Wonder Body and Winter: light, temperature, and pain

Pleasure Lab Podcast, Season 3: The Wonder Body Coloring Book
In this episode of Season 3, Alex interviews Amy about her “hunting winter” adventure, and specifically about the sensory pleasures of light, pain, and temperature to be found in these colder climes.
Resources mentioned:

Plus here’s your three downloadable pages pain, temperature, light for this episode, so you can color along with us.
Thanks to the folks on Patreon who are supporting this podcast and all of Body Trust’s other work! Go visit Patreon and become a patreon yourself to support the free podcasts, newsletters, and resources that we create for you.
Music: Grateful to Little Dog Big Ears for their Creative Commons licensed music She Sees Mice (intro and outro). Make sure to subscribe in iTunes or Sticher. And give us a 5-star review in iTunes, it helps us reach more beloved explorers.


Are your nose hairs freezing?

Now, I realize the irony of saying that from the warm, dry, safety of California. My nostalgia for all things snowy and icy may indeed be a romanticized version of the past. Have I forgotten the freezing of nose hairs? The scraping of windshields with a credit card? The disconcerting ways a car can pirouette when it finds itself on black ice?
But the truth is that every time I return to a winter climate I find myself relaxing in a way that a sunny beach never evokes.
The bundling of layers (long underwear, turtle neck, sweater, jacket, hat . . .) makes me feels like a warrior. The starkness of tree branches denuded of leaves, making their essential skeletal forms stand in stark relief, greet me like queer dance party of diversity (who knew there were so many different shapes, sizes, and branch configurations that could still describe “a tree”). Even the acoustics of sub-freezing temperatures brightens my ears, perking them to the crunch of frozen snow underfoot, the crack of ice stretching in it’s pond, the clear echo of chickadees flitting branch to branch. Winter is a synesthesist’s delight with sense stretched and altered and blended in surprising ways.
In winter’s barren landscape, I feel held and met.
Things are clean.
Which brings clarity . . . or atleast quiet . . . and hope to know what’s next.
How goes your wintertime? Anything crystalizing?
— Amy


“Put your arms around me now.”

Winter is upon us now
No turning back this time
The great north star has made her vow
No matter what occurs on this earth
She will shine
Put your arms around me now
For this is the darkest time
Put your arms around me now
And in the morning, I will shine

— Libby Roderick, Winter
When I think of winter, I often get this song stuck in my head. You’re probably asking yourself, “Wait a minute Zed, doesn’t Tori Amos also have a song called Winter? You don’t get THAT one in your head?” But no, in fact, this is the one that comes to me. Even though they were published at almost the same time (Tori’s in 1992 and Libby’s in 1993), somehow the guitar and sweetness of Libby’s version is what comes into my ears.
Growing up in Alaska, it felt like winter began in October. We’d almost always have snow on the ground by then (and it would stay until my birthday in April). Trick-or-treating was done in the dark, with glowsticks, and with snowpants or big boots to go with my halloween costume. So I don’t think of winter solstice as being the beginning of winter — but officially, it is.
Since we are past the solstice now, and the days are growing longer in the northern hemisphere, I also think about the passing of the dark and how valuable those long winter nights are for reflection, pause, cozy blankets, good books, mugs of hot drinks, outside snowy adventures, layers of soft and scratchy and other multiple other sensate fabrics. There is great value and insight in there, not just in the bright of the summer. It behooves us to remember and celebrate all the pieces, not just the sunshine.
Spoken like a northerner, perhaps. 🙂 Well, hopefully you’ll enjoy this throwback to early-90s feminist-folk anyway.
— Zed