One of the reasons I enjoy reading and writing is that in the river of words I can forget my body, and the physical existence it entails. Of course, it is only a temporary forgetfulness, from which the awakening, the return to reality – a noise in the street, mother’s voice in the house, a dog barking in the distance – is unavoidably unpleasant. Yet it is a forgetfulness I yearn for every day.
The form, mass, and various parts that make up my body disquiet me. Like you, I have two arms, two legs, a head, arranged in some semblance of verticality. Yet if you think about it, is it not a strange arrangement? Why two legs and not three or four? Why two arms? Why a neck and head? The thought of my internal organs, with their networks of sprawling veins, with their cavities filled with soft textures and liquid darkness further unnerves me. I wish I were made of purer, non-organic elements. I don’t eat meat yet I am meat, and I cannot help it. It is an unpleasant thought.
Better yet, I wish my consciousness were, if only for a little while, inhabiting a butterfly waltzing in a dream of spring, or at least in a painting in a gallery. But then if I were the butterfly, would I not long for an even more graceful form, to be perhaps a bubble of soap bursting in a ray of sunshine, tinged with rainbow hues? How would that feel, I wonder, to be, for a few moments only, a bubble of soap bursting your way out of consciousness? Wouldn’t it be an ethereal way of dying?
But I guess I can be, or rather have been, the soap bubble, right above, when I wrote about it, and that you, too, can be a soap bubble, when you read about it, and, for a few moments at least, forget your physicality by plunging into the river of words…