Clear-cuts, clouds, and clucking hens

The human body is precisely our capacity for metamorphosis. We mistakenly think of our flesh as a fixed and finite form, a neatly-bound package of muscle and bone and bottled electricity, with blood surging its looping boulevards and by-ways. But even a most cursory pondering of the body’s manifold entanglements—its erotic draw toward other bodies; its incessant negotiation with that grander Eros we call “gravity”; its dependence upon cloudbursts, not just to quench its thirst but to enliven and fructify the various plants that it plucks, chomps, and swallows; its imbroglio with those very plants and a few animals, drawing nourishment from them for muscles, skin, and sense before passing that chomped matter back to the world as compost that might, if we were frugal, be used to nourish the soils in which those plants sprout; its bedazzlement by birdsong; its pleasure at throwing stones into water and through glass; its mute seduction by the moon—suffices to make evident that the body is less a self-enclosed sack than a realm wherein the diverse textures and colors of the world meet up with one another. The body is a place where clouds, earthworms, guitars, clucking hens, and clear-cut hillsides all converge, forging alliances, mergers and metamorphoses.

— David Abram

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