919
To sustain the life of the body, little is needed, but the whims of the body have no end. ~Leo Tolstoy, The Pathway of Life, translated by Archibald J. Wolfe, 1919
The problem with Step Two was that you had to stand up on your snowboard, which turns out to be a violation of at least five important laws of physics. ~Dave Barry, "Something in the Air," in Miami Herald, 1995, reprinted in Dave Barry is from Mars and Venus, 1997, davebarry.com
Once you're a plus size, you'll always have a plus-size spirit. ~Chantae Alexander, Skin Tight [S1, E6, 2016], post-weight-loss
It makes me feel fat, and sad. Is fat an emotion? ~JJ Peterson, on Fit to Fat to Fit, 2016 [S1, E1]
A little later he has only one ache but he has not improved in health. His one ache is merely all of his former aches run together. ~George Fitch, "Spring Fever" (Thoughts That Throb), Collier's Weekly, 1914 April 11th
...skin, facsimile of time... ~Hart Crane (1899–1932), "The Wine Menagerie"
Charlotte is fifty-three and heavy, taking after the women on Henry's side, who became dumplings by middle age... ~Garrison Keillor, Lake Wobegon Days, 1985, garrisonkeillor.com [I've become a dumpling, too! According to Steven B. Halls, MD: "The older you get, the higher your BMI is allowed to be. For example, in people over age 50, a BMI score of 25 to 30 is still normal and indicates a healthy weight." Source: halls.md —tg]
Physicians generally are agreed in comprehending the constitutions of their patients under five types, or diatheses; namely, Sanguine, Nervous, Bilious, Strumous, and Lymphatic. These are the tendencies they are born with. In addition they recognize other tendencies, the result of habit, which are termed cachexiæ. ~J. Harrington Keene, The Mystery of Handwriting, 1896
Your body is a temple but only if you treat it as one. ~Terri Guillemets
The poor body has had very hard lines. Poets, philosophers and preachers have covered it with ridicule, abuse, and lamentation. Shakespeare calls it a muddy vesture of decay; Plato described it as a jibbing horse; Jeremy Taylor treats it almost as if it were the Devil himself. But if the poor thing had wit enough to speak for itself, it would say, Whence comes envy? Is it not a vice of the mind? Whence pride?— the mind again. Whence ambition?—the mind again. Whence covetousness—robbery—murder? If the mind has not all to do with these, at any rate she has the largest part of the guilt. Why, give the poor body a beefsteak and a glass of beer, and it is content. 'Tis the mind that leads it such a dance after the vain glories of the world, and makes it work all kinds of wickedness in the struggle to gain them. Did Robespierre slay his thousands to please his body? What could his body get by it? No. He wanted to please the fancies of his villainous mind. ~Charles Buxton
My body is a rainbow. I am filled with colors, light and love! ~Rachel Rose Zoller, My Body Is a Rainbow: A Book about Our Chakras, 2016, www.rachaelrosezoller.com
If your body's not right, the rest of you will go wrong. Take care of yourself. ~Terri Guillemets
The significant chemicals of living tissue are rickety and unstable, which is exactly what is needed for life. ~Isaac Asimov
The most of life is medullary. That's where we breathe and swallow. ~Martin H. Fischer (1879–1962)
The mind can cook up very subtle syndromes to throw at our bodies. ~Terri Guillemets
Skin does not equal sin. ~Author unknown
Be thou not ashamed of lust —
Desire was sealed in primal dust
It mingled with the seas of life
To make the mud we know as love
She sounded as if the pounding of her heart had beaten all the breath out of her body. ~Cid Ricketts Sumner, Sudden Glory, 1951
Body puts us on the brittle line between life and death. ~Terri Guillemets
First up, there's the throat chop... Adams apple's like the balls of the throat. If that fails, always go for the groin, that's like the balls of the balls. ~Peter Saji, Lisa McQuillan, & Njeri Brown, `black·ish, "The Dozens" (season 1, episode 15), original airdate 2015 February 25th, Dre to son Andre Johnson, Jr
Eroticism to some may mean the relentless pursuit of primary erogenous zones, breasts and buttocks and that special area between the human legs where language collapses, keeling over with scientific cool or hot-rod banality. To those of a more poetic strain it could also mean secondary zones, the beauty of the eye, the length of a neck, the shape of an ankle, the smooth ardour of an armpit, the hair as curtain of the soul. Or — and this is something the cinema is unequivocally good at — it could mean, more simply, the grace and energy of movement. ~Richard Wortley, Erotic Movies, 1975
My [c❊ck] don't talk politics. ~S. A. Sachs
My entire approach to my body and to fitness in general had been based on the concept of deficit. I thought of aerobics classes and how I had panted my way through movements just to give myself smaller thighs, pumping iron to shape my narrow back, dieting to lower my fat level. I had always approached my body as if it were a problem needing to be solved.... This attitude was not really different from the notion of original sin, forever reaching for an ideal we are constitutionally incapable of attaining. But here I was, truly broken now, weak, emaciated, yet in front of me this teacher was saying that just by the virtue of my being, I was complete. I always had been. The only thing I needed to do was honor that. ~Samantha Dunn, "Brick by Brick"
My eyes are south windows, and out of these I command a southern prospect. The eye does the least drudgery of any of the senses. It oftenest escapes to a higher employment. The rest serve and escort and defend it. I attach some superiority, even priority, to this sense. It is the oldest servant in the soul's household; it images what it imagines, it ideates what it idealizes. Through it idolatry crept in, which is a kind of religion. If any joy or grief is to be expressed, the eye is the swift runner that carries the news. Of five castes, it is the Brahmin. It converses with the heavens. How man serves this sense more than any other! When he builds a house, he does not forget to put a window in the wall. We see truth. We are children of light. Our destiny is dark. No other sense has so much to do with the future. ~Henry David Thoreau, Oct. 3, 1840
Why do we alienate ourselves so much from our bodies? It's that big piece of machinery attached to your head. ~Terri Guillemets
ALL of Chuck Norris's genes are dominant. ~Ian Spector, Chuck Norris Cannot Be Stopped: 400 All-New Facts about the Man Who Knows Neither Fear Nor Mercy, 2010
DEAFNESS — A newly-invented instrument for extreme cases of deafness, called the SOUND MAGNIFIER, Organic Vibrator, and Invisible Voice Conductor. It fits into the ear so as not to be in the least perceptible; the unpleasant sensation of singing noises in the head is entirely removed. It affords instant relief to deaf persons, and enables them to hear distinctly at church and at public assemblies. —Messrs. SOLOMONS, Opticians, 39, Albemarie-street, Piccadilly, opposite the York Hotel, London. ~Advertisement in Swansea & Glamorgan Herald, 1861
the body is a clock —
bones tick and tock
years gather in flesh
an alarm set for death
Smell is a wonderful thing. It is pleasure, and hate, and love, and horror, and sickness, and death, and life. ~R. D. Lawrence, The Place in the Forest, 1967
I wish you eyes to see... the turn of leaves... a swirl of starlings in a city sky. I wish you ears to hear... the murmur of hidden streams, a morning robin... Smells haunting and sharp, enticing, evanescent. The first violets, clean linen, roast chestnuts. The touch of silk and sun-warmed stone. Cats. And familiar, loving hands. The taste of new bread, of clear water, of the vin du pays, of a newly-picked tomato. ~Pam Brown, To a Very Special Daughter, 1991, helenexley.com
My body is a bulletin board, transmitting my condition. ~Terri Guillemets
Last saved 2023 Jan 15 Sun 19:48 PST