Apr 25, 2020 at 6:00 pm
My Body Is Not a Temple
This was a big piece by Soraya Roberts with a lot to digest. It hit me over and over with some of the best descriptions about how I've been feeling since March.
I also operate according to the delusion that I can control my body ... That the foundation for my well being resides entirely within the four walls of my flesh ... But that’s where the body, the reality of it, collides with the reality of a virus. The way you can’t see it; the way it invades you, invisibly. It exposes the human body for what it really is: something that is at all times at the mercy of the unknowable.
That will probably hit some of you more than others.
The shift toward more stasis, less action, more inside, less outside, more ordering, less making, has been a long time coming. It’s hard to know how much I have chosen this life of constant internal work — thinking, thinking, thinking — and how much I’m just succumbing to a general cultural gravitation.
I've been fighting back hard against this as best as I can. I try to write instead of watch, create instead of consume. When I do consume, I try to be mindful about what crosses the threshold.
And yet those afforded the least time to cultivate lofty internal lives are now the ones rescuing everyone else. The doctors, the nurses, the pharmacists, the grocery store clerks, the delivery men and women, the sanitation workers. They are the only ones that we really need; the ones whose pictures have not been painted, whose music has not been composed, whose words have not been written, because of all the other work they have to do. The only work that matters, really. It’s emasculating, to feel like this — to be completely useless in the final analysis. For your only means of helping to be by doing nothing.
Read that last bit again:
It’s emasculating, to feel like this — to be completely useless in the final analysis. For your only means of helping to be by doing nothing.
Those of us who live primarily a life of the mind — the academics, the writers, the coders, the designers, the people who work in their basements and living rooms even outside of a lockdown — have lately been lauded for our proficiency at staying in. But it’s a compliment that drips with denigration. It says your lifestyle suits a once-in-a-lifetime global pandemic…but not much else.
Just go read it ... twice.