What Muscle Is That?

"I have a spot that hurts right under my shoulder," he said. "What muscle is that?"

I wanted to tell him: you don't have muscles until you're dead.

Your muscles only exist when you're the subject of an anatomy lab.

The living body in its wholeness doesn't have muscles.  It doesn't have neat categories of tissues.  It exists in flow, a connected system of tension and compression, a fluid lattice of cells.  Muscles are an artifact of a distinctly disembodied approach to learning about the body.

The big mystery is this: if we have no muscles, only cells.  And the cells themselves are mostly empty space.  Then what hurts?


Chandler Stevens1 Comment