Saw this meme where you take the closest book, open it to page 123, go to the 5th sentence and then post the next three. I guess I think it’s cool because I always have tons of books around me, and this little exercise yields results with little effort. Slacker meme.

She seemed to have read every spiritual text that was available to her. When she talked about the union of wisdom and love, which came with understanding the Way, it sounded more like the sermon of a Christian priest than of a Zen teacher. Though she rarely refers to it, she and her husband Kohaku had been baptized in 1935.

I like the meme, too, because I love random stuff.

Today’s led class was primarily a “survival” practice for me. That’s what Volleyball Guy calls it when you pretty much just manage to pull yourself through. I was really tired this morning, and kind of sluggish. I’m taking Monday and Tuesday off from work. I was feeling utterly exhausted and decided I needed a couple of vacation days to rest and relax. That was almost three weeks ago. I couldn’t get a couple of clear days until this coming week. I think I just kind of crashed last night, realizing I am going to have four whole days to rest, and that made it hard to build up energy for class. I had already gone into relax mode.

No matter, though. Class was just fine. Lots of new people. I think they might have been teacher training people who were there to check out an Ashtanga class. Unclear if it was a required thing, or if maybe some of them just got curious and stopped by.

The exhibit at the science center last night was a trip. For one thing, people look WAY smaller when you take off their skin. And the muscles aren’t what I expected, either. I’m not sure if it’s because of the plastinization process, or if we are just accustomed to seeing the plump, hormone and grain-fed muscle of mass-produced meat at the supermarket, but all of the human muscles looked surprisingly stringy and dessicated.

There were lots of quotes decorating the walls, various philosophers talking about death. I felt a little perplexed about the quotes. I think of death as a process, and the body at the end as an artifact. But I don’t see cadavers as embodying death. Actually, the philosophical quotes generally used the term with a capital D, which may have been my issue. The exhibit didn’t make me think of death at all (except for a few examples of diseased tissue), and it certainly didn’t make me think of Death, in the sense of an ontological matter.

I mentioned this to My Gift, who chirped, “That’s why you have no problem with this desecration of corpses, and why you brought me up to think the same way!” Very funny.

She may have a bit of a point, though. Apparently this exhibition has been quite controversial for a number of reasons, and one of them is that some people don’t think dead bodies should be put on display. I’m sure it seems incredibly offensive to anyone who feels that way.

I, on the other hand, was pretty fascinated. As it turns out, I have a great curiosity about diaphragms, livers and quadriceps. I knew about the quads thing, but was very amused to find that I like to look at livers. Forget about lungs and hearts and brains. Livers are much more interesting.

I really wish there were some asana poses in there. The cadavers were posed in more dramatic fashion — diving for a soccer ball, shooting an arrow. Asymmetrical stuff. I would have loved to have seen a symmetrical, quiet pose.

If you need to convince someone to quit smoking, take them to see the smoker’s lungs. Quite persuasive.


2 Responses

  1. “Weary and hot, I close my eyes, but there’s no escape In my mind are the images of all the nearly naked patietns only yards away, resting on their plastic mattresses, their sores oozing, their eyes fixed on the eternal churn of the ceiling fans.

    “In the sixties, Vietnam was a game we played in the yard with BB guns.”

    from Michael McColly’s “The After-Death Room: Journey Into Spiritual Activism”

  2. You don’t have a problem with death/dead bodies because you understand nothing really dies except the body. 🙂

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