My own relationship with my body is at best an equivocal one – & by body I mean the whole apparatus, from fallen-arched feet to mostly-bald head, including my face, the only aspect of my embodiment to make a regular appearance at this address in cyberspace. Even when I was young, thin, & by some accounts not actively ugly, I regarded my physical body as less me than as a kind of container or sheath by which I presented myself to others.
I suspect such residual Cartesianism is fairly widespread among those in the scribbling trades or doing other intellectual labor. We identify our selves with our minds, with our words. We have no trouble identifying Mikhail Baryshnikov squarely with his physique, with an exquisite overall coordination among brain, talents, skills, & toning. But who would associate the agile graces of Wallace Stevens's lyrics with the portly, hypertensive animal from which they emanated?
And the virtual community of the blogosphere, where one can circulate for years without attaching a face even to the bloggers whose writing you most admire, conduces to a kind of self-disembodiment even as one blogs.
This particular Labor Day Weekend, however, will go down for me as The Weekend Of The Kidney Stone; & nothing about it – save for a few rather pleasant but unfortunately brief opiate-fuelled reveries – has been remotely disembodied.
This is pain, my friends – in long, dull stretches; in concentrated, savage waves; sometimes easily quelled with Percocet or prescription-strength doses of Aleve; sometimes entirely ignoring all pharmacologies – this is pain like I've never experienced. And it make me aware of my dear old flabby, greying, obtuse body with a kind of horrifying intensity.