National Cleavage Day March 30th, 2012
Today is National Cleavage Day.
Interesting word, cleavage. It is derived from the word “cleave”. From the Free Online Dictionary:
cleavage: The act of splitting or cleaving.
1. To split with or as if with a sharp instrument.
2. To make or accomplish by or as if by cutting.
3. To pierce or penetrate.
The other morning one of my cats, for some unknown reason which strangely seemed to not be related to food, woke me up way too early, and somehow launched me into a series of thoughts which eventually drove me from bed to my laptop. One of these thoughts was a joke I wanted to make about Adam and Eve – I can’t quite get it quite right, which is fine because I shouldn’t make it anyway, but something like:
“The Bible says that God made Eve from Adam’s rib. Don’t you think it would have been easier the other way around?”
Wanting to make sure I fully understood the scenario, I went to re-examine the story of Adam and Eve on Wikipedia (yes I know it’s not the Bible, but whatever), and found myself comparing a few passages from the Eve page.
God decides that “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a companion fit for him.”
And the rib, which God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
“Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”
An old story of the rib is told by Rabbi Joshua:
“God deliberated from what member He would create woman, and He reasoned with Himself thus: I must not create her from Adam’s head, for she would be a proud person, and hold her head high. If I create her from the eye, then she will wish to pry into all things; if from the ear, she will wish to hear all things; if from the mouth, she will talk much; if from the heart, she will envy people; if from the hand, she will desire to take all things; if from the feet, she will be a gadabout. Therefore I will create her from the member which is hid, that is the rib, which is not even seen when man is naked.”
So by implication, God decided it best to create a woman who will hide, and not even be seen when man is naked.
And so it seems we’ve got a situation here where a man will be “cleaving unto” a woman who God has designed to hide and not be seen when the man is naked.
It’s hard to know exactly what “cleaving unto” should really mean in this context, although whenever I read it it evokes a visceral reaction something like “get OFF me”. But that could have something to do with another cleave-derived word: cleaver.
Of course the story does not end there, or begin there, and there are other parts in between (such as Lilith… well, depending on what you believe and/or choose to believe). I just found it interesting to ponder the combination.
That morning I decided I wasn’t going to post any of this out of fear it might – as my friend T.C. likes to say, and sometimes do, if he feels safe – “irk social conservatives”. “Irk” is another interesting word… and is too light for me in this case; “fear of death” really cleaves more unto why I hesitated to post it. But today being National Cleavage Day (clEVEage? I know, I think too much), I thought of it again and decided I’d bend my rule.
Black Flowers March 17th, 2012
Last night, in a quiet place, I packed my bags through someone’s inner space… or, the lack thereof: I met someone who experienced amnesia. Twelve years of memories, lost. Every now and then he gets a snippet of recollection back, usually brought on by random conversation. I was honored to watch one such long-gone traveler return home while I listened.
Weighing heavily on my mind lately are thoughts of people who seem to have wished for such an escape. To have wiped away the pain of rejection, of mistakes, lost time, of vulnerability, of yearning… is that preferable to not having the emotional experience, to not risk of being ripped apart, leaving others to clean up the mess?
What of the choice (is it?) of whether to rip? What of the choice (is it?) of whether to put one’s name in the race in the first place? Should one avoid such inevitable conflicts by simply turning the other way, trying to save face?
I must remember, it is not all dark clouds and tempests. Sometimes no one falls into the pit of despair. And for some, the sun shines brighter after the storm. I was one of those people. But I stood alone.
They say the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, but inevitably the parts come undone. Why can’t the unwinding of the parts be greater than the previous whole? That’s what I want, for ALL parts. Does that ever happen?
I’m keeping a lot in lately, timidity veiled as kindness, fear of failure or success, frustration, elation, disappointed reassessment. Last time I felt this kind of deepened emotion I ended up lashing out in my confusion and introspective feelings of defeat. Thankfully someone heard my cry then. Thank you, again. I hope I can be more constructive, more creative, this time.