Look at you: You are no accident.

Your face: the eyes…the line of your nose; that lickerish mouth, one moment tight with fear, overtaken the next by fountainous laughter … Always faces, tens of thousands across a career, each one made up of countless micro-expressions that register everything; more liminal than a blood test, less decisive than a lumbar puncture, but meaningful all the same…

We are skull-jumpers; there is no limit to our identificatory capacity. Your face, voice, breath continue their unfolding, each now different from the last, changed beyond recognition in the two hours since we first met. Looking: more intimate than any physical examination. The voltage switches once more, symptoms pooling between us, tributaries of some larger untold story…The intensity of neuronal activation is processed through deep limbic structures, and when intensity exceeds a genetically defined threshold it leads to activation of the autonomic nervous system, triggering unconscious automatic changes in cardiovascular and respiratory systems—readying us to fight, to flee, to freeze, to love. We are sensitive; we have no choice. Look at you: You are no accident.

~ A. K. Benjamin, from his new book titled Let Me Not Be Mad: My Story of Unraveling Mind (Dutton, June 11, 2019)



  1. brilliant, albeit rather rich on complicated words! (understandably so – and it’s not my first language, I realise)
    I’m simply glad to state that most of my heavily pleated face lines are laughter lines, even though through a serious lack of sleep I could easily pass for a panda right now!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “…more liminal than a blood test, less decisive than a lumbar puncture, but meaningful all the same….” Magic.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. energy and motion. everything.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. And now, another book for my summer reading list!


    Liked by 1 person

  5. Rarely am I speechless, David. ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Christie says:

    Like the photo Redhead, freckles…will be seeing one of those sisters of mine this weekend!
    As always, Dave your offerings lead to learning…
    Had to read the offering more than once…his academic background certainly influences his
    way of examining interactions…we all learn from others influences via points of view…I like learning.

    I often find myself looking at the dictionary and also listening to the pronunciation of the world…the synonyms and antonyms are always a bonus for me…
    I wasn’t sure if lickerish was an actual word. Origin: French progress through other languages finally to English in the late 15th century root word “Lecherous” (having or showing excessive or offensive sexual desire) the synonyms listed are some rather descriptive , salacious words…I am sure I will inject at least one of those words in something I write in the future…perhaps the word “Wanton” has a ring to it I’ll pair it with desire…
    adjective: lickerish

    “a barrage of lickerish grins and dirty jokes

    Learn to pronounce
    adjective: liminal

    relating to a transitional or initial stage of a process.
    occupying a position at, or on both sides of, a boundary or threshold.


    Liked by 2 people

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