a perfect body, a perfect soul

if you haven’t, go listen to creep by radiohead. the cover by postmodern jukebox is also particularly moving. for some reason, this song has stuck with me through the years, especially the lyric which gives this post its title

“i want a perfect body,
i want a perfect soul”

the first time i heard it, i took it (and the whole song) quite literally. i had a crush on a girl who was by all manner of definition, out of my league.

“i want you to notice,
when im not around.
you’re so very special,
i wish i was special”

to be seen, to be considered, to be validated. to desire someone is really to desire a certain kind of self. and when one encounters perceived perfection, what other option is there but hopelessness? how? how else?

“i want a perfect body,
i want a perfect soul”

“you’re just like an angel,
your skin makes me cry.”

the distinction between the physical and the spiritual has been around for ages. the greeks hated the body, and saw it as a chain that kept the spirit – the real self – tethered to pain and suffering. so when the corinthians asked paul about the resurrection, underlying their curiousity was a deep fear that the physical would follow them into the next life.

how can your skin make me cry then? is this what the tethering is? that something so temporal, so prone to die could affect my very being. that somehow my real self, my real being, was never designed to cry or be affected by the temporary.

but yet here i am crying. still crying. is this not still me? are there not many reasons to cry? and through this innate moving comes forth an irrestible motion; they flow, and flow. to untether myself to the physical is to let go of what has the power to move me, to break me, to mould me – painful it may be, but it is me.

“i want a perfect body,
i want a perfect soul.”

“but i’m a creep, i’m a weirdo.
what the hell am i doing here?
i don’t belong here.”

what does it mean to be alone? one may have friends, but feel alone. one may have community, but feel alone. clearly proximity to other people is not what ‘belonging’ means. what is it then? what the hell am i doing here?

community without purpose is perhaps worse than being alone. for when i am alone, i wander on my own accord to my own demise. yet when we wander with others, we deceive each other other. better that i destroy myself than be destroyed by another!

yet for the most part, it is so clearly better to walk with another. perhaps it is because the only kind of purpose that captures is found in others. encapsulating, endearing, empowering purpose is found when we are in relation to another. it may be to destroy another, to renew another – but always with another. alone? there is no rich, no poor, no strong, no weak, no black, no white. and therein, there is truly nothing.

and so i want a perfect body, i want a perfect soul. not for myself, but for someone else.

i’m definitely over-reading into this song, so take it as you will. there are some songs that move me, some that change me, but few of them get me to write.

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