Wednesday, February 7, 2007


Just watched Bodysong last night. It’s a documentary about human lifecycles, and it put me through the ringer. It was so intense I had to draw the shades and light some candles; J got home after her night shift and asked me if I’d enjoyed a romantic night at home with myself.

Imagine watching – closely - millions of sperm invading an egg, that egg dividing into cells, then morphing into a fleshy blob with fingers and eventually toes and hands and eyes and ears, and seeing fetuses in utero doing everything regular babies do. Then you get to watch dozens and dozens of women giving birth. This is the point at which I elected to draw the shades. There’s nothing quite like glancing at the apartment across the street and watching your neighbor enjoying an endless, slow motion parade of birth scenes.

How amazing and utterly horrific it is watching women give birth. Maybe it’s because I’ve never witnessed it in person, but I’m glad I’ve braced myself for the real thing because I’d surely be having a heart attack in that situation wondering if that entire process is normal. For such a natural, beautiful, miraculous process, why is it so godawful to watch? Apologies and well wishes to Tina, Sara, J, and anyone else who is anticipating motherhood at some point. Jenny, hats off.

Then you see these little blobs grasp fingers and smile and move around, then hitch and crawl along, then toddle. And so on and so on, all the way through the entire lifecycle. There are sections devoted to love, sex, violence, speech, action, death, and dreaming, and it’s all underscored by a brain-melting soundtrack by Jonny Greenwood from Radiohead.

The movie is along the lines of the Qatsi Trilogy by Godfrey Reggio and Philip Glass in that it’ll be riveting for some and sheer torture for others. Personally, it wore me out so much that I slept better than I had in weeks. Is that a recommendation? I'm not really sure.

1 comment:

Jenny said...

It's funny. One of my strongest memories from my pregnancy is of standing in the Becom kitchen on their wallphone talking to you, and you saying something along the lines of "Do you understand that two years from now you're going to have a little human being that walks and talks and calls you mommy?" The wonder and awe in your voice was so permeating that it assuaged my fears more than any Lamaze or health class could have, or did. In my sandcastle of a memory, it's one of the few things that's managed to keep its ground. Thanks for that, you have no idea.

I'm all about some Qatsi, I'll watch it as soon as an opportunity presents itself.