Saturday, July 09, 2005

body worlds

I don't know why I'm so bothered by this exhibit.  I've been downright avoidant of it, especially after my friends who went mentioned how fascinating it was partially because of the body of a pregnant woman being included.  Garvin is at work doing a med-pass this morning and I'm watching the Today Show for the first time in eons and the local segment is about to talk about it... I'm trying to force myself to watch it to see if I can deal with it.  I understand the need to study anatomy and the value of the technique used, but somehow to exhibit the bodies in poses such as if they're playing baseball just feels... exploitive to me, not to mention morbid.  Tomorrow's church service is about it, and I'm planning to skip church specifically because of this (not that I don't have other things to be doing at home, like working on Garvin's Dumbledore costume - if I don't get it done today - unpacking, other sewing, etc, plus a friend's birthday party on the other side of town if I can stand the forecasted 86 degree heat).

I feel vaguely ashamed of myself for being so nauseated by this topic.  I've made my desire to be an organ donor known, I think the human body is a wonderful and beautiful thing... I just really don't like contemplating how it all functions on a physical level.  I can spend hours on end contemplating how our minds work and trying to understand how other people view the world, but remind me that there's a skeleton under there and I... withdraw I guess is the best way to describe it. 

The segment is on now and they're talking about people coming to the exhibit on FIRST DATES... woah, that'd be a LAST date for me...

The anchor even said he finds it unsettling... the woman on site says that it feels like they're models, that they're not real and she's suspended the thought that these are real people.  I find that attitude unsettling, that she can forget that these are REAL PEOPLE, most likely very thoughtful, loving people that they made the conscious decision to donate their bodies to science... I think that's a big part of my problem with it, it's dead bodies taken out of context, removed from their stories (at least in the bits I've seen, but I'd think it's most likely the exhibits don't say much about the individual person's life, to protect anonymity).  My mind wants to know WHY there are healthy bodies available to compare to the diseased ones, why did these people in perfectly good health die? Did the ones who were suffering with disease suffer terribly? Were their families there to ease their passing?  The website for the exhibit mentions how the donors are consulted while they're still alive (or maybe they mean their families - the website itself is very difficult for me to deal with, what with the seemingly ever-present image of a man wearing nothing but his musculature, holding his own full amount of skin in his hand *shudder*).

It doesn't help matters that I've been having weird dreams lately - from dreaming that one of my mom's friends committed suicide, to something about Liam having been switched with another baby (and something about twins), and then this morning I was dreaming that I was talking to someone about my daughters but didn't mention my son... which have me waking up in a weird mood almost all this week.  I guess I'm just really not in need of further reminders of our mortality right now.


Serena said...

I'll be sorry not to see you at church, but I'd be even more sorry to see you uncomfortable there.

I'm a bit confused over the whole reverence for the human body thing; I remember many months ago pondering the question of whether and why necrophilia is wrong; is it just gross, is it just the sexual repression thing, or is it equal to rape?

As for organ donation, I'm not sure yet if I want to do that, mainly because I'm uncomfortable about leaving behind anything physical. I'd want my body completely destroyed. I think it's because I wouldn't want anyone looking at me in that condition.

Maybe the service will help me with this.

It's interesting that you're having strange dreams, because I am too, as are at least one of my other friends. The other day I dreamt that I asked Hope to marry me, and she said yes. It's just one of several bisexual experiences I've had since watching Kinsey.

Running2Ks said...

While I am one for organ donation, followed by cremation, this exhibit is beyond what I can handle. Give me birth, give me nudity, give me scary movies--but don't do this.

Sabrina said...

I have to say "ditto" to Running2k's comment. I intend to donate my organs, and be creamated, but that exhibit sounds really creepy to me.

liz said...

i have to say, while some of it looked interesting from a medical person's standpoint, alot of those figues/displays/whatever you want to call them, were just a little too much for me at times. and that's looking online, in person, i don't know how i'd feel.

Ahmie said...

well, good to know I'm not a complete nutter regarding that issue, at least :) Serena, you're weird (regarding the necrophylia stuff) but strange thoughts like those are part of why I enjoy spending time with you ;)