Mabel Todd’s book, The Thinking Body (1937) arrived. It’s a used book; looks like new. Here’s what I found on page one: 

“A casual world over-emphasizes the face.” 

Not sure what she’s getting at so I read the next sentence: 

“Memory likes to recall the whole body.” 

Still not sure what the point is until I read the next sentence:  

“It is not our parents’ faces that come back to us, but their bodies, in the accustomed chairs, eating, sewing, smoking, doing all the familiar things. We remember each as a body in action.”

I remember my mother in her chair recycling greeting cards and my father sitting at the table in the kitchen reading the newspaper. This feels like a poignant way to think of them. Remembering their entire being, their bodies.  

 When you remember your parents, how do you think of them? When you think of people, do you just think of their face? I think when she says the casual world she means that we don’t pay enough attention to the body. What do you think? Do you pay attention to your body and what it needs?

Thanks for exploring the mystery – Nicky Mendenhall

CLUE: When I told my personal trainer that I hadn’t been doing planks, she told me to do one a day. I just might do that. I think she’s thinking I will do more, and I may, but I’m going to take her at her word and just do one and see what happens. What is something you want to do more of but resist? Can you break it down to one time a day? Let me know how it works!

Image: I figured out how to download pictures from my camera again so I can share a more recent picture of my desk. Mabel’s book is the beige one you can see.


8 Responses

  1. I think of Mom playing solitaire and Dad fixing things. She’s right about the face being a casual observation.

    Another hot day here, but no monsoons so it has been dry. See you have had some stormy weather.


    Sent from my iPhone

  2. Thanks Nolan for two great vignettes of our parents. Dad was always fixing things! And I bet mom played solitaire once a day at least! Speaking of family – do you remember that Aunt Marla turns 80 today? Nina and Nan are with her. I will be with her in spirit! She's gone through a lot to get to this milestone!

    Thanks so much for reading and commenting. I hoped you would like this post. And thanks for the weather update. We haven't had many storms – yet!


  3. Hi Nicky,

    Very interesting! And I think you're right but I'd never considered this before. When I remember people, it's more as a whole than the face. You always give interesting things to think about. I hope you're having a good weekend!


  4. Hi Nancy,
    So good to hear from you! Mabel clued me in to this – I hadn't thought of it before either.
    Thank you for your kind words and good wishes. I note you said you hope I'm having good weekend – I hope your book on hope is still in the works!

  5. Very interesting, Nicky! I also just think I think of the face, when, in actuality, I am seeing the whole body. I love your little portraits of your parents. Seeing our loved ones in action/motion really captures much more than just the face. Thanks for this!


  6. Thanks Diane – interesting point about thinking we are just thinking of the face when in actuality we are thinking of the whole person. Remember when senior pictures were just the face?

    Thanks for checking in! Glad you enjoyed it – I'm having so much fun with Mabel!

  7. Nicola, that is a fantastic tip for starting a habit. Just do one. I have used that approach a number of times to get started well with something

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