Tuesday, 12 October 2010

"Now the standard cure for one who is sunk is to consider those in actual destitution or physical suffering -- this is an all-weather beatitude for gloom in general and fairly salutary daytime advice for everyone. But at three o’clock in the morning, a forgotten package has the same tragic importance as a death sentence, and the cure doesn’t work -- and in a real dark night of the soul it is always three o’clock in the morning, day after day. " - F. Scott Fitzgerald


Friday, 1 October 2010

Sweet Heart. Sick Body Part.

I am beginning to feel the years creep up on me. Creep up on my body, to be accurate, actually. My mind continues to stay simple enough. My problem-solving skills still pretty much involve the 3 easy steps of Repression, Passive Aggression and then eventually, Indifference or Boredom. And I am obstinate about always having the window seat.
But my body, it has begun to tell.

Everything's begun to droop juust that bit. I can no longer bludgeon my metabolism with sacks of potatoes and my eyesight is now a big ol' laugh. I feel like my body used to be this big quarterback of a thing - strong, stress-absorbent, formidable even. I could walk ridiculous distances, eat myself unholy, smoke my lungs sooty and then wash it down with a tall glass of aerated anything, no problem. But after 25 years of my punching it, it's noiselessly fallen backwards.

It feels tired and uncared for. It feels withered and drained of all that is young and good and fresh and renewable. Suddenly I am aware of its limits, its wincing and when it is telling me to put. that. bagel. down. I am terrifyingly conscious of the incredible splintery nature of the physical form. Not just mine, either.

The skin is this thin, tearable material. Everything inside is so soft and easily squishable and connected with almost unbearable delicateness. When my heels chafe against rough ground, I am aware. When I'm fitting my spine around the rude train lady with a heightened sense of entitlement, fine tickles of stress run across it so accusingly. The other day I was looking out a bus window and saw a couple of little boys play punching each other. I stared, fascinated by how it would take a single blow dealt at just the angle to kill one of them. But more importantly how I knew it wouldn't.

You cannot acknowledge life's fragility without being awestruck by its resilience. It shouldn't be possible to not die almost the instant we're born.

When we perish in car crashes, fall down and break bones or develop heart conditions, we're shocked and outraged. 'How could this be?' How could this NOT be?! These things were much more likely than years and years of staying untouched. Being able to keep as a whole, being able to continue to be alive. We're essentially bags of liquid and squiddy bits slung on a skeleton and we're still here.

It would have to be something else that's making us endure.