I know, I know. The majority of these posts are going to read like “really, guys! THIS is what my SIP is about!” But that’s why you’re here, so deal with it.
Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about embodiment. If not thinking, then at least noticing that my poems do a lot of exploring when it comes to embodiment.
Here, let’s enlist dictionary.com for some help with this:
verb (used with object), -bod·ied, -bod·y·ing.
1. to give a concrete form to; express, personify, or exemplify in concrete form: to embody an idea in an allegorical painting.
2. to provide with a body; incarnate; make corporeal: to embody a spirit.
3. to collect into or include in a body; organize; incorporate.
4. to embrace or comprise.
What I mean as it relates to my own experience in the world is that I often don’t feel fully connected to my body. Societally speaking, we do so much with it in terms of artifice (whoa, that was almost too heady, even for me) that I wouldn’t be surprised if other people feel this way, too. We paint it, we dress it in a way that we deem to be our own “personal style,” we wash it ritualistically, we decorate it with ink. There it is on a simple level. But, then—we look in the mirror and see something completely different from what other people see. We covet another person’s body, another person covets our own. We give it away to strangers in varying ways. We lose our personhood to objecthood. What I’m saying is: this shit becomes so damn complicated when you grow up and you start to separate your self from your body.
Update: this has been sitting on my computer screen, unfinished, for a few days now. I just went and talked to Chris Latiolais, Kalamazoo College philosophy prof and, quite possibly, the smartest man on Earth. Here is a terribly constructed, stream-of-consciousness outline of what we discussed:
-The “big Other”
-how we operate on the grounds of being sighted/sited/cited by society
-Merleau-Ponty’s bodily attunement
-the body is the way in which the world shows itself to us
-the body is written over with signs
-psychosis related with one’s relationship with the Other (I did a lot of work
regarding Lacan and eating disorders in Postmodern Critical Theory last year)
-A million books I should read.
Like usual, I left this meeting with a gigantic smile on my face, feeling ten times smarter than when I arrived. My SIP! It’s happening! It’s really happening!
I can’t necessarily pinpoint where this obsession of mine began, but it is, most definitely, a current obsession. When I’m working out, pushing myself through a run, or riding a horse, I feel so connected to and just inside of my body. When I’m “out,” it’s easy for me to feel like my body is this ridiculous object I’m putting out into the world, and that I have nothing to do with it. When I drink, I NEVER lose mental control, and I mean NEVER. But my motor skills are just all over the place. I spend all of my brainpower trying to get back to normal, proofreading and editing texts ten times before I send them, trying to force cumbersome words out of my clumsy mouth. I feel like I’m just piloting this bizarre vehicle around a room full of people who keep mistaking me for nothing more than a body.
I realize that these thoughts are somewhat disorganized, but I’m pretty excited. So that’s my excuse.