Friday, March 9, 2012
our bodies are a process, not an object
nothing makes me break out into a sweat like wrestling with this fact. i'd rather be a machine with replaceable parts and the know-how to do it myself. alas, i'm basically a flowing river held together by the banks of my skin. to understand the brain a two pound sponge mostly full of water, how does that help me keep my feet on the ground? and with my blood flowing fifty thousand miles a day, can i really be expected to control my thoughts?
for a contr0l-freak like myself, this the issue. to actually experience my body during a colonoscopy, to smell a kiss, to wash my underwear, is that really all i can do? so much is literally out of my hands. why have friends so much younger died? am i suffering from survivor-guilt? (unlikely) i wish i were somehow separate from nature. for instance, it's spring, lots of sunlight, warm days. my body bounces like a cork on the sea - and that's the key to being an american, walking with a little hop.
or if i listen to smooth jazz, i can feel myself flowing slowly over the walls, to the moon and back, a part of the liquidity of life. if i weren't so susceptible to being hypnotized, could i really write poetry or fall in love? and to my horror i find i'm the living proof of change, enjoying feeling good lying around, rather than charged up by the sites of a foreign shore. comfort, i know, is the great enemy of creativity, yet these gorgeous mornings i fall asleep over my tea and dream of heavens not reachable on earth. yes, the memory of the journey much more enjoyable than the sand-fleas and train-crashes of the actual.
i'm a little frightened. this very drop in adventure marked my friend berta's exit days. her last trip to some island in the south pacific to see an unusual sculpture left her unsatisfied. she'd rather read a book or go paint out graffiti than visit another alien place. and then she died, at sixty. true, her sister sat her down with a world map and they stuck pins in all the places she'd been. the earth looked like a porcupine. maybe she needed time to relish the prospect of that final journey, though she hated leaving the pack she carried everywhere behind.
we are a journey. perhaps this is a better way of saying it. you can find pictures of my travelling companion as she circled the earth like an albatross, never lighting too long: http://www.pbase.com/wwp/berta