Thursday, July 1, 2010

Birthday. Nudity. Insanity?

My favorite birthday present? Purchased from Cafe Press for the bargain price of $11! I sometimes think that I would like to hole up in my own private sweat shop and sew these sorts of things, but for such a low price, I decided that I would just go for it, isn't it nice?

I plan on flashing this around everywhere I go (which is no where, really), trying to look super cool and nerdy all at once. Would it be overkill if I carried a coffee with one of my Dharma sleeves at the same time? Like anyone would notice. . .

Nudity? Again?

from the Heath arsenal: "The Madman" by Chinua Achebe.
also by Chinua Achebe: Arrow of God, Things Fall Apart, Man of the People, No Longer at Ease, and Anthills of the Savannah

A promising young villager's pride leads to his ultimate undoing as he fiendishly chases a homeless man into the marketplace (naked).

This was lovely. It takes place in Nigeria, during the uprising by the Igbo tribe against the government, for which Achebe, the author, has been seen as a spokesperson. It's interesting to see the comparisons between what the well-established villagers see as madness or insanity (and how the word gets thrown around all the time) and how the homeless, wandering man is also seen as being "mad" but is more of just a nuisance.

See, this is where modesty (or paranoia) can really get you into trouble. If Nwibe had just casually strolled back from the lake, naked, and slipped into his compound unannounced, he could probably have escaped this whole business. . . I probably would have gotten back into the water and yelled loudly for someone to bring me some clothes, but then again, there are probably four people ON EARTH who have seen me naked in my adult lifetime, and three of them are doctors, so, you know, I can kind of see the guy's point. (!)

"The Man Who Could See Radiance," by John J. Clayton
also by John J. Clayton: Radiance, The Man I Never Wanted to Be, What Are Friends For? Bodies of the Rich, Saul Bellow: In Defense of Man, and Gestures of Healing.

This. Was. Beautiful.

This is so, so, SO, the kind of thing that was written exactly for me. Coincidentally, this is exactly the kind of thing I would love to write someday. I plan to read everything Mr. Clayton has to offer. Bravo times ten.

"It shone from her eyes, something to do with her eyes, but it was centered at her chest, pulsing out like the northern lights he once saw, visible, not visible, a trick of the light? --oh no, she glowed, out of the suffering something radiated. I can turn this off, he thought. I can examine it critically and get rid of this golden light. . . But he'd always liked her, and all at once he was breathing so fully again after suffocating weeks that he didn't have the heart to try. I know you, know you. He drank his wine and felt vaguely adulterous--and hoped they couldn't see."