Gertrude Stein

Gertrude Stein
Woman with a brilliant mind

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Gertrude's Body

A masterpiece... may be unwelcome but it is never dull.
--Gertrude Stein

Gertrude has been forced to change her belief about her physicality.

Due to her robust good health of the past, in addition to her casual and wild upbringing, she did not appreciate anything about it. She thought that good eyesight, joint health, liver function and everything else would just gradually get older, but still keep her comfortably moving along in life. And so I guess you could say, she treated her body like something to exploit--something that would only end up thrown away.

Life and evolution have brought about a new way of thinking about the physical, including her body. She knows it's not about being sexy--those days are over. But it's about realizing she is a whole. She's not just her fat, so it can't be about dieting. She's not just her muscle, so it can't be about weight lifting alone.

Today she had a goal to try pilates, to see if there's anything that could be done about the swayback that seems symbolic of lacking in spine. That's when she realized that one definition of true strength is in how well a person holds together.

I am proud of Gertrude for at least this bit of new understanding. I am unmotivated and lazy quite a lot of the time, and I'm hoping Gertrude can teach me about goals and purposes that will help bring life, more life, more pursuit of liberty and happiness.

Guest Gertrude of the Day: Chloris Leachman again. Did you know she's the oldest person to be on Dancing with the Stars? She made it pretty far. They say that beauty in your youth is an accident, but beauty in old age is a true masterpiece.

Hence the quote above. At the onset of my midlife crisis, I had a very hard time letting go of being young and useful to someone. If I'd had the power I would have locked in my youth. Of course, that isn't possible. So, in trying to become the masterpiece that Gertrude is, I may not have welcomed having to do that but I'm finding it isn't dull.

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