bike: 30 minutes
run: 3.25 miles
outside temp: -3 degrees/ feels like -11
Thought about running outside but decided that this extra cold air is probably not good for my sinus problems. Plus, I wanted to watch more Dickinson and listen to my latest playlist while I ran. Watched the 5th episode of Dickinson. Discovered that an episode is only 30 minutes–for some reason, I thought they were longer–so I stayed on the bike to finish it. The episode was about white propertied males’ control over others’ (everyone else who is not a white propertied male) bodies. 3 examples: 1. the Dickinson’s black servant Henry is afraid to go into town for fear of being mistaken for a slave and then kidnapped; 2. orphaned Sue (Emily’s bff) is being sexually abused by her boss–the father she nannies for in Boston (it never shows it, but it strongly indicates the abuse); and 3. instead of asking Emily, Emily’s admirer George negotiates with Emily’s father for her hand in marriage. These different types of control are not equated. At the end of the episode, Emily apologize to Henry for how he was being treated, saying, “I’m sorry Henry. Life shouldn’t be like this.” Henry responds: “What should it be like? You’re sitting here, eating cakes and reading Shakespeare, trying to say this isn’t what life should be like. But your life is easy Emily Dickinson. You’ll always have your father to keep you safe.” The episode ends with Emily composing one of her poems in her bedroom with a voice-over of her reading it and the words, in her distinctive cursive, flashing across the screen:
I am afraid to own a body/ Emily Dickinson
I am afraid to own a Body —
I am afraid to own a Soul —
Profound — precarious Property —
Possession, not optional —
Double Estate — entailed at pleasure
Upon an unsuspecting Heir —
Duke in a moment of Deathlessness
And God, for a Frontier.
I liked the complications and messiness of the episode even as I was irritated by Emily’s repeated displays of her naive privilege (which was finally addressed at the end with Henry’s words to her).
After biking, I ran to a playlist, which was great. After hearing it this morning on The Current’s coffee break, I added “Teenage Dirtbag” to my list. Really fun to run to! Midway through my run, I started thinking about my syllabi project. I decided that I’d like to add in Audre Lorde’s “The Uses of Erotic” with a unit on wonder and joy. Then I thought about using Simone Weil with a discussion of attention. I thought about some other related things that I can’t remember now–I should have pulled out my phone to make a note, but it seemed like too much of a hassle. Bummer.
a moment of sound
Noisy pants, crunching snow, plodding steps, at least one faint bird call, and wind chimes! Scott was miserably cold but I was totally fine as we walked Delia around the block in the late afternoon. I love the cold! My mask warmed my face. The only exposed part of me were my eyeballs and eyelashes. I noticed some of the falling flakes (it’s snowing a little) freezing on my lashes.