Writing about Health
Health, well there is a word that dominates my life. And I guess maybe it should dominate a lot of peoples’ lives. Health is so often meant in the context of physical health and that is understandable. Physical health is often easy to measure and understand. Blood pressure and heart rate for example are easy to find, well heart rate is anyway, and the physics behind it are easy to understand.
At least I think it is easy to understand how a liquid flows through a network of pipes pushed around the system by a contracting pump. This might go wrong with the pump, the pipes or the liquid. Ok that is getting more complicated. And when I think about the number of pipes involved, the composition of the liquid and the muscle nature of the pump, all of which have to renew themselves somehow. I have to conclude that whilst heart rate is a simple number the system as a whole is rather complicated.
Heart rate and blood pressure are indicators of health and are not really a detailed measure of what is going on inside the body. And the other side of the equation is our mental health. We tend to rather dichotomise health, like Descartes into mind and body but despite what religions may suggest, the mind cannot exist without the body and in fact the body cannot exist without the mind. Each has a supportive role of the other, there is not one point where they are connected. There is no pineal gland in Descartes terms.
And like most people I simplify my health. I concentrate on exercise, what I eat, on how often I get outside. Now these are important to my mind too but my focus is so often on what I look like as motivation. Why is that? It can only be because I care about what other people see. I say I don’t care but my actions suggest otherwise. My mind cares what I look like and cares what other people think I look like. Except I don’t know what other people think I look like unless they say something. And generally I don’t want to hear what other people think because I want to live the way I’ve concluded as okay. I concentrate on having a whole body, but it is obvious that I don’t have a wholly consistent mind. There is contradiction there. Perhaps I should start looking at health by finding a better balance in my mind for a change.
Photograph about Health
In my head this photo was about the garden’s health. In Scotland we feel that we need a hard frost to kill the beasties that transmit diseases to plants. I think it is also about our mental health when it comes to the west coast and highlands, because the cold wipes out the midges which can ruin a pleasant sunny walk in Summer.