by cheri

Here in California the water continues to fall from the heavens. Reservoirs overflow their dams, waterfalls heave over their rocks, and our babbling creek boasts her widening waistline.


As with  many words in the English language,  the word flow can evoke diverse images and feelings, making way for imagination and creativity.

The flow of conversation, the flow of music, of dance, of physical expression. The flow of syrup onto waffles, of olive oil into a decanter, of wine into a glistening goblet.

And then there is blood flow.

Blood flow, unlike water flow, is not subject to political debate.

Blood flow determines tissue, respiratory, and sexual health.

Perhaps the most important area of blood flow is to the brain–for  without adequate infusion of blood, the brain malfunctions. Memory fogs.

Although some of us concern ourselves with fading muscle tone (and push-ups), the most significant reason to exercise is to stimulate blood flow to all parts of the body.

Especially to the brain.

To that end, I am now doing 50-100 jumping jacks a day. Not all at once, mind you.

I challenge you to increase your blood flow and brain function by doing the same.

Just try it for a week. See if your brain works better.


Alaska, 2016

About Cheri

Writer, artist, cable television host, grandmother to four!
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11 Responses to Flow

  1. shoreacres says:

    it’s a good suggestion, and if it’s helping you in any way, I’m glad. But I think I’m going to pass. After a full day on the boats — lifting, bending, climbing, walking, stretching, tool-holding, sanding — I’m pretty much ready for something other than jumping jacks. And after a week of manual labor, my blood seems to be flowing pretty well. If I start forgetting my way home? That’s something else. I might add the jumping jacks at that point.

    As for another kind of flow: I just read some of the weather reports coming out of California. I hope the worst side effects, like mud slides and dam collapses, aren’t a part of the weekend.

    • Cheri says:

      Do you varnish boats year round? It sounds like satisfying but exhausting work. Your blood flow? OMG. It must be moving as fast as the American River in California is moving. Rain is still coming down today. The concern about the Oroville Dam spillway seem to have subsided.

      My son flew in to Sacramento from Portland for business last Tuesday. He said he had never seen so much water in the delta and fingerlings all through the Central Valley. So much for Global Warming!

      • shoreacres says:

        I do varnish year ’round — allowing, of course, for truly cold days in winter (anything under about 45) and suffocating in summer (over 100). It is satisfying, and as for exhausting — yes, sometimes, but usually after a long spell of bad weather that’s kept me housebound for a week or so. My mom asked our doctor once how long he thought I could keep it up. He said I probably could do it as long as I keep doing it. So far, so good. 🙂

  2. Brig says:

    Never thought I would be going to a class to workout, but right now my options for hard physical work are not enough to keep me in shape..Instead of JJ’s I usually do speed skater moves, as it does the same thing and is very low impact. Can sure tell the difference if I miss a circuit training/yoga class!
    Use it or lose it is not just a saying for our bodies, but our minds as well.

    • Cheri says:

      I don’t think my quads and hammies would allow me to do a speed skater move…Seems like many of us in our 60’s and beyond have now hit the gym for all of the reasons you mention.

  3. Since Maty decided to move on I am back doing my own housework, which seems to be making my blood flow sufficiently, along with the daily dose of Plavix. However, I am proud of you for attempting this energetic entertainment.

    • Cheri says:

      Hi Kayti, Oh my! I am unhappy that your cook/cleaner moved on? Are Jan and Cori finding you some new help? It’s a must. Yes, housework helps with blood flow but do you need more blood flow?

  4. Christopher says:

    Whenever I see the word “flow” I immediately think of water……..and the Tao.

    Indeed, the Tao Te Ching does talk about water. Like:

    “….The best way to live
    is to be like water
    For water benefits all things
    and goes against none of them
    It provides for all people
    and even cleanses those places
    a man is loath to go
    In this way it is just like the Tao….”


    “……Nothing in the world
    is as soft and yielding as water
    Yet for attacking the hard and strong
    none can triumph so easily
    It is weak, yet none can equal it
    It is soft, yet none can damage it
    It is yielding,
    yet none can wear it away
    Everyone knows that the soft overcomes the hard
    and the yielding triumphs over the rigid…..”

    Whenever I’m assailed with mental turmoil (which is often) I see my mind as roiling water, reflecting images that are distorted. Then I imagine the roiling stopping, and the water returning to absolute calmness, and the images reflected off it, once more reflecting what really is.

    Sometimes this works. Sometimes it doesn’t…………

    When you said, “….I am now doing 50-100 jumping jacks a day…. “ I thought, swimming (in water) each day might be more in tune with the Tao……….

    • Cheri says:

      Beautiful comment and poetic selections from the Tao and so true about the medicinal effects of water. Just think of the literary symbolism of water and the hundreds of writers who have immersed their settings in water.

      I am sorry to learn that you often feel in mental turmoil but the image you create to relax yourself is perfect.

      I, too, have a mental image that I use when I am trying to go to sleep. I’ve shared it before. I am a small boat, like a dory, that is being buffeted by wind and waves. I see a small secure lighthouse and pull up, tie up, and the calm comes over me.

  5. Chris says:

    Ah, the word flow, what come to my mind immediately is the flow of the written word. Students and teachers alike will use the word to describe a piece of writing. “Th writing flows,” the teacher will say. Now how helpful it that to a student. Maybe they are able to create a mind movie, but my sense that they just kinda of get it, as do I. I know when I think a piece of writing flows, but I’d like to be more definitive. What say you, creative writing teacher?

  6. Cheri says:

    Agreed. I used to explain “flow” as unity. Does each idea flow from one sentence to another? I would usually pick four or five papers with NO flow and put them up on the overhead projector. Then, my students would add unifying ideas/transitions, etc. to create unity. For the honors kids, I would have them write a paragraph with no flow and with flow. Very very funny.

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