This week's Five Star roundup is brought to you by the power in the ability to be your whole self, a joyful man, seeking the balance between the interior and the exterior, the treatment of women and other minorities in literature, the (lack of) experience of one's own body, and Günter Grass:
The phrase whole self makes me think about how we fragment our identities, and how at first, perhaps, that fragmentation creates a sense of numbness more than pain.
We get here, and Lou is singing. His caregiver Polly is waiting for the chorus when he takes a breath, so she can feed him. His pal Ethel watches him like a hawk so he doesn’t go full throttle, piss off the other diners and make trouble for them in their once grand, now fading old-age home. I think she is crazy in love with him, but that’s another story.
…twenty minutes can feel like a very long time when I’m sitting in silence listening to the sound of my thoughts skittering, seemingly randomly. Oh, there’s my mind trying to make a plan for later on today, and a list of things I can’t forget to remember to do. There’s my mind slipping sideways into what seems to be a dream. Bring it back, follow the breath.
I still read books. Most have silent women, or women who use their looks as a weapon. There are no female friendships. There are no mothers, no families. People drink coffee and speak English, and most of them are blond and pale-skinned. When someone who does look or sound familiar appears; when someone seems like they’re going to respect their ancestors and value their families — they’re the aliens.
Most other people, so I’m led to believe, tend to know what feels wrong with them, even when they don’t have any visible signs like a rash or a cough. I, on the other hand, consistently have trouble distinguishing between a sore knee, a bit of a cold and raging toothache. For some reason, I just don’t seem to be able to read the signals from my own body.
And because you are a fan of finding good, new writing online: