October 20, 2010

One word at a time

One word at a time

It was a cold fall day, and I was on retreat with my friends. A group of them had gone off to follow the migration of the snow geese while some of us had stayed back for some quiet time. I’d taken a nap down by the lake, moving my blanket as the sun shifted, and then I’d come in to build a fire. Gorgeous Eyes and I began a conversation about relationships, and what happens after they end.

“We leave marks on each other,” said Gorgeous Eyes.

I liked the image of humans drawing on each other, marks that stayed even after they chose to follow separate paths. I thought of the many people who have left marks on me, who have changed who I am; I still carry the words and images left by people who have disappeared from my life.

By the time the other women had returned from their bird-watching adventure, Gorgeous Eyes had stripped off her clothes and I was writing on her naked body with a felt-tipped pen. She chose the words; I was just the scribe. We'd changed the metaphor by then. We were talking about ways to make our own desires and needs known to other people.

My friends are so used to my naked photo project that none of them found this unusual. “I think you’ve got the right idea,” said Makes Bread. “It would be so much easier if humans came with instructions.”

I finished writing on Gorgeous Woman and then took a photograph while she sat on the rug by the hearth, flames warming her naked body.

(Readers who want to know the history of the naked photo tradition can check it out here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here .)

12 comments:

Digger said...

This is really lovely! I often think of those whose lives have touched mine and changed me. Some of the most important changes were sparked by meetings that were only fleeting.

Cindy said...

I like how "Gorgeous Eyes" becomes "Gorgeous Woman" by the end of the story.

Cindy said...

I like how "Gorgeous Eyes" becomes "Gorgeous Woman" by the end of the story.

jo(e) said...

Cindy: Well, partly that's the context. Saying that I "finished writing on Gorgeous Eyes" made it seem too much like I was poking her in the eyes with the sharpie. So I switched to Gorgeous Woman, which is an entirely accurate pseudonym.

heidi said...

Another beautiful photo. The pics just keep better and better.

Anonymous said...

Saw a movie once in which a mobster killed the gf of another mobster & wrote on her body in black marker & left the dead body as a warning to the other mobster. It really creeped me out.

I like your version where the woman gets to pick the words and a friend writes them on.

YourFireAnt said...

lovely composition, and story.

T.

Lomagirl said...

Very erotic- but in a positive, wholesome, woman-owned way, I think because I'd have the same thing written on me.

Anonymous said...

Wow.

Sandy

Songbird said...

Love this.

landismom said...

That is the most erotic thing I have seen in a long time.

Zhoen said...

I'm going to have D write on me this weekend...