Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Our Body: Our Place

Much has been written about the connection between obesity and suburban sprawl. And it doesn't take extensive studies to understand why many suburbanites tend to be heavier and more prone to asthma, high-blood pressure, diabetes and other health issues than those who walk, eat real food and have a stronger sense of community/connectedness.

What is happening to our bodies and those of our children may be the ultimate outcome of "loss of place." Or perhaps our bodies are the ultimate place we are losing, and losing them is a metaphor for (or perhaps even a precursor to) all the other physical non-places we see around us.

I know that when I'm not taking care of myself, when I'm not attentive to what I'm eating, how I'm sleeping, how much I'm drinking, whether I'm getting enough exercise, I feel anxious and tired, disconnected from my body, less creative, more likely to be depressed. But when I am paying attention and taking care, I feel energized, connected, strong.

To create Place without, perhaps we first need to create Place within. In my mind, only healthy people can build homes, build relationships, build workplaces where people want to be and where they feel a sense of connection. If we're floating around in dense, unhealthy bodies, malnourished by processed foods, weak or overstimulated from TV-watching and computer surfing, not certain why (or perhaps not aware that) we feel bad most of the time, then our outer world will reflect that same reality. (Marilyn Finnemore)

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