Body

When bodies are discussed, especially in popular culture, it has often meant a very circumscribed set of themes, largely to do with what the body looks like or how to maintain it at a pinnacle of health. The body as a set of surfaces, of more or less pleasing aspect. The perfect, unattainable body, so smooth and gleaming it is practically alien. What to feed it, how to groom it, the multiple dismaying ways in which it might fail to fit in or measure up. But the element of the body that interested me was the experience of living inside it, inhabiting a vehicle that was so cataclysmically vulnerable, so unreliably subject to pleasure and pain, hatred and desire…

I wanted to formalise my understanding of the body, and I was fascinated too by the idea that it might have its own language, distant from speech but just as eloquent and meaningful, composed of symptoms and sensations rather than words… Over the next two years, I drew every bone, muscle and organ in the body, memorising their functions and their names, right down to the tiny bones of the hand: lunate and pisiform, named for their resemblance to moons and peas. On sheets of butcher’s paper, I mapped the metabolic transformations that went on inside the miniature factory of each cell. At the beginning I had only the crudest notion of how the body worked, but I struggled gamely on, fascinated and a little appalled by how much of my life happened beneath the Plimsoll line of conscious control. Gradually it all came into focus. The body was a device for processing the external world; a conversion machine, hoarding, transforming, discarding, stripping for parts.

Olivia Laing, Everybody: A Book About Freedom (W. W. Norton & Company, May 4, 2021)

 

T.G.I.F.: Truth


Source: Thisisn’thappiness

 

OK COVID-19, this has now gone too far.

Truth

This is the blessing for the first garden tomato:
Those green boxes of tasteless acid the store
sells in January, those red things with the savor
of wet chalk, they mock your fragrant name.
How fat and sweet you are weighing down my palm,
warm as the flank of a cow in the sun.
You are the savor of summer in a thin red skin.

Marge Piercy, from “The Art of Blessing the Day” in The Art of Blessing the Day: Poems with a Jewish Theme. © Knopf, 1999.


Notes: Photo – Katharine Hanna with Organic vine-ripened tomatoes. Poem – A Year of Being Here

4:00 am. And craving…


Credit: The Inspired Home: 29 Fancy Grill Cheese For the Ultimate Cheesiest Meal Ever (via Your Eyes Blaze Out)

Running. With Jelly Donuts.

I open my eyes. 5:35 a.m. I close my eyes, and take inventory.

Right groin, an old catcher’s mitt, stiff, cracks in the leather.

Knees, throb.

Three middle toes on right foot, blistered. Raw.

This is about where Tanya Donelly would say: “But you can change your story / And throw a hand up from the mud.”

But that’s not how we roll here. No Tanya. No.

This story (or catalyst) starts Wednesday after dinner.  The 7 pm to 8:30 pm witching hour(s). The Big Cat starts to pace, and circle. I want it. I need it. I crave it.

After taking inventory in the fridge, the cupboards, the pantry, none of the required provisions are available. I jump into the car and head to Palmer’s Market. Talenti Mint Chocolate Chip Gelato. (4 Pints). Nacho Cheese Doritos (Extra Large Bag). Chobani Fruit on the Bottom Yogurt, Pineapple flavored.  Stonewall Kitchen Sour Cherry Jam (to chase the Yogurt). And, then, in the glass case:  Donuts. Strawberry Jelly filled donuts.

The belt pulls the items towards the clerk. “Good evening Sir. Do you have a Palmer’s Card?” A wee bit of junk food with Dinner, Sir? “Sir, I don’t see a 2 pound bag of Domino Premium Pure Cane Granulated Sugar here. Shall I run and get it for you? And, Sir, in Aisle 3, we have hypodermic needles and rubber hose tie-offs. Step behind the counter here with me, and I’ll inject it for you, it will only take a minute.  [Read more…]

Sunday Morning

But if anything will soften me, it is food: dumplings, apple pie, sweet tea. A huge silent relief that is stillness passes through me like sun, a warm tongue on the cub’s crown, the thought of being thought of. Breath becomes easy.

~ A. K. Benjamin, Let Me Not Be Mad: My Story of Unraveling Mind


Notes: Photo via ilyfood

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call (60 sec to Breakfast)

soft bread, the smooth sauce soaking through all of it

These urban wanderings are punctuated by brief pauses in the cafés of Neukölln to down a quick beer; prolonged pauses in the lines outside kebab shops at lunchtime, long queues…there are more kebab shops here than McDonald’s. Mauro will taste more than thirty during his stay, finally deciding on his favorite—made in a van at the Mehringdamm U-Bahn station. Crunchy slices of meat, sweet grilled onions, crisp fries, soft bread, the smooth sauce soaking through all of it, and hot, hot, hot: the perfect fuel.

~ Maylis de KerangalThe Cook (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, March 26, 2019)


Photo: geschmacks of Döner Kebab Groß

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call

In a system as perfect as this, you only have to be deprived of breakfast to become unpredictable.

Jean Baudrillard, from “Cool Memories II, 1987-1990


Notes: Quote via finita–la–commedia. Photo: Count Gracula by ostdrossel.com.  What a Grackle?

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