My Photo
Location: California

I love paper. Books printed on acid-free paper and bound in cloth turn me on. I'm crazy about bookmarks, and I buy too many stickers. I could spend hours in the build-your-own-greeting card section of my neighborhood craft store. My favorite thing to eat is bread, and my second favorite is fruit. (Mm, pineapple.) I read too much and too fast, and I watch too many food shows (two ways of looking at gluttony). Gloomy, rainy weather calms me and so I can't wait to move out of California, which will happen, sadly, too many years from now to count. I'm vegan, though I haven't managed to eliminate honey from my diet yet. I practice yoga; it's the only way I can keep fit. I have a better life than I ever imagined I would (or deserve to) have, but I do my best to enjoy it rather than feel guilty about it. That's my daily struggle -- and also to be thoughtful and observant and honest with myself.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Self Portrait Tuesday

This month's challenge is to catch yourself doing something silly, crazy, out of the box. I started today's project with this idea in mind, but I'm afraid I ended up with exactly the opposite effect. Seriousness is a pitfall for me.

I'm frustrated sometimes with the way I speak. I'm not articulate enough; I'm still afraid of making grammatical and pronunciation mistakes even though I've spoken English for more than ten years. More times than I can remember I fantasized, as I waited, so nervous my whole body shook, to give a presentation in a college class -- I fantasized about a world in which I could communicate telepathically.

I went back to this fantasy for today's self portrait. What if I were able to keep quiet for the rest of my life? What if I clamped my hand over my mouth in order not to let any words out? What if I never had to speak again? Unfortunately, I love words too much. They would come out in the end, slip through my fingers like a liquid. They would inscribe themselves on my hands. My body would become covered with the shapes of the words I'd be refusing to speak.

Now that is wild: a world full of people carrying their words on their skin. We would be more careful, I think, about words if they could become part of ourselves in this way. And we need to be more careful. We waste words too often. We abuse them. We take them for granted.


Blogger Jonathan K. Cohen said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

April 05, 2006  
Blogger Jonathan K. Cohen said...

I had a friend in graduate school who tattooed words -- paragraphs, even -- all over her body. I particularly liked the sentence from Stendhal on her right bicep: "Posséder n'est rien; c'est jouïr qui fait tout."* She really took it to heart.

* It's not really translatable, but here goes: "[In love], possession is nothing; [play|sex] is everything."

April 05, 2006  
Blogger madness rivera said...

What a perfect quote, Jonathan, because this was my exact thought towards word use. It seems futile to be too possessive of Words. I feel we should just celebrate in the play and experimentation of them. Let you words fly, C. I love the image here, too.

April 07, 2006  

Post a Comment

<< Home