Yesterday, we went to the Bodies Exhibit at the South Street Seaport. I knew what it was about. I knew. But, but, but—I didn’t expect to “think” about who these people once were. A woman somewhere gave birth to a person who was (hopefully) loved and cared for. A person who went out in life and maybe raised a family, had a dog, held a grandchild. A person who had dreams … And, where did all of that take them in the end? On exhibit stripped down to bones and hanging flesh.
Caution! Gross examples up ahead!
For example, picture a full sized skeleton, arms stretched out in front holding hands with someone of the same size as though they are playing Ring Around the Rosie. This person is made up of skin, muscle and organs. These two are the same person. The bones were taken out and reassembled. Can you feel the weirdness and strange sadness of it?
There was a complete flap of skin taken from a woman’s breast area (breasts still attached), a sheared off tattoo, a complete person cut in half from head to toe, another sliced exactly the same but only in threes, fetuses, embryos, babies (all of which I skipped—didn’t feel like crying and blubbering all over the place). The crazy list goes on and on.
I get the medical aspect of it. My 14yr. old pointed out things she learned in Bio class (yes, I was impressed), I even heard a couple of people around me who sounded like they were studying to become a doctor. That’s all good, right? But, but, but … it left me sad.
Maybe it’s because I’m a writer. We all think too much. Both a gift and a curse? Could be.