Thursday, January 11, 2007
The Americans Have Liberated The Camps
On Thanksgiving Day, I watched a documentary called Thin about a famous eating disorder treatment facility. As I stuffed a few stray chocolates into my mouth, I watched a young woman cry because she had to eat a cupcake for her birthday in an attempt to "normalize" her behavior. The girls and women who were there ranged from death camp movie extra to average-sized. Of course, you couldn't tell by the body who was the sickest -- that became clear over the time as I heard one perfectly normal-looking thirty year old say, If I have to die to be thin, then so be it. It's been my only goal in life. She had two lovely children, a decent career, and was willing to give it all away to the gods of perfection. As a former gymnast, I understood all too well the horrors of that line of thinking and can remember my mother looking at pictures of me from that time and saying to my father, Look, Don. The Americans have liberated the camps.
After doing every exercise regime under the sun, I started practicing yoga four years ago because my mother made me promise to "do something about your stress." I tried assuring her that I didn't feel particularly stressed, but the fact was I inhaled it, nursed it, loved it as if it were my very best friend and the thought of all that turmoil going bye-bye was almost more than I could stand. Who was I if not somebody who was always running around, biting off more than a person four times my size could chew, and never having a spare moment to think? It was one of her only requests before she died and as reluctant as I was about doing anything physical that didn't promise to drop weight immediately, I gave it a try. The stress proved to be a formidable enemy -- my nature is not a relaxed one. But as my yoga teacher says, one must challenge oneself without judgment, and I do. I try. As for liberation, well, that's a tough one when the camp is one of your own making and you have lived there for a very long time.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"I'm never going to accomplish anything; that's perfectly clear to me. I'm never going to be famous. My name will never be writ large on the roster of Those Who Do Things. I don't do anything. Not one single thing. I used to bite my nails, but I don't even do that any more." Dorothy Parker
Drinking movie suggestion: Mrs. Parker and The Vicious Circle
Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Thursday! In answer to Jon's question, it is a cigarette lighter burn. The tractor had one in case one felt compelled to smoke and farm at the same time!