What does it mean to be human?

“Camping Memories – Role Swap In The Shadow Of The Narrow Gate”, 45 × 72 cm, iron etching, printed from two black and one and one color plates next to each other, 2011 by Tibor Egyed. 


I awake to snow on rooftops and a skull swelling with head ache. My body is demonstrating against myself. In the night, someone must have pressed their fists against my thoughts. They leaked all over my bed. Through my sheets. Into my mattress. Ruminations stain the seams of sewed fabric. Even my pillows got drenched. What is my body trying to tell me?

I read an article by the comedian, Roseanne Barr, and she tells me to stop complaining about the size of my body. She writes, “Half the world is starving; the other half is trying to lose weight…Blabbing about weight loss is disrespectful to hungry people.” We are approaching resolution time and I am guilty of crafting lists longer than my legs, forcing out promises I often break before the end of the first month. People go on cleanses to prove that they can, but I wonder what would happen if we left our refrigerators outside as a communal offering. There would be no rotting fruit, forgotten and eventually thrown away. Nothing would go to waste because there is always someone out there who will eat what you won’t.

I am going to forego my list this year and just…LIVE. Instead of writing down:

Go to a museum
Bike around Prospect Park
Knit a scarf
Bake bread
Call someone I haven’t spoken to in over a year
Make art
Lose weight

I will just DO these things without announcement, without paper commitment.

What does it mean to be human?

I am bloody and burned and bloated and bewildered. I contemplate and procrastinate and waste and waste and waste. I complain and contribute and conspire and forget. I mess up and I’m messy.

With just a few weeks left of this year, I meditate on these months that have passed. What has been written, read, seen, heard and learned. Without a list, I am boundless now.

And I will honor my body in realistic ways. When it feels heavier, I will give it time to move slowly and hug away its insecurities. Nudity is best when it is given space to be honest. There will be no more sucking in in my future.

Being human is to just commit to being in this. Inclusive of the sad, the overwhelm, the moments where you just want to live outside the body. Like love, it wavers. And I am guilty of this.

Barr says, “Start from within.” I can do this.