Touching the wounds of soldiers is the most intimate way of body-witnessing history witnessing in and through exposed flesh
the terribly phrase 'mangled testicles' moves beyond the tightening, the violation and the waste to the absolute crushing of female subjectivity: these mangled 'things', neither human nor yet wholly objects, unmake the fundamental categories of gender and sexual difference that structure the human world: the woman is rendered irrelevant, unwanted.
Being woman, being young, becomes an unbearable burden. Female identity can only be salvaged through the bits and pieces of male flesh strewing no man's land.
The presence of the woman was a teasing current of delight touching the officers.
they were all deformed, and certainly their deformity was the deformity of the war.
I gathered that it was the indignity that had shocked his sense of individual pride. "Treating me like a cow." I hear him say to Smiff-who laughed
Even my hand must not meet his-no, not even in a careless touch, not even in its "duty"; or, if it does, what risk!
A major point about joy is that joy is obviously of a higher order than mere pleasure. Pleasure is perishable. It has a short shelf life. Mere pleasure is not lasting because it is constantly feeding on itself. Thus the appetites of the natural man, though frequently fed, are never filled. For instance, even as gluttony digests its latest glob, it begins anticipating its next meal. The same pattern prevails with regard to the praise of men, to lust, and to greed. Strange as it seems, so far as the carnal pleasures are concerned, the very act of their consumption insures the cancellation of their satisfactions. They just do not last!
Joy, on the other hand, is lasting. It involves the things that really matter, such as being forgiven and forgiving another. One true test of ultimate value has to do with whether or not something is lasting. Of so many human endeavors, even those celebrated with great excitement, the child's question in one of Southey's poems stands as a stark reminder: "But what good came of it at last?" (Robert Southey, The Battle of Blenheim , st. 11). This criterion is not one to which the things of the flesh can successfully respond.
The carnal pleasures cannot finally deliver. In fact, there is a scripture in the Book of Mormon declaring that the adversary lets his followers down at the last day (see Alma 30:60). He can't finally deliver. It is Jesus who is the Great Deliverer!
Through study of the scriptures and the teachings of our modern prophets, it appears that our first and most basic stewardship is our body. To acquire a body was one of the main purposes of our coming to earth, and we are then to use this body as a divine instrument to perfect and train the spirit until the spirit has the full control and mastery of it under the direction of the Holy Spirit. If I do not honor the stewardship over my own flesh, how could I possibly honor my stewardship as a husband or wife, of father or mother?
That God has a body of flesh and bones is not the revolutionary teaching. God’s physical form is not the point. That God has a heart that beats in sympathy with ours is the truth that catalyzes millions—that He feels real sorrow, rejoices with real gladness, and weeps real tears. This, as Enoch learned, is an awful, terrible, yet infinitely comforting truth.