not a pretty picture. not a good. not a bad. picture. but an argument.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

the good body

should i be nurse-maid to my body? should i consider every morsel that i put to my mouth? i know you feed the body good things, the body is good. you feed the body pollution, the body becomes polluted. that is not to say the body does not decline. the body's decline is good and natural. i touch the mole at my neck. is this the portal to my future? strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries from the forest floor that may have been touched by the animal body, the avocado sliced like seduction down its side, sweet clover by the fistful from the roadside. i press them all to my body. i have a small violet from over twenty years ago between the page and cellophane of an album, the poem flower from a crannied wall scrawled out beside it in fading pencil. beside that my father unerringly sips a beer on the gentle slope of a lawn never getting drunk. what did he put into his body? all course of good things, my mother's bread, (my mother) the animals he hunted through the forest, the ones he raised in the penned yard. my father put his feet into his boots, the boots the shape of his feet, and travelled the fields that he knew somewhere inside his own chest, as though his chest were made of the wheat he grew, straw man of the earth, not straw man. and where now his body? such a gentle kiss to that violet could send vibrations through it to undo its form. such a gentle kiss to my father sent vibrations through him and so i was born. and then again and he was unborn. what do we feed our bodies? he walking through the bush before the sun. he walking through the bush after the sun. he never returning from the bush. long stalks of wild misbehaved broccoli, ugly and stubborn dirty radish, mangled ears of corn. i press them to my body. hacked head of fish torn off to give to me its body; swath of blackness, head of bear dismembered to give to me its body; punctuated chicken head lopped to give to me its body; tremulous release of cow's thick skull. i press these to my body. holy and rendered by man's hand loaf of bread, holy holy ordinary kitchen counter magic. should i consider every morsel to my mouth? yes, yes, every one. is every morsel good? yes, yes, if we know its name, its place of birth. will my body be good? yes, yes, it is already good. will my body decline? yes, of course, here it goes. i touch the mole at my neck. is this the portal to my future? should i be nurse-maid to my body? no, no. be sweeper of this body, on my knees in glory temporary resident in this body, in gratitude weeper of this body. this body is the shrine, the miraculous accidental but precise multitudinous threshold to all.











10 comments:

  1. that about covers it - you give stream of consciousness a bad name, Erin, with such a practical flow - I love "the fields that he knew somewhere inside his own chest" and "wild misbehaved broccoli" - I too try to be supremely conscious and honoring about everything I put into my body (what is poison when one is present?), and I find the energy of now correcting me even more to be aware, aware of how my energy replenishes itself.

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    1. william, unfortunately i don't know moderation in this way, but i learn it in others. (i wish i knew it in terms of food and our association with the environment but i am still, unfortunately, reckless and lazy.)

      i actually started this rejecting taking other kinds of things into my mind/body...like violence.

      marion brought me a quote once about the carefulness of consumption. i wish i could remember it.

      xo
      erin

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  2. So much flows through you ,it amazes me Erin,
    ,,,accidental?

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    1. michael, it flows through all of us and more. i don't know why people aren't jumping in the streets in excitement and near madness with the complexity of being.

      accidental? why, yes, i am. and you?

      xo
      erin

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  3. Everything flows through and through, and somewhere, somehow, a new life takes shape, even if only in words, in pictures, in subtle colors of newness in the last photo.

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    1. it was perhaps only a couple moments of intimacy between my daughter and i (although i'm not sure she is aware it happened - as in i'm afraid she hasn't noted the importance of my attention on her yet.)

      through and through and through - us all and everything connected. and so why don't we do better, rosaria?

      xo
      erin

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    2. We do!
      In tiny steps.
      Our world is getting smaller; our interests stretch beyond our immediate needs.
      Each time we tell our story, as you did here, one story, told and retold in all its details,we connect, your story reminds me of my story, helps me recognize that hunger in me I had no name for.

      I believe this search to find the words, to find the major story to tell is the same hunger that wrote the stories in the Bible, the stories in all the sagas of the world.

      Except, we are now drowning in so much noise too.
      I wonder what stories will survive.
      That of the old pope recognizing he's fallible?
      That of a new pope whose tradition is to live with the most humble?
      Or that of the millions going hungry; millions raped; millions without country.............

      I get a bit of liturgy every time I discover a story that speaks to me.

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  4. Erin...the photos are really expressive, are part of you.
    I don't know ... reading your post ... I am a little confused.
    Maybe I'm so tired now. Empty mind.
    Missing my little son
    Hasta pronto amiga
    W.

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  5. It is holy attention. It is wholly attentiveness. It is wholeness.

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  6. À terrible beautiful and powerful text. And thé pictures are troubling and amazing. Tanks erin

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"Words at the limit of hearing, attributable to no one, received in the conch of the ear like dew by a leaf." (philippe jaccottet) or even a quiet presence is appreciated))