Friday, July 23, 2010

Gravity of the situation

Can post, will do. All my little notes seems to be about physicality.
I'm going to start with my decrepitude and write about my clicky kneecaps. Do your knees talk to you? My left one's developed a gentle two stroke krickcrack that I hear whenever I go up stairs (many times a day in our two level house and every trip from the parking lot to my office). Castanets? I think no, the sound is not that ringing, it's closer to dice clicking. And the right has a quieter single crunch that goes away after I warm up. (Now I'm thinking about the sounds ice cubes make in a glass. They sound so different when they're in an empty glass, before the drink is poured. And then once submerged, when they've melted halfway and can move more in the glass. That is a sound I would happily meditate to.) After a month of no exercise whatsoever I have started a few morning stretches again. I'm focused on the leg lifts that are supposed to strengthen the muscles on either side of my knees. I'm wondering whether that will do the trick (oh and losing four or five pounds might help too). Are clicky knees my new normal? Urgh. The only positive spin I can put on this is that it's another excellent reason to exercise. Nine years ago in Oakland I was going to a chiropractor for neck and shoulder stuff but also for knee pain (my worthless memory is refusing to tell me the exact nature of the knee issue). At one appointment the chiro used me rather like a guinea pig with a rare condition, showing a student chiro how my knee cap did a sort of swoop when I bent my leg, instead of sliding in a straight line. I guess I should be glad it hasn't just popped off by now.

Apparently none of my slight imperfections are enough to preclude a gentle come-on by a young man at the nude swimming lake we visited last weekend. I must allow that it may have been Nod's charisma too, because this guy was chatting us up as a couple. We didn't have any use for him and while we answered his questions briefly, we swam off to deeper (yet simpler) water directly. I was so surprised by the idea of being chatted up and I told Nod I feel pretty much done with the ability to get a reaction with my physical appearance. I am happy I have a relatively strong and healthy body. I even rejoice in it sometimes. But that is separate from feeling like I can get anyone to want to "come up to my place some time". Nod was sweetly appalled and told me that if I want to bed someone else purely in the pursuit of my mojo I should do it. I told him I would take that in the spirit in which it was offered.

The naked lake swimming was wonderful. It was at a nudist/pagan retreat not far from here. So it was fun to visit just so I can say I've been! Very simple and outdoorsy place with cabins, a couple of larger buildings and a man-made lake. I've just read that it was built by nudists in the 40s and then was a Baptist camp in the 50s and more recently there has been some unrest at county meetings about goings-on there. It was a hot clear day with beautiful wisps of clouds to watch overhead. The lake water had that warm on top, cold on the bottom feeling that reminds me of jello layers. The company was too drunk and cruisy to suit me exactly, but it was a small crowd (a dozen besides us) and easy to ignore.
Dan Savage "For the record: I’m happy to acknowledge that there are lots of good reasons to be monogamous and/or very nearly monogamous, e.g., children and other sexually transmitted infections." That's from last week's Savage Love column. I love it. He is recommending a book titled 'Sex At Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality' which posits that during human evolution monogamy was not the default setting. Whether that sort of speculation has merit or not, I appreciate the message that monogamy is a choice and a distinct effort, it's not something we should assume is easy or inevitable. 

Oh and now I've read a pan of the book from a writer I like a lot. Here's Jessa Crispin's reaction to the book. Her bit at the end about the authors' bias towards male sexual satisfaction is a slamdunk. Personally I am over speculative writing on the human evolutionary roots of modern behaviors and conditions. Did prehistoric cultural experiences shape us? Yes! Can we reconstruct them? No!

In a recent dream I realized that I could choose to point my anxiety outwards instead of inwards. Instead of stressing and feeling very low and tired, I could work out spectacularly well. My brain is telling me it's ready for some muscle endorphins.
Poked, a Painful Tragedy
One night after dishwashing, I sat myself on the couch and enjoyed alternating between a crossword (gnawing on the bones of a Saturday New York Times puzzle, no I never quite finished it) and a mystery novel. At one point I put my pen down to pick up the book. Wanting to keep ink off the cushions and to keep the pen from rolling back under the cushions, I stuck it, temporarily mind you, between two cushions. Point up. [Ominous thunder effects] The next morning I woke up before my alarm and decided I would float downstairs to read for a bit before beginning my ablutions. Over to the couch I go, bleary and without glasses. Sitting down I feel a sharp pain behind my left thigh -- aaaah! I am off the couch! There's the pen, point up, right where I left it. Laughed at myself despite small puncture wound. I am happy that *I* was the one who reaped the reward of that poor decision. What guilt if someone else in the family had sat on it. Pretty sure my tetanus shot is still current.


The Subtle Rudder said...

I'm basically a rhythm section at this point. Even my hip creaks. But still I walk, and I've been going for miles out here, where there are hills and chills. It's harder to walk in the flat places when the temps are high. But lake swimming, mmm, lovely. I do not think there's any naked lakes in Nebraska, but it figures the licentious Lawrencians would have such a swimming hole. And good for you, trying it out and attracting the naked young. Just the thing to keep you juicy, clicky knees and all...

amenaneri said...

I join Dan in being appalled that you think you're not a sexy babe any more (at least I assume that was the source of appalled, not the guy's clumsy come-on). Neen, you are one hot mama...I'd do you, and I don't even swing that way ;-)

Who knew there were nude camps in Kansas? Kudos to you and Dan for seeking out the swingin' hipsters in the wilds of Kansas.

Lucy said...

I'm quite amused that your swimming place went from nudist to baptist and back again...

It's sometimes nice to be attracted to someone's attraction to you, if not exactly to them personally! if one ever gets the chance, that is... sigh.

I too get a bit jaded with that kind of stuff about our prehistoric origins; I think in a way it's a bit of a reworking of the noble savage myth, and yes, often used to justify want people want to believe according to their own agenda. There is danger in specious pseudo-anthropology, as with pseudo-history and pseudo-archaeology.

It seems to me the human species is characterised by its ability to take on and adapt to all kinds of social, sexual, and other behaviours and patterns according to the needs and dictates of the moment. And while polygamy might look tough on women, polyandry looks quite a bit worse in the societies which practise it.

Talking of variations in sexual behaviour, I meant to thank you for that wonderful link to the mating dragonflies! Very informative and fantastic images.

Nimble said...

TSR: I imagine you are doing plenty of long legged striding up and down those hills. Now I'm wanting a mocha in a pint glass at 9am before the beautiful people are up.

By the way, AM is my pal who lives in a stylish North Beach address. It sounds like you have plenty of people on the ground in SF but let me know and I'll put you in touch.

Lake swimming is pretty wonderful. Nod is adamant about wanting to get away from chlorine and he does have a point.

AM: Your ability to pick up on my hard to detect smolder is one of the many reasons I hold your friendship dear.

Lucy: Full immersion is attractive to very different groups!

I was happy to have found that dragonfly link too.

Bee said...

My knees have creaked for years -- and I can make my neck click far too easily.

I applaud you for having the courage to swim naked. I have always been intrigued by the Hampstead Pond (where they have mixed bathing and a ladies-only area), but I'm pretty sure the water doesn't have that lovely jello-layer feeling. (I've actually had that same thought.) I'm pretty sure it is just one consistently cold layer.

Nod's response is rather wonderful.