Wednesday, October 31, 2012

barefoot in the belly

It makes me think of religion, the truths of life hidden in archaic expressions. How does it go? Avenging the deeds of the fathers  … how does it go? I need to google. This is one aspect where one really notices I am not native English speaking; my Bible quotes are dreadful, even the ones that I can do with some fluency in Finnish ("isien pahat teot kolmanteen ja neljänteen polveen" – I just know you were dying to know).

 Ach so. Here we are: "I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me" (Exodus 20:5 – and as for why the font sometimes goes funny when you cut and paste and sometimes doesn't, well, he moves in mysterious ways, does he not, dear Reader?). So yes, the whole reproductivity thing makes me think God and the Bible and, you know, Stuff. Although I'm not absolutely certain about the sins of the male parents and the vengeance taken upon the sons, I have learned that you "are what your Grandma ate", at least going down the matrilinear line. For verily, lo, when your mama were just a wee foetus within your Granma's womb, she already had the egg cells from whence you would spring forth, one day. And so she (and her egg cells, and you yourself in the bargain) was built up by what your Granma ate. Isn't that mind-blowingly weird? I think it is.

And as if that wasn't enough – the whole thing is weird. Here I am, forty-five honourable or dishonourable years old, mother of two grown-ups sons, certainly not going to have any more offspring in this life, with this body – does this old body care? Does it take the blindest bit of notice? No-sirree, nope it doesn't. It carries on, a faithful little organic clockwork of flesh and blood and nerve and tissue and sinew and hormone and whatnot, like it has for over thirty years, making it possible for me to conceive yet again, and again, and again, and again…

…it not only fills me with this is peculiar sense of wonder, but also saddens me. Oh the animal that is my body, how pure you are, how uncorrupted by reason, honour or dishonour, sense, decision-making, thought. Oh the poor animal of my body, you are blind to the future, as you are to the now, in which I race or hobble towards the future of being a crone, in which every moment curls me up more so that one day I will be a dried leaf of a human woman, a dried little leaf and I will come loose from the tree and that'll be it; yet the poor little pure animal that is my body, it doesn't know, it just goes on, being a body. 

Properly weird, no? 



Reading the Signs said...

Properly weird? Properly poeticproselike. So seriously watch it. And you were referencing the Mary Oliver 'Wild Geese' poem, yes? Wonderful.

Of course, we may be what our Grandmas ate (schmalzbrot, sauerkraut und bohnen suppe) *and* be punished by the jealous God for the sin of the parents. This might explain a lot, in fact.

Sometimes I'm with Marina Tsvetayeva who could only love God's beautiful angels but not the big man himself.

"Oh the animal that is my body, how pure you are ...." - oh yes, indeed, Schwes.

Fire Bird said...

... and then suddenly it stops that particular project, and cronehood seems a little closer, and a new kind of freedom for the animal-body beckons... coming soon for you too!!

Anna MR said...

Signs – you are telepathic or psychic or something strange, you know? For verily, I have only learned about Mary Oliver's work within the last few weeks (I cannot remember how exactly, but I followed someone who'd commented on your blog and perhaps searched a poem they quoted or something like that). And though I must say her work was a most pleasing find, I had no conscious recollection of the few poems I read (but which did indeed include the Wild Geese poem) when writing this post. Now that you've mentioned it, however, the subconscious connection is obvious.

How properly strange.

Obviously, I am with you and Marina T. on the angels and God question. (And thank you for your very very kind words on the poeticprosething. Embarrassed, blushing, hence putting it all in these here brackets.)

Fire Bird, how very nice to see you. I don't know how and what to think on the oncoming cessation of that particular body-project…it may, of course, feel like a new-found freedom for the body animal, as you suggest. At the moment, though, there is a certain melancholy taste to the thought/reality. Life is actually really rather short, is it not?

In the days of yore, Fire Birdy, when I was a young and bouncy blogger, I used to give Finnish-language names to my guests. I play less regularly, these days – the world is older and so are we – but I have a sense that giving you know your name Tulilintu is somehow very right.

x x one each ladies