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Some Thoughts on Flesh


Hands knead the sprained flesh where rib number five has worked itself out of line and out of order. Ugh. Getting a massage used to be more pleasure and less work. Breathe in . . . breathe out . . . breathe through . . .

The massage therapist continues along, digging out the past trapped in my body, like an archaeologist mapping a new site.

Left knee cap – Cracked in 1982 while running upstairs to the light booth in Hammond Hall at Rice.

Coccyx – Shattered by fall down a marble staircase in the Albergo Abruzzi in Rome in 1984.

Right knee front – Wrecked chasing my runaway convertible down a hill before it landed on a fish pond in San Francisco in 2003.

Right wrist – Tweaked into perpetual tendonitis by using a dull kitchen knife on a fresh rutabaga on Valentine’s Day in 2012


Every inch of me now tells a story with multiple layers. This is both the joy and curse that comes with time.

Thinking now about Mary Magdalene. Dead for centuries so her story has so many layers it has become impossible to dig all the way down to the truth of flesh and bone.

I hope she had the luxury of strong hands to ease the pains of her life. I wish I could ask her what Jesus was really like. I pray that when anyone speaks of her, they would remember:

she lived love, even unto death.

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