Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Lusts of the Flesh

Has been a long time since my last post. Mostly I have been inert, with flurries of...self care. Surprised you didn't I.

I am not good at living in limbo land. The latest date for info about county budget cuts is June first. I hope we know by then if Mark has a full time job.

I am still s-l-0-w-l-y getting rid of stuff. I am now going through boxes of stuff I stored because I didn't know what else to do with it. You know about those. You forget about the contents until you open the box and think, "Oh crap it's this junk again." Very therapeutic on all levels.

My eating is good or bad depending on the day.

I just read a book by Susie Orbach called "Bodies." Very enlightening. You remember Susie, "Fat is a Feminist Issue" Susie. Has been years since I read anything by her. I'm not sure why I bought it. It was darn expensive for a paperback and I am paranoid about money right now. The book made me feel good. Like taking off a tight girdle, pardon me, shape wear pantie. I read the book, looked in the mirror and said, "Yep, that looks like me." Not "fat belly, bad Lynn", "droopy upper arms, disgusting", "wobbly double chin, all your fault," just..."yep that looks like me. I look amazingly like my mother." What a relief.

I am now reading "Having a Mary Spirit" by Joanna Weaver. Very enlightening. Joanna also wrote "Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World." Bought "Mary Spirit" after I bought "Bodies." To paraphrase Monty Python, I wanted something completely different. Turns out, not so much difference between the two. Joanna talks about the nature of "Flesh Woman." This would be the woman who sins by giving in to "fleshly" desires. This would be apple eating Eve and her ravenous daughters. Joanna forced me to confront my opposing thoughts about sins of the "flesh." I am not the only conflicted Christian out there. The Christian church has been divided about "fleshly" sin since Paul and Peter, and the Arian heresy. For 2000 years we have been taught sin resides not just in our sinful natures but also in our physical bodies. Those of us who suffer with cravings of various sorts have had no trouble believing the teaching. But just because we were taught heresy as truth does not make any the less heretical. The space between the joints in my elbow is not full of sin, it is full of synovial fluid. My red blood cells are not carrying sin, they are carrying oxygen. My body does not contain sin or cause me to sin. My sinful "appetites" do not arise in my digestive system. My ingrowing toenails are innocent of sin. Yes my poor body has had to endure the consequences of my sins but is sure isn't the cause.

So, what do Susie Orbach's Bodies and Joanna Weaver's Flesh Woman have in common? Both books say the obvious. Our physical bodies are just our bodies. They are not "good" if they are thin/beautiful and unsullied and "bad" if they are fat/ugly and commit sin. They are morally neutral. This is good news for a fatish sinnerish woman who has has a hell of a time caring for and about her "temple."

Take care. Love Bea