I forgot to tell you how yesterday we came around the curve in the road at the park where the trees part and you can see the city’s ugliest house and back behind it, the rolling hills. Those hills are so amazing they always surprise me.
Nashville is not flat, by any means, but I get used to the ways it rolls around under my feet and I forget.
I just finished this book about Aztec gods and disability studies and how Octavio Paz said that women were split open, with this wound that won’t heal and I swear it made me want to build a time machine just so I could go back to that moment when he opened his mouth to say that and kick him right in the nuts as hard as I can.
Maybe it’s too much to ask, but I really wish that, when male theorists and philosophers sat around and thought their great thoughts about what it means to be a woman, they would not talk about my body like it’s already, just by the arrangement of my genitals, a sight of violence, a place where hurt has already been inflicted.
Shoot, maybe I’ll spare Paz and just stick Huck in my time machine and he can go back and explain to Paz all about the wonders of a woman’s cooter. When Huck talks about cooters, you don’t feel as if he’ll want to don surgical scrubs before touching you.
I have always so closely linked a woman’s genitals with not a wound but a labyrinth that I assumed the connection was blatantly obvious. Maybe not.
Anyway, the author of this book was talking about how pain is not always something to be cured or that can be cured, that sometimes you just have to live with it and how it is that pain both so firmly situates you in your body and throws you out of it and how a body that has been marked by pain often signals a person who can transcend his or her body.
It seems to me that there’s probably something important in that, something that would lead you to understanding something meaningful about gods who pluck out their eyes or chop off each other’s heads or lose their hands. To come face to face with the sacred means coming away altered.
I would love to know what it felt like to be you. I guess you scientists will come along and assure me that we’re already very permeable. First, we’re mostly nothing and then, the somethings that we are are all the time switching atoms with the things closest to us. Plus, I breathe in the crap that the folks around me breathe out (in this instance, Mrs. Wigglebottom and I are breathing from the same still air). Skin rubs against my skin and bits of hair and protein and saliva coat me. I’m not just myself.
I get that.
Still, I am alone in here, me and the animal that is my body. I keep trying to draw the rest of you in. Let me put my arms around you; my hands on you, my lips open, legs open, open, open, open, come on in, make yourself at home to the point that when the eyes shut, you see my darkness.
It doesn’t work.
I try in the other direction as well. I write to put my voice in your head, my life among your concerns. I’m ready to spread out, too. Me and the hills and the trees all the same thing. I feel most alive when I feel like I am both the walker and on the walk. I don’t know how to explain it better than that, but when those two feelings converge–when I am most open to everything and most actively spreading out into everything.
I see those hills when we walk and I feel like putting up a marker of some sort, a stick or a pile of rocks, or something so that when you come to that same spot, you know that I’ve seen what you’re seeing–that we see the same hills rolling off in the distance.
That’s as close as I reckon we can come to seeing through the same eyes.