one : ‘je’ BODY
what began this TRAIN of thought at the very beginning of THE JOURNEY was seeing ads (in dutch) for a de-hairing product where the only english word used was BODY (instead of the dutch ‘lichaam’). the ads kept referring to ‘je body’ (not ‘uw lichaam’ … ha ha ha …) and the words JE BODY leaped out at me and this made me laugh hysterically but it also made me sad.
it made me think about the extent to which i, and we (as in ‘us humans’), are conditioned to identify with OUR bodies.
the ad was in the form of a big poster, or more accurately : an animated backlit THING where a human or humans with perfect teeth, smiling, are addressing ME.
the THING seemed to be saying :
hey YOU! now that we’ve got your attention with our AMAZING teeth … there is a GREAT NEW way to get rid of the HAIR on ‘je body’.
it is as if there is HAIR on ME where there should NOT be any — and i have a responsibility to my SELF and to the world, to the other humans, to get rid of it. but LUCKY FOR ME now there is a great NEW product which will enable me to take this responsibility seriously.
i am so lucky to be alive at this particular point in time and space where such an advanced product is available (and for a strictly limited time only at this great introductory price!) i should be more grateful!
two : i am not THIS BODY
is it fair to say that, on the journey, THIS BODY let me down, or is that a cliché — lazy thinking?
it is what it is, this body — and ‘i’ am NOT this body.
if this body is so krakkemikkig (i was reminded of this wonderful dutch word meaning ‘rickety, wobbly, ramshackle, wonky’ by bee the other day … how often do you encounter a word containing no less than 5 ks?!) that to go on a journey like the one i just attempted is beyond NOT me but IT, then so be it.
if everything had gone according to the ambitious plan it would have been a big ask and i would have arrived feeling like death warmed up but the body would have recovered probably. but what i didn’t plan for (and how can you plan for it?) was what happens when things go terribly wrong?
what could go WRONG? well basically everything. (…) and when everything goes ‘wrong’ something is asked of the body* that isn’t there — not anymore. i used to be able to push through the pain barrier and deal with the consequences later but now it seems at a certain point the tank is just EMPTY and THIS BODY can’t continue.
*and note i don’t say ‘asks of ME’ because i am NOT this BODY, my-so-called-self is not synonymous with this body. the fact that hair grows there (or not there) has nothing to do with ‘me’. i refuse to be held to account over it.