Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Lighten & Rise

If you ever need proof of humanity's distrust of gravity, consider the billions of dollars that Americans spend annually on weight-reduction products.

We use terms like "beer belly," but the real force that presses down on the extra weight that we carry around from consuming beer or comfort food or sweets or whatever is gravity.

Losing weight is not just a matter of making ourselves more attractive. "Slenderizing," becoming slender, is a mass cult, and reveals the central human desire to lighten and rise. Fat may help us float when we're swimming, but the ocean that we'd really like to be more comfortable in is the ocean of air.

Think of all the young athletes and dancers you've seen whose feet have kissed the earth goodbye, whose lithe bodies rise in long, lovely arcs. Yeah, to float like that, to lose enough weight to float like that. Yeah, look homeward, angels.

The rest of us just have to suck it up!


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