By Wislawa Szymborska
Translated by Stanislaw Baranczak and Clare Cavanagh
Nothing has changed.
The body is susceptible to pain,
it must eat and breathe air and sleep,
it has thin skin and blood right underneath,
an adequate stock of teeth and nails,
its bones are breakable, its joints are stretchable.
In tortures all this is taken into account.
Nothing has changed.
The body shudders as it shuddered
before the founding of Rome and after,
in the twentieth century before and after Christ.
Tortures are as they were, it's just the earth that's grown smaller,
and whatever happens seems right on the other side of the wall.
Nothing has changed. It's just that there are more people,
besides the old offenses new ones have appeared,
real, imaginary, temporary, and none,
but the howl with which the body responds to them,
was, is and ever will be a howl of innocence
according to the time-honored scale and tonality.
Nothing has changed. Maybe just the manners, ceremonies, dances.
Yet the movement of the hands in protecting the head is the same.
The body writhes, jerks and tries to pull away,
its legs give out, it falls, the knees fly up,
it turns blue, swells, salivates and bleeds.
Nothing has changed. Except for the course of boundaries,
the line of forests, coasts, deserts and glaciers.
Amid these landscapes traipses the soul,
disappears, comes back, draws nearer, moves away,
alien to itself, elusive, at times certain, at others uncertain of its own existence,
while the body is and is and is
and has no place of its own.
Older son had high school orientation this morning...he wasn't thrilled about being in school in the summer and I am distinctly ambivalent about having a child in high school! My mother was out in the same direction picking up the Bar Mitzvah albums (FINALLY -- they were finished months ago but she wanted to pick out frames for photos and this was the first time she and the photographer managed to get together) so she picked son up and we met at a local shopping center where she was meeting a friend for lunch. I took the kids to do a couple of chores, then home for awhile, then my father took them to the pool while I wrote Trek news (Quinto braces self for Trekkies who know ten thousand times more about Spock than he does, Shatner and Collins flirt on Fan Collective - Captain's Log and waaah why can I not get my CBS contact to write me back about a review copy of this one because although I have all the episodes, I want that commentary!).
Had dinner with dementordelta, rubyrosered and snapetoy whom I had had very little hope of ever meeting since she lives on the other side of the world, so I did not want to miss an opportunity while she was in my state! We had Indian food, which was delicious and I packed up the leftovers to go home but then the container leaked not only all over the back seat of Ruby's car but all over my gray dress that two laundries (first I tried cold water, then hot, based on quick check online for advice) have failed to wash out. Woe! This is why I wear so much black. *g* Anyway, we discussed the state of fandom and Snarry and the gorgeous full moon (*waves to Remus Lupin*) and museums and the Royal Family, and then I came home to some spectacular wankery which I am staying the hell out of. Except to say that I don't think racism and censorship are the issues, but rather ignorance and insensitivity and how communities are managed. And oh dear, in my efforts to occupy a wank-free zone, I had better go back to non-controversial topics like dirty kinks and adorable things:
At first he was happy to play independently...
...but then he wanted his Mommy.
And a piggy back ride!
And here is a slightly older chimp child climbing with a parent.
RIP Ingmar Bergman: it is impossible to imagine the film medium without you. Must make time to watch The Seventh Seal again soon.