Is it too late to start again, do you think?
Peel it all off and grow another skin?
This one never fits -
Too large at the waist,
Too tight at the hips.
And the holes
Where I tried to grow horns
An old rug,
Faded and fraying,
It recounts each tepid tale -
Coffee stains and grease spots,
Shoe prints and shiny patches
Where my grandmother’s dining suite
Used to be.
Could I trade it in, do you think?
Throw it out and get another?
Sleek and rippling,
Death glinting in its eyes,
Striped and shivering,
Cold and glittering.
It doesn’t matter which.
Anything is better than the skin I’m in.
Anything is better than this skin.
Feeling beautiful when you’re pregnant is no easy feat. Sure, there’s the glow. But next to swollen feet, that aching back, a belly that is fast becoming your one defining characteristic, and the twenty-something additional pounds … well, let’s just say glowing skin pales in comparison.
As usual, I find comfort in words. Here, Karen Durbin extols, in lyrical, vibrant prose, the virtues of a part of my anatomy that refuses to be ignored.
A famous Richard Avedon poster from the early eighties still has the power to shock. It’s undeniably cheesy but erotic nonetheless, a long horizontal of the actress Nastassja Kinski stretched out on her side and wearing nothing but a really big snake. The semiotics here aren’t exactly subtle, but what transfixes the eye is: Kinski’s forward-tilting belly, set off by the python coiling tumescently around her crotch and the curve of her back. Just about every man I know has seen that poster, and they all mention the same thing—that impudent little tummy—with wistful delight.
Chaucer would empathize. In the Middle Ages, no poet could celebrate a woman’s beauty without a rapturous reference to “her small round belly.” It’s there in paintings of the time, pooching out suggestively on ladies high and low, including the Virgin herself. Medieval gowns made the most of it with softly fitted bodices that stroked the body like a lover’s hands and ended in a decorative, Y-shaped sash slung low around the hips and pointing discreetly downward to the source of life itself.
Five hundred years later, I look at pictures of models in the latest low-slung, hip-hugging styles, and what catches my eye is the forlorn concavity where a belly used to be, sunk between hip bones sharp enough to wound. This is that holy of holies, a flat stomach. Thanks to the culture’s runaway obsession with female thinness, women have simultaneously been thrown a curve and lost one. We wuz robbed: Healthy bellies are beautiful. (Ever see a skinny belly dancer? Who’d want to?) But there’s nothing delicate about them. They swell and cramp and make weird noises. They’re real and visceral and impossible to control, like life, which they teem with, especially for women. Touch a pregnant woman’s belly and feel the power—it’s as taut and unyielding as a medicine ball, protective housing for the occupied womb within.
Lately, I’ve become an unwilling player in the game of cholesterol roulette, and so, like most American women, I obsess about my weight. I want to lose some, my doctor wants me to lose some. But I’ll never want to lose what a friend once called my magic belly: emblem of fecundity and needful desire.
- Karen Durbin
We have sold your words for wealth and power,
Built our monuments and shrines.
But in the heart of the man who loves his brother,
They shine. — Finally got the bridge for a song I started months ago. It gives focus to the rest of the lyrics, I think. Points directly to what I’m really trying to say. Is that what bridges do? I wonder.
Martin: They’re trying to turn me into a fixed star, Father, but I’m a shifting planet. —
From John Osborne’s play, Luther.
You know that feeling when something created decades ago by someone in a very different social context touches you in an intimate way? Well, I just felt it. Maybe that’s why they call it art.
(Source: moi-et-la-solitaire, via flummoxedbird)
Estrella Morente -
Rooted in tradition… backed by centuries of living and loving and dying … standing on the shoulders of those who went before. Can you hear it?
Renowned Spanish filmmaker, Fernando Trueba, describes her:
“She has one foot in the 19th century and the other in the 21st century; she doesn’t belong to the 20th century. She’s so deep and ancient and, at the same time, so modern.”
When will we get it?
Click on the image to see one of her performances.
Taken from royalreportmag.com