Earlier this year, blogher.com invited its members to compose letters addressed to their own bodies. It doesn’t look like the site has had an overwhelming number of takers, but I’m certainly intrigued by the concept. (AMENDED! There is a HUGE list of takers! I’m #140 – just scroll to the bottom of the blogher page that I’ve linked to above to read some astonishing letters.)
When I was in middle school – a supersmart goody-two-shoes suffocating under the awkward bloat of adolescence – I would daydream about being a disembodied brain. I knew I was smart, and I knew that intelligence had enduring value. But faced with physical tasks, any trace of self-confidence vanished. I hated gym, never participated in any sports, and nearly barfed the first time I was made to run a mile. Couldn’t I just put my brain in a jar? Couldn’t I just discard the cumbersome shell of my body and let my powerful intellect roam unencumbered? I remember being terrified of French kissing my first boyfriend because I just couldn’t stand myself. I didn’t want to get that intimate with someone else because it meant acknowledging the importance of my own body. I simply wasn’t ready to do that.
I feel quite differently now. I still struggle – almost daily – to push down the self-loathing. But on the days when that destructive little tide ebbs back far enough, I sometimes see a body in the mirror that doesn’t make me wish to jar my brain and abandon ship. Sometimes.
I think I’ll write that body a letter. Anyone care to join me?
(Image courtesy www.eslpod.com)