Giving Thanks

I’m thankful that I woke up this morning, with my feet still buried in the earth. I’m thankful for the time ahead and time behind, and the time that stands to sway.

I’m thankful for my weird little family that’s made from odds and ends and misfits and just whatever was left. But that doesn’t matter, really. I’m thankful that half of you put up with me and you’re not even blood.

To my Sister: I’m sorry you’re stuck with me, but don’t think I’m not grateful for all you do. Remember: I make you look put together.

(To my parents: I miss you. Rest well among the stars.)

I’m thankful for my extended family: all the hundred million of you, all around the world. Thank you for walking this path along side me. I’ll be better for you, I promise.

I’m thankful for those absent friends who still consider me one of their own, even though I’m now so far away. And to friends present: thanks for putting up with me. You inspire me every day.

(I’m especially thankful for my asshole best friend to whom I say: Ace, you’re a turd. I hope you read this and cry.)

And finally, I’d like to thank those who (I feel) wronged me. Because it’s hard to thank you, but you deserve it the most. Because without you, how would I ever improve or change? Thank you for breaking me, so that I could rebuild stronger, better, kinder. I’ll do better for you. I promise I will.


Beyond Death: The Aesthetics of the Human Corpse

Screen shot from retrieved 11.12.13

Screen shot from retrieved 11.12.13

Against a sanguine backdrop a skinless man stands tall. This is quite a feat considering he has been bisected down the center of his body, a foot for each side to stand on. Through the gap between his separated sides, his organs have been neatly shuffled to the left or right, providing a jigsaw view of the human abdominal cavity. Despite his exposure, the man is confident: he’s got one fist against each hip, as if inviting the viewer to peruse his innards. And why shouldn’t he be confident? He’s been gifted with a new lease on life. His fat has been melted away, his fluids replaced by silicon. As a display in Bodies: The Exhibition, he will never rot, ignominiously, in the ground; instead, medical students, children and the curious can pay Premier Exhibitions for the privilege of staring into unseeing eyes. But whose? The process this nameless, skinless man has gone through is called “plastination,” an invention of German doctor Gunther von Hagens, who founded the Body Worlds exhibition, which features preserved human and animal corpses (“Plastination”). In 2011, the then 66-year-old anatomist announced that he was dying. He requested that his body be plastinated after death and put on display.

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