Thank you to everyone who joined for this session!
For this session we close read “A Body’s Universe of Big Bangs“ by Leslie Contreras Schwartz, posted below.
Our prompt for this session was: “Write (or write about) a holy song.”
More details on this session will be posted, so check back!
Participants are warmly encouraged to share what you wrote below (“Leave a Reply”), to keep the conversation going here, bearing in mind that the blog of course is a public space where confidentiality is not assured.
Also, we would love to learn more about your experience of these sessions, so if you’re able, please take the time to fill out a follow-up survey of one to two quick questions!
"A Body’s Universe of Big Bangs" by Leslie Contreras Schwartz A body must remind itself to keep alive, continually, throughout the day. Even at night while sleeping, proteins, either messenger, builder, or destroyer, keeps busy transforming itself or other substances. Scientists call these reactions —to change their innate structure, dictated by DNA—cellular frustration, a cotton-cloud nomenclature for crusade, combat, warfare, aid, unification, scaffold, or sustain. Even while the body sleeps, a jaw slackened into an open dream, inside is the drama of the body’s own substances meeting one another, stealing elements, being changed elementally, altered by a new story called chemical reaction. A building and demolishment, creating or undoing, the body can find movement, functioning organs, resists illness— or doesn’t. Look inside every living being and find this narrative of resistance, the live feed of being resisted. The infant clasping her fist or the 98-year-old releasing hers. This is how it should be, we think, a long story carried out to a soft conclusion. In reality, little deaths hover and nibble, little births opening mouths and bodies the site of stories and the tales given to us, and retold, retold, never altered, and the ones forgotten, changed, unremembered until this place is made of only ourselves. Our own small dictators, peacemakers, architects, artists. A derelict cottage, a monumental church struck in gold, an artist’s studio layered with paints and cut paper, knives and large canvas— the site the only place containing our best holy song: I will live. I will live. I will keep living. Copyright © 2020 by Leslie Contreras Schwartz. This poem originally appeared in Pleiades: Literature in Context, October 2020.