Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Desire

I ran across and read an article in Oprah Magazine, dated February 2005.  You may ask, "Why on earth do you still have an "O" magazine from 5 years ago."  Well, all of us who are hooked on collage know the answer to that!

I was reading the article on page 178, by Mark Epstein, MD, entitled I Want, Therefore I Am.  It also had a very intriguing subtitle; Uncovering your real desires can be terrifying. It can also set you spectacularly free.  So of course I was hooked and wanted to know more. WELL.....

The story started out with a reference to a book called The Bonds of Love, by Jessica Benjamin who wrote in her book of an epiphany two psychologists once had while strolling past a hospital nursery.  This nursery was typical of most hospitals and required the mothers and other family to make a "pilgrimage" to the nursery to view the new born babies. One of the two psychologists was the mother of a brand new baby boy and was now staring anxiously into the nursery.  The nurses had attached a blue or pink card to the plastic bassinets.  Suddenly, instead of scanning the babies' faces, the psychologists focused on the cards.  On each blue card,  written in big letters was, I'M A BOY!, while each pink card was inscribed with the words; IT'S A GIRL!  The boys were endowed with an instant sense of self, while the girls began life as objects.

In highlighting this difference, Benjamin was emphasizing how our culture encourages desire in boys and not in girls. We want boys to have an "I" right away, but we prefer girls to be objects, rather than subjects.  To be a subject, a person must be comfortable with his or her own point of view, but to be an object, one must simply satisfy other people's expectations.  For girls raised in this scenario, desire becomes a problem, a source of conflict. Objects can be desired, but they cannot have desires- they cease to be objects once they do.  Only an "I" can desire. To desire is to have a personal voice, to stop being and object, to break with the conditioning of family and culture.  To desire is threatening to the status quo.

OK! By now I'm getting very hot under the collar, but I read on.  But the impact of that first story had gotten to me and I was cutting and gluing now. I had made a tri-color spread using four pages from my composition journal. The two center pages were cut unequally and all were painted a bright red, black and yellow.  I had no idea of what I would do with those pages at the time I painted them. I only knew the theme was going to be something on self-care, an issues I've been working on for a long time. After reading that article and having had a new moon project on self care fail, (that's another story) I knew I would focus on getting self-care to be a tangible and real thing happening in my life.  The images and ideas tumbled out of my subconscious.  I knew that extreme self care was the topic but now it had to do with DESIRE!

Here are all three pages.  This was really fun and it almost came together all by its self.

4 comments:

Thinkie said...

nice!

Cynthia said...

Absolutely and totally fabulous. Thank you for sharing. I'm inspired.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Very insightful and I like the simplicity. Very powerful stuff!!! ;o))) You write sooooo well.

freebird said...

Sounds like a good article. I have to agree that women take care of others too often before themselves. That's fine when it's their young children but not so fine when it's husbands, grown kids, friends or fellow workers. But it's so hard to say "me first this time". I haven't quite learned how.