Monday, April 9, 2012

the bone luminous

1. When I was in the South, we went to Mississippi to go to the Walter Anderson Museum. Walter Anderson is known for his depictions of plants, animals, and scenery specific to the Gulf Shore. My grandparents were friends with Walter, and my mom grew up playing with his kids. 

2. Remember when I started that list, "Rules For My Own Damn Self?" Here are some more rules.

23. Re-examine the roots of your beliefs and assumptions on a regular basis.
24. If someone challenges your beliefs or assumptions, try to see it as a chance to find more clarity.
25. Don't apologize for your emotions. 
26. Don't apologize for needing sleep, food, self-space, or to pee. Don't take it personally when other people need sleep, food, self-space, or to pee.
27. Make things.
29. Eat at least one naturally green thing with every meal.
30. Where you are going is almost never so important that it's worth getting a ticket or endangering yourself/others. Drive safely.

I am so proud to call this person my platonic electronic life partner.

5.  You can expect a lot of poetry this month. Deal with it. 

The Soul Bone
Susan Wood

Once I said I didn’t have a spiritual bone 
in my body and meant by that 
I didn’t want to think of death, 
as though any bone in us 
could escape it. Maybe 
I was afraid of what I couldn’t know 
for certain, a thud like the slamming 
of a coffin lid, as final and inexplicable 
as that. What was the soul anyway, 
I wondered, but a homonym for loneliness? 
Now, in late middle age, or more, I like to imagine it, 
the spirit, the soul bone, as though it were hidden 
somewhere inside my body, white as a tooth 
that falls from a child’s mouth, a dove, 
the cloud it can fly through. Like bones, 
it persists. Little knot of self, stubborn 
as wildflowers in a Chilmark field in autumn, 
the white ones they call boneset, for healing, 
or the others, pearly everlasting. 
The rabbis of the Midrash believed in the bone 
and called it the luz, just like the Spanish word 
for light, the size of a chickpea or an almond, 
depending on which rabbi was telling the story, 
found, they said, at the top of the spine or the base, 
depending. No one’s ever seen it, of course, 
but sometimes at night I imagine I can feel it, 
shining its light through my body, the bone 
luminous, glowing in the dark. Sometimes, 
if you listen, you might even hear that light 
deep inside me, humming its brave little song.

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