As hard as it’s become to love my body through the challenge heart failure imposes on it (and if I’m honest before h.f.), I absolutely don’t not-love her. I do worry that she will up and leave me altogether. The truth is, our relationship will end because all bodies end. It’s no secret that all of them are fallible and impermanent despite the corporatizing of them that says we can make them otherwise.
We have a social contract in which our measuring stick for harm is familiarity and this contract puts us all at risk. Communities divest from perceived offenders (part of the premise of prisons) until and unless we perceive the offenders, not as offenders but as homies and relatives; dates or partners; familiars. Though they may have harmed or admitted to harming or being party to harm, to call them out is disruptive or shameful to the community unit, so we don’t name them offenders and absorb the harm, effectively normalizing it.
"Your heart is not pumping like it should," the cardiologist said. "You're in heart failure. It's amazing that you're running at all." He said her ejection fraction was at 20%, meaning 80% of her blood stayed in the heart's ventricle instead of pumping through her body. "Do you want me to start running less?" she [...]
too long miles later & I have sputtered like this engine needing, I bet, to tug the cables.
For the first time in four years my ICD "delivered therapy," which I discovered days after "the event" when my electrophysiologist's nurse called to ask "if I was okay."
What you do know is that what the women said about you is true: you are a cavernous hollow in whom no man can find his rightful end. And who doesn’t want to end somehow? To plant a flag, surrender and wilt into rest?
For today’s sermon, we borrow from the book of Nikki (Giovanni, that is).
Editor’s Note: While our usual editorial style uses poets’ last names on second reference, this essay intentionally breaks with that style as a nod to the intimacy the poet has cultivated with audiences and readers.
By Kendra N. Bryant, PhD
I turned myself into myself and was
men intone my loving name
All praises All praises
I am the one who would save
—Nikki Giovanni, “Ego Tripping (There May Be a Reason Why)”
Jesus wept. (John 11:35)
I find Jesus and Nikki to be quite similar, maybe even one and the same. Admittedly, however, I don’t know either that well. But I think I know enuf about them to make such an assertion. See, I’m thinking if Jesus really is on Mars, then Nikki’s fascination with space is really her fascination with herself, but not in an ego-tripping, self-centered fashion; more like a return to Self. Otherwise…
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It wasn't remembering at all but realizing--probably that's what I was doing, you know, that you are dead, and it felt like chewing foil
Source: darlene anita scott