(sometimes withershins, widershins or widderschynnes) means to take a course opposite that of the sun, going counterclock-wise, lefthandwise, or to circle an object, by always keeping it on the left. It also means "in a direction opposite to the usual," which is how I choose to take it in using it as the title of this blog. We're all in the same world finding our own way.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Listen To Your Body Tonight

 Listen to your body tonight, it's going to treat you right.

This song might be about sex, but I've always loved it for that titular line.

Listen to your body tonight. I love my body, because it tells me things. We've worked out a language of sensation. There are really only three semantic units: pleasure, pain and awareness. They're homonyms in this body language, and synonyms to a degree. You see?

You've got to listen to your body, because so far at least it's the only body you will have. When you're hungry, eat. When you hurt, change something about what you're doing.

As a dancer, runner, former rower and Kinesiology major, I also appreciate the importance of proprioception.

To feel where my body is in relation to itself is a gift, my hand distal to my elbow can find my mouth even with my eyes closed.

I've rarely experience a time when listening to my body did me wrong. Our bodies know what they need. Sometimes that isn't always what you need from them, like in an athlete's push through the pain, but that's why our bodies respond. They grow and change and adapt to what we provide them with. I can't strictly say I'm vegetarian because I recognize that my body occasionally wants or needs meat in a way that my normal diet is not able to supplement.

So do yourself a favor: Listen to your body tonight. It's going to treat you right.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Science Fiction Tale

So... I don't know exactly what I was thinking when I first wrote this, or even when I wrote this, but I found this start to a short story on my computer and thought it worth sharing.

Science Fiction Tale
A crisis filled the land of Fairytale, and all the surviving heroes, villains and creatures of the stories decided to get together to fix the problem.

Hansel, Little Red, two of the Three Little Pigs, Anansi, Cinderella, Snow White’s Prince Charming, Belle, the Beast, the Frog Prince, two or three Kings, Rumpelstiltskin, a Evil Stepmother, a Wicked Witch, a Fairy Godmother and an odd assortment of talking animals were among the only remaining inhabitants who came to the meeting.

“Where’s my sister?” Hansel whined in a small voice. He looked suspiciously at the Evil Stepmother, but she was from a different story.

“Child, I regret that we do not know, but I worry for the larger picture,” the Frog Prince said. “Her disappearance is but a symptom in a larger disease.”

“I agree with the talking French cuisine,” said the Witch. “I propose we send out a party to find the source of this weirdness and stop it. I went to visit that girl up in the tower (a dreadful brat who refuses to cut her hair, but someone has to take care of the dear), and instead found a seductive foreign man who tried to bite my neck.”

It was the same all around the circle. Someone was missing or a setting vanished or changed or there were strange new creatures prowling where there shouldn’t be.

As Prince Charming explained it, “I know this enchanted forest like the back of my hand and I’ve never seen anything like those vicious wolves who replaced my Sweet’s seven during the full moon the other night.”

Murmurs of assent came from everyone. Then Little Red spoke up.

“I realize that I may look like an innocent little girl in an unfortunately colored outfit, but I’ve been around as long as any of you. If we’re to get to the bottom of this, I say we find Jack first. By my recollection, he disappeared right around when this began. What the Witch said is right; we need to send out a party to get to the bottom of this.”

Silence fell over the group as they nodded, wondering who would be sent as a member of the search party. To their surprise, it was scared Hansel who volunteered first.

“If it helps find my big sister, I’ll go,” he said.

“That’s the spirit, oh lord of bravery and honor.” Anansi spun his praise like it was one of his stories. “I too will volunteer myself to find the discordant strand of our land and retie it so we can once again play in harmony.”

A chorus of “I’ll go”s and “Yeah, let’s restring the forest”s rang from members of the crowd.

“It’s settled then,” began Little Red, “Hansel, Anansi, the Wicked Witch, Prince Charming, Belle and–”

“NO,” roared the Beast. Turning to Belle, he placed his misshapen claw upon her shoulder with a surprisingly delicate tenderness. “You can’t go. I’ll take your place.”

“Beast, thank you for worrying about me, and you can come with us if you want, but I am not staying behind.” From the way everyone’s heart froze in their chest at the tone of her voice, there would be no arguing; Belle would accompany the group.

The seven bade their farewells to the assembly, thanking each Fairytale citizen for their wishes (and in the case of the Fairy Godmother, spell) of luck as they exited the clearing.

The night transformed the enchanted forest. Knowing that anything could be lurking around each bend was enough to keep the group silent. They jumped at the sound of a cracking twig, halted at any unfamiliar echo.

Soon they came upon another clearing similar to the one they had just left. A great tent filled the space, producing a warm and inviting light. Anansi pulled them back a pace, whispering:

“I know this place. That is the tent of the Twelve Months. Watch carefully each word you say, they take offense easily and have been known to get their dreaded revenge at the slightest insult.”

Forewarned, the party approached the tent, but jumped back when a young man dressed in shorts and t-shirt stepped out. He greeted them without words and held the flap as they proceeded past.

“Well come,” intoned the matronly August. “We’ve been expecting you. As you well know Anansi, no one finds the Twelve Months without us seeking them first.”

“I-Indeed, Ma-Madam,” stammered an Anansi as red as Little’s hood.

A small boy in a snowsuit with mittens piped up from the corner.

“Tell ‘em a’ ready, August. I can’t stan’it when the circle’s broked like this.”

Indeed, four of the Twelve Months were missing from the ring of seats around the modest campfire.

“Alright, December,” turning to the seven, she smiled. “He gets a little impatient, but what can you expect when the year’s almost over?”

“Now, I know you seek Jack–” at the look of protest on Hansel’s faced she added gently: “and Gretel. Continue down on the path you were on. It will take you out of the forest, past two castles and over a river. Keep going two pastures farther and you will find that pesky peddler who gave Jack his magic beans, more than that we don’t know.”

Come daylight, the group left down the path exactly as the Twelve Months outlined. The first castle was eerily deserted, but the second castle was the defunct kind that usually harbored a dragon guarding a room full of treasure or a tower with a princess.

No fiery roar greeted them as they approached but looking from atop Prince Charming’s shoulders, Hansel described a “terrible lizard” just on the other side of the battlements, unlike any dragon he’d ever seen.

Crossing the river, they paused when they heard soulless moaning coming from below. The Wicked Witch paled and refused to take another step.


At the look of confusion on their faces she explained.

“Forbidden magic, controlling the dead, unstoppable, run.”

They ran, and kept running past the two pastures, all the way to the peddler’s cart. He held no clues to Jack’s whereabouts, but he did point them to the famous beanstalk.

They climbed the magic beanstalk hand over hand, all the way to the Giant’s cloud castle. Only instead of a castle, they found a glowing metal orb. As they watched, three legs unfurled from its underside, creating a fearsome tripod. It lurched in their direction and they ran until they came to the edge of the cloud’s horizon. They had a choice, jump or face the mechanized monster.

Over the edge, they landed far sooner than expected. In front of them stood a sign of the kind that usually stood outside their towns and villas.

“Welcome,” it proclaimed, “to the land of Science Fiction.”