Bodies and Minds Category

The body’s knowledge is a vital and dramatically neglected component of intellectual work. We offer this space for writing that sorts through what we learn (through exercise or illness or abuse or neglect) about our bodies as a thinking, laboring entities; or things that the physical reality of our bodies has taught us about other intellectual work.

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The Invisible Leash

We first started experimenting with allowing our dog, Felix, off the leash on a quiet dirt road in Maine last summer where other pedestrians were rare and we could hear any car coming from a distance. To our surprise, he tended to walk as if tethered to a long invisible leash—walking ahead or behind, pausing…

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Our Noise

We are, my youngest stepdaughter and I, at the bar. This is years ago. It’s true there are not many other 13-year-olds poised on stools and leaning, as if expertly, toward the beer-spigots and ranks of bottles, but nobody seems to mind. The kid herself certainly does not. She swivels this way and that, bends…

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Testing Eugenics

I’m a carrier for Maple Syrup Urine Disease, which, despite its rather charming name, has some serious implications for people with two copies of the genetic mutation. Someone with MSUD can’t digest any protein without suffering from debilitating seizures that lead to brain damage and eventually death. In order to live with MSUD, people need…

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Intellect, Endoscopy

“That’s enough. You can stop now: the phrase [Eve] Sedgwick said she longed to hear whenever she was suffering. (Enough hurting, enough showing off, enough achieving, enough talking, enough trying, enough writing.)”                                                                         — Maggie Nelson, The Argonauts   I lie on my back with a medical napkin draped over my thighs as the urologist,…