Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Reclaiming my body: the relationship between soil and my crip identity.

Often, I feel like my body has never been my own. Since I was young, it has been treated like a collection of muscles that work the 'wrong way' and bones that may turn the 'wrong way' . To get through numerous medical appointments I perfected the art of being disconnected from my own body. Lost in my own nature.

Gardening is healing that disconnect.  Perhaps, my  learned conflict and unease with my own body is akin to the conflict and disconnect most people feel  with the earth, the soil and the food they consume. The more I garden, the more I learn how to breathe into my body and connect with it as a part of nature, and not a diagnosis. My body is part of an ecosystem and an atmosphere that sustains life on earth.I breathe in Oxygen and let out Carbon Monoxide, while  trees take in my CO2 and emit oxygen.  I am a functional part of nature, and no leg brace can change that.

However, have we all become consumerists in and of our own bodies? Are we as disconnected to our nature, as we are to the worker who constructs the material products we purchase? Has our sense of community and  self become so fractured that we have  willing turned our bodies into commodities bought  and sold by the medical industrial complex and the media?

I think every time I touch the soil I reclaim my body as my own. Every time I help build community, I reclaim my spirit as my own.  Perhaps,I am not a crip or a krip or any other label. Perhaps social labels, in general are just another way to turn identities into commodities; to divide and organize society. Isn't that how targeted advertisement works? Maybe, if I just strive to be a 'radical compassionalist',  to learn pride through practicing compassion and community, I will find the answers I seek.

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