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Sexing the Cherry and other delights

Jeanette Winterson is an expatriate English author who wrote this book about the Cherry [1989] and Art And Lies [1994] and Gut Symmetries [1997] in very imagistic, metaphoric prose. Among her other great books. She also keeps a blog on her site which recently reads, in part:

"I delayed updating this month because I wanted to wait till after the election. I did not, though, shave my pubic hair as instructed by more radical friends in the US, to shout the statement NO MORE BUSH. But I think we can all have a drink ...

At 50, I am learning to ride a motorcycle. Because it is good for my brain ...

You must read a brilliant book called "The Brain That Changes Itself" by Norman Doidge [Penguin]...neuroscience is now proving what contemplatives have known for centuries -- that the brain can be re-wired, that it is not a computer made of meat -- that we can change ourselves and our circumstances. The best thing for your brain is a steady supply of new challenges that demand complete focus. Then it has to jazz up.

The worst thing for the brain is doing the same stuff all the time. Then it closes down and gets lazy. Most of the problems we associate with old age seem to be due to not using our brains the way they're designed to be used. So, motorcycle training is very good because it demands absolute concentration -- if not, you die. It involves both mental and physical concentration.

Modern life is mortally and terminally bad because it is passive, depressing, and repetitive, and points us perpetually in the direction of ease and convenience, plus loads of pointless stress."

Plus loads of pointless stress.


Passive and repetitive.

Brain doing the same stuff all the time.

All these things are why I loveLOVElove my life in theatre. It's providing me with just the opposite of monotony and laziness. And always has.

I don't think it's simply and merely a question of *old* age, this repetition and boredom can happen at any physical age. Any mental age, as well.

And one of the cutest things I ever saw in our campaigns were the tees that read "THIS is the only Bush I trust!" With an arrow pointing downward. Were I not the inappropriate gender, I would have run right out and bought one in each color [rainbows.] Probably slept in them, too. [Instead of *next* to them, yum.]

I couldn't find the Doidge book but I poked into another fascinating one, "The Dying of Enoch Wallace" by Ira Black, MD, which talks about how, and how fast, your brain can deteriorate, at any age really, in terms of protein molecules. Which ones of these molecules do what for you --- and which ones do what *to* you.

Black addresses the issue / problem of whether suicide is external or internal, whether it principally comes out of natural factors or nurtural ones. He makes the point that "cell survival is dependent on the vigilant repression of genetic suicide programs." And how one single protein molecule can change how your brain cells grow. Or, die.


Biiiiiiiig mouthful.

That will require me to try out my LJ-cut skillz to continue to probe into, next time.

For now, I wanna nibble on my little bowl of cherries. One by one. [Or apples, since I am in The Big Apple atm.]

Cherries are delicious, you know. They are probably good for me, too. And you.

Oh yeah: http://www.jeanettewinterson.com

Enjoy! Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit.

And btw wrestling is fun too :)


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 17th, 2008 09:03 pm (UTC)
I love Winterson's work, and if I ever write anything academic about fictionalized autobiographies, Oranges would be my first text of choice.
Actually, at the Jerusalem gay pride parade '06, we saw a lady with a sign saying "oranges are not the only fruit". (John didn't get it.) I just briefly looked through my photobucket, but I can't find it there, but oh well - just wanted to tell you this little story =)
Nov. 19th, 2008 06:00 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I remember your posting about it! ... partly because of the violence that actually was a thing of the past, if I remember correctly.
Nov. 19th, 2008 06:06 pm (UTC)
No, the stabbings were at the '05 parade (aka John and mine first date =)).
Nov. 19th, 2008 06:08 pm (UTC)
Yeah, 2005. That's right =) OMG it's the "first date" part I -should- have remembered!!
Nov. 19th, 2008 06:10 pm (UTC)
The first date that's still going on! *is envious and applauds*
Nov. 19th, 2008 06:07 pm (UTC)
I also found "Art and Lies" and "Gut Symmetries" fascinating ... think I'd pick 'Symmetries' or 'Cherry' if I were doing your fictionalized autobiography trip :P
Nov. 17th, 2008 09:28 pm (UTC)
My first thought is, "Hey this was way cool." Except I want to say something more insightful than THAT.

LOLing at the "next to them" comment. Yum, indeed. *grin*

Basically, all the stuff you're saying about the brain is the same conclusions I've been coming to in my own life. That living is living inside out, and the inside gives meaning to whatever you are doing on the outside. And I'm so glad you're involved in theatre again. *hugs*

Can you twist a cherry stem into a knot with your tongue? Watch out; you may pop some if you are not careful. *evil grin*

Fair warning: if you see any chicks approach you with poodle clippers, do the right thing and back away slowly. :)
(Deleted comment)
Nov. 19th, 2008 06:04 pm (UTC)
Haha wrote you an Email about 3:34 activities XD3

"Genetic suicide programs" --- the whole idea and what they are finding out --- are a revelation to me. It's going to be a challenge -- a delight, actually -- to make something readable out of the research on this and to post it soonish :P
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )


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