apr 20 2021 - precious calluses
hand and feet skin reformation, cw; a little gross tbh??
|Benedict Nguyen||Apr 23||2|
update: i’m leaving substack! how disappointing they are :(
this will be my last missive from here - in may, stay tuned for a msg from buttondown :) feel free to add <email@example.com> to your address book if ur worried ab spam filtration!
dear slushee savants,
~since i last wrote,~ I finally figured out a new extreme sports motion - gonna choose to elaborate elsewhere, another time. the process of learning it was thrilling, more soon ;)
i’ve also since lost an old pair of workout gloves. beside the inner padding having mostly dissolved with time, the outer zebra print had since faded and was just a dirty gray by the end anyway. i remember the zebra pattern was the cheapest; why pay more for electric blue when you can pay less for zebra print? to wherever those gloves went… RIP!!
i do have another pair but its thicker padding is better suited for indoor gym equipment (some day i hope!!) than what’s available at my outdoor gym. so i stopped wearing them and instead have watched small calluses (re)form on the insides of my knuckles.
~~noting the things that used to be so discomforting i needed gloves and now hurt good enough, ya know, just to feel something
~~noting the things that didn’t used to hurt and now that i refuse to withstand
i’ve also noticed calluses on my feet thicken and (re)form. when i first saw the thin dead skin peel back, i wondered if they had gone away and were returning and/or whether new layers were just making space for fresh air. i don’t think there’s been a period this pandemic where they would’ve gone away but as acute as my somatic sensitivity has become over the last year (plus!), it’s also quite possible i missed something :)
i remember rehearsing one season where it felt as if i had never had calluses before. my feet were suddenly precious snowflakes, blistering again and again and no amount of tape would relieve the blotchy red and raw being re-aggravated everyday.
the pain from not just bearing my own weight barefoot but pressing and twisting it into the floor was also oddly satisfying. to redirect my momentum, around circles (it’s me, i’m the broken record) in lateral space or squeeze my internal biomechanics into a plane to look like a narrow vector is a manual labor, one I love as both rigorous and frivolous.
calluses thickening comes from laboring the hands and feet. they can protect the skin and provide welcome cushioning. but too thick, they can tear off, the accumulation of so much friction written on the body gets crowded and needs to start over
so maybe that szn was a bubble burst of its times. submitting my poor feet to my daily somatic practice was not the best thing i could’ve done for it and yet what else was there to do but move and just wait for the callus cycle to turn? yes i’m vaguely familiar with the concept of “rest,” lol!!!
and the cycle did move on, my feet skin re-sealed and i glided across bare floors barefoot not at all noting the moment when doing so became painless again.
there’s a potential Goldilocks argument about ideal callus thickness, but— boring honestly! there’s another potential allusion to the body as corporeal ~reform~ and shedding to reveal the fleshy core, the healong of which leads to ~growth~ and ~resilience~. i could something something Deleuze and Guattari here, map callus formation beyond my individual body and onto the state, etc. but ~we~ all know how quickly that would fall apart so let me not forget that slushees are for thought improvisation and not theorization :) :) so take this where you want (YES AND!!) & talk to me/cite me later ;) ;)
for my dance/performance/somatic readers, who has read the body keeps the score? i have not actually, but someone talk to me about it plzz!!
&& srrry this is coming to you 3 days after april 20th’s first quarter moon in Leo but i’ve been on the phone like all night every night this week so i feel like my indulging in the pleasure and comfort of dear ones’ attn is the most fitting first quarter leo moon / sun & mercury in taurus szn excuse, i mean, honoring of the occasions :)
quotes and testimonials
“The slushees truly always bring me joy. Yesterday's taught me I am a Don't-Love-Me sun with a Don't-Ignore-Me rising,” — from a pal/fan
“now more than ever yours,’” — from another pal/fan
your fave “Why-would-you-love-me” sun,