5x physical form

Our physical form. The inescapable vessel we navigate this life through. The easily perceived creative expression of ourselves as we exist in this moment.

I am very fortunate that I have had a peaceful relationship with my body from an early age. This was supported by the fact that society had a peaceful relationship with my body as a white, cis, able bodied, thin, traditionally feminine person. I have never had a serious injury or illness that has given me reason to doubt or mistrust my body. My gender identity, although sometimes limiting or discriminated against, is generally perceived to be aligned with my physical body which protects me from a lot of harm. I have experienced great pains and great pleasures but neither has caused me to lose my connection to this living breathing vessel. Because I have such a peaceful relationship to my body it does not seem fair for me to reflect on the limits of my relationship to it. There are others that struggle everyday for what I have. And yet it is precisely because of that I feel it is still important to reflect that I am not my body.

I am not body, and in a blink of an immortal eye my body will break down and fade to dust. All of its quirks, concerns, and candor are fleeting at best. This inherent flaw renders all else mute in its shadow.

So how to live a creative life in this temporal form? Here are a few things I have been contemplating.

1. Rae Spoon’s latest album Bodies of Water they explore how like bodies, water is heavily regulated and increasingly commodified, despite being fundamental to life.

2. Everything You Know About Obesity is Wrong via one of my heroes Kimya Dawson who had this tender Instagram post on the subject

3.Our Sister Becky: What If The Doctors Had Listened to Her By Kate Beaton via The Cut

4. Shon Faye interviews Travis Alabanza about their new theatre piece BURGERZ via Alok Vaid-Menon

5. Music Video for Sea Dragon by Covet

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5x the creative self

After a long pause I return to these quaint lists of things currently on my mind. This time not because they were asked after, but because it turns out publishing these lists here is a marvelous archive for me to draw on. Hopefully it is also an interesting collection for you to ponder

Enjoy

1. Ursula K. Le Guin on the Inner Preacher vs the Inner Teacher via Brain Pickings

Art does change people‚Äôs minds and hearts. And an artist is a member of a community: the people who may see, hear, read her work. My first responsibility is to my craft, but if what I write may affect other people, obviously I have a responsibility to them too.” – Ursula K. Le Guin

2. Stephen Bachlor on Wonderous Doubt via On Being

3. Busdriver – The Imperfect Cinema via Spotify

4. An Open Letter to Jeffery Straker and Kelly Jo Burke by Cat Haines

5. Angel Olsen via The Great Discontent

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Tsunami girl

The first time our lips groped each other in gentle awkwardness a tidal wave overcame my body drowning my brain in the dizzying waves. You touched my face in that loving way we had whispered to each other about as kids. Except you weren’t the tuxedo mask or Kurt Cobain of our fantasies. You had soft hands that smelt like vanilla body spray and truth or dare perspiration. You pulled away while I was still struggling to catch my breath and laughed in my face. You said that its no big deal to kiss after all it was just a game. Even though I had tried to say to you many nights in the dark that I could fall in love with any gender, but what I didn’t say was that I was falling in love with you. I think of all those times we would practice our make up and try to find the right angle to make our barely there breasts seem most appealing in the mirror before lying together on the bed legs entwined talking about our futures. You said that we had to practice doing it for the boys, to attract a husband that we would wow with our nubile yoga bodies, and cook fancy meals for on special occasions. But I knew no boy would appreciate you like I do. He would be intimidated by your Amazonian figure, and fierce intellect. He wouldn’t know the hours you devoted to becoming your best self. He wouldn’t know the way your dad sometimes scared you, but you still loved him. He wouldn’t know that you think carnations are tacky as gifts. But I knew. I had watched you growing up all these years, blooming into not a woman but a force of nature. And I  was the one reminding you that you were beautiful, and that shared your anxieties about sex and love and romance. I couldn’t say to you though that I was falling in love with you. You were my best friend, and if our parents found out no more sleep overs, no more friendship, no more innocence. Besides we agreed that we weren’t ready to have sex yet anyways. You wanted to wait for marriage, and I wanted to wait for more body hair. But then you kissed me on a dare at your birthday party while your parents were out in front of all of our friends and shipwrecked my timid heart. In that moment as my lips parted to your infinite wetness letting it wash away all my fear of being seen when I too felt like I might be a goddess of the sea, you laughed at me. You told me that it meant nothing. You could kiss me anytime that you wanted, and it wouldn’t mean anything to you because you are not gay. I am just your friend. And sometimes friends kiss because boys like it when they do, and you, my friend, really want a boyfriend for your birthday, and I am never going to be that boyfriend because I can’t hide how soft my lips are, or how smooth my cheek is, or how tiny my hands are. My tiny hands that could never encircle your waist in the strong titanic embrace that you dream of. I wouldn’t even know how to love you  if I could. We hadn’t been practicing for this moment. The moment I would dissolve into your lips. I buried those feelings like a treasure closely guarded. Kept under lock & key, but always just below the surface. I had seen the ocean in your grey eyes, and I tried to swim back there everyday, but you were always looking somewhere else. 

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