Why do we need to call our bodies home?
(and this post has just showed me how important it is to save your work... I just lost my entire post!)
I came across this art exhibition called unmakeablelove (www.unmakeablelove.org) over the summer which I find quite pertinent to our discussions about gender, disability and how society views us. The exhibition is based off Samuel Beckett's "The Lost Ones". The viewer walks into a darkened room and is immediately confronted with images of dark bodies just roaming around this cylinder. There are various flashlights placed outside of the space and the viewer has the opportunity to shine a light onto these moving figures to see what they are. None of the figures have very distinguishable traits - there might be a hint of genitalia on one of them but it is not so obvious.
I made me think about how important our bodies are to us. They are important because society bases so many things about us on just our outward appearance. They are also important because we seem to be defined by how we look like and many a time, we are placed into 'boxes' based on just this outside appearance. Unmakeablelove made me uncomfortable by forcing me to think of the disconnect between my physical body, prone to society's harsh judgements and categorizations, and my internal mind which, while still prone to judgement, is an entity that can no longer be categorized in the ways that we have discussed.
But imagine what it would be like if these bodies of ours no longer existed. If who we are is based on what we are internally. It seems like an abstract idea but if I said that we could create ourselves in a virtual space (as I am doing right now) it is quite tangible. Would we still be characterized? Does my online writing suggest that I am male, female, transgendered, crippled, straight, gay, bi, white, black, hispanic? I'm not quite sure that it does completely. I'm not quite sure that you can put this 'blog post' into a category.
But my question here is really, why do we need to call our bodies 'home'? Clare speaks his reconcilation with his physical body and his mind as though it is so important. While our bodies help us eat, breathe, move, sleep etc. it doesn't do anything else other than put us into the categories that society sets out for us. So why is it so important that we cling to them? Why not just let our mind wander and our thoughts define who we are through simple writing and online communication? Why is it difficult for us to 'live behind a screen'?