Thursday, May 16, 2019

Temple Body

"Atlas" by Lee Lawrie (photo: ThreeOneFive)
If you were a young woman growing up in the 50’s or even early 60’s, you may remember your mother warning you,  “your body is your temple.” Instead of attending Temple Emmanuel or Israel, you attended Temple Body and you never would have believed that 30 or 40 or 50 years later you would literally be congregating at a temple for bodies rather than a more traditional house of worship. Indeed in today’s godless world you're more likely to find a gym occupying the space where a synagogue, temple or mosque used to be. There are chains of gyms everywhere and the little church on the corner is likely to be listing its spin class along with its schedule of evening vespers. Limelight Fitness on Sixth Avenue was a church before it became a disco. Is this a form of trans or consubstantiation where not bread and wine, but muscles and ligaments represent the blood and body of Christ? After all, Equinox could be the name of a church instead of a chain of high end health clubs. The statue of Atlas carrying the world on his shoulders stands across the street from St. Patrick’s on Fifth Avenue, as a reminder of the enormous weight that one of mythology's great body builders was able to heft. “’Cause we're living in a material world and I am a material girl,” sings Madonna. Matins means morning prayer, but it also sounds like a good name for one of those anaerobic or aerobic classes that gets you out of bed at the crack of dawn. 

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