The Body is an Ecotone
Excerpt from upcoming book on disability and ecology
(Art: Neil Krug)
We live in a culture that prizes the atomized self, inappropriately foisting healing onto individuals when disease and discomfort are the multi-causal snares of systems of oppression within which we are stuck like flies in a spider’s web. We think we must heal individually and succeed individually. We are taught, also, that we feel and sense individually, keyed only to direct contact with our skin-delineated corporality. This phenomenon is known as “healthism” and is defined as the preoccupation with personal health and personal responsibility for health as primary often at the detriment of understanding that the health of one person is intimately tied to and representative of a whole population. Illness, trauma, and pain do not belong to an individual. They are a web that includes someone.
Likewise, healing is not an object or achievement that belongs to one person. Research into embodied cognition and ecology, microbiology and somatics offers a glimmer of something leakier than the modern idea of a self.