The constant return of the body

I needed to be 54 years old to get hit by this simple assessment : whatever we think or however we evolve, we constantly have to deal with our own body: its desires, its needs, its limitations, its changes, its… priorities

The metaphor I have is the “constant conversation” we have to do, between our own mind, and the tool we use : the body.

We’re hungry, or tired, or cold, or we get sick, we hav some “aches”. The body says nothing, but as it’s our vehicle, it is very powerful! The brain wants, but the body does. Or does NOT.

Or the contrary: Does the head want to sleep and get some rest, or the body?

In the time of Internet, we are used to read and talk and think, we do things without the body, apart from moving the mouse and typing on a keyboard.

And a little “bio-break” at times, to eat/pee/sleep.

When I watch my own hand on the table, it can be a little shock. It’s like “something” next to me, it’s mine, it’s… me. And it can be scary : it gets old and change, it can… stop.

Humans found strategies to feel their bodies : sports is one of them.

Etc : One could play with this conversation for a long time. But this lead, to me, to the concept of GESTURE.

Gestures of the hand, with a phone, a cigarette or spectacles. Feet, ways of walking, gestures of babies, of theater, of orchestra directors, dancing, writing, art making. Military gestures, lovers gestures, vintage gestures. To try, to hate, to mock, to be proud, or elegant.

Each subject is an article. This could be an entire blog… “Gestures”, les gestes, in French…

Sometimes, memories are gestures memories, right?

Thanks for reading!

JP

Photo : _bodylanguage_

Chipping off prone varnish of Civilization

This night I dreamed of a street. It looked like a Japanese suburb. In a quiet evening, I was with my family outside, behind the house. Kids were playing in the garden, though night had fallen already.

Then something happened, far in the city. We heard screams in the distance. Then some people, more and more people began to pass in front of the house. I was watching them from my porch. They were worried, like fleeing something.

I stood up, listening to the night, on the look out for clues. I heard more screams, more people, like a river. I heard someone saying : “People are really fighting over there, phewww!”.

I grabbed the kids, my wife : “Hop hop! Everyone inside!”. Then… I woke up, in a grey mood, with this word in my head : “Varnish“.

 

Civilization as a “varnish over something” is a classic metaphor. Depends on what you think about : over opaque nature, over barbarism of men, over… absurdity?

Fragile varnish, chipping off prone.

Well, cities can burn, wars and earthquakes – or revolutions – can fracture the skeleton of social structures enough to push entire counties to different strange Middle Ages.

It’s probably why many humans are fascinated by “after the bomb” or epidemic (or zombie) movies, when one or a little group of humans has to gather to protect themselves against… something.

As a bookseller I see that many people buy books about survivalism. How do you do when there’s no electricity anymore?

 

Social collapse can also lead to other things.

When the Russians arrived in Berlin in 1945, it was about another kind of survivalism. German people (mostly women, kids and old people) had to find food, water… and find hideouts not to be raped… For months.

 

Isn’t our health a similar varnish? We move forward, full of trust, until…

 

OK. How will I finish this article? A boring “Don’t take things too seriously” quote? I don’t think so. No, let’s BE serious. One day, we will maybe HAVE to be seriously serious.

No : let’s invent a meta-story full of paradoxes and lessons. Oui ?

 

An author lives with wife and kids in a wealthy neighborhood. He writes a novel about a family trying to survive after a nuclear war (no electricity, fires, looters, violent riots, nuclear winter coming).
Our guy has fun and makes progress in his writing, but a REAL terrible earthquake happens, destroying 80% of his city. Chaos ensues (no electricity, fires, looters, no more police or hospitals, etc). Confrontation between his ideas for the book and… reality.

You have a week.

Have a great day!

 

PS : In my dream, should I have had taken my family out of my house, or was it a good idea to hide inside?

IMG_2412s.jpg