Our Bodies, Our Homes, Ourselves
A key part of the process that went into our creation of various elements on the Blood and Breath album were the many discussions we had about our shifting experiences of our bodies and our homes. Once relatively stable, even monolithic-feeling to us at times, those words and their connected concepts were considerably more fluid and expanded to us now, we discovered. Here, for example, was what Trajectories member Connor Cook wrote between two of our earliest meetings:
During April of COVID-19, getting more deeply in touch with our home than ever, we saw spring weather bring in both a pantry moth and an ant infestation. My roommate shared an anecdote about how they bought some delicious and rare dried European cooking mushrooms on their last trip to Poland, flew back to Canada with the mushrooms in their luggage and forgot about them. When they came upon the mushrooms again some time later, they discovered that what they had assumed to be a sealed, unspoiled container of mushrooms was actually packed wall to wall with moth corpses, not a single speck of mushroom to be found.
Entire generations of moths had lived their lives in that container, it was all they knew. The mushroom chunks were their sustenance and their family, alive or dead, were all around them.
I think of houses, spaces. Bodies. With quarantine, bodies have gained new relevance and meaning. Our own bodies are things that we may have been ignoring or neglecting before the pandemic, and with enough silence and alone time we have had no choice but to sit with them, listen to them… or not, depending on the person… but that says something too. Where before many of us were able to perpetually remain busy, distracted or dissociative depending on the moment and often little else in our waking lives than one of those three, now we can be forever online, hunched and tense physically but mentally extracted, what does it mean to be given the opportunity to stop and listen to our bodies and still plug ourselves in mentally? Or resist the numbing lure of distraction to start exploring our surroundings, taking up exercises, moving our bodies in new ways? What does our treatment of OUR bodies mean and how and why did this time period change that?
Despite the fact that our bodies are supposed to be far apart from each other in order to avoid the accumulation of more dead bodies (as body counts are now triple or even quadruple digit numbers on the news) and with so much risk, what does it mean that two particular deaths, unrelated to COVID- 19 but instead being yet another in a long line of horrific murderous and unjust deaths, triggered millions to get up out of the safety of their homes, home more comfortable and alluring to sit in than ever, to set themselves at risk of catching this potentially deadly and complicated infectious disease, putting their BODY on the line in order to physically stand behind the message that there should no longer be any shred of tolerance for unrepentant public murders at the hands of the police?
Sometimes we use the word ’homebody’ to describe a person who enjoys spending time in their own living space. But by considering both components of the term separately, as Connor did, deep reflections on the evolving webs of meaning around what we call our homes and our bodies open up.