Bodies Matter (For More Reasons Than You Might Think)

There’s a lot of talk these days about the importance of re-learning to work by hand, to make things, and to experience the kind of learning that we only experience through our bodies (instead of, say, through our computer screens). On this topic, I highly recommend Matthew Crawford’s wonderful, readable little book Shop Class as Soulcraft.

Over at the Art House America blog, Anna Broadway is lamenting the loss of this, too – and linking it to our senses:

Noses cause inconvenience, mostly — especially when someone’s dared to reheat leftover fish or we’ve timed a bathroom visit poorly. Only on major employment anniversaries does the company give our noses a treat, but even then it may smell more like a florist shop than the individual blossoms assembled in the bouquet. (I’ll never understand why pre-cut flowers so rarely smell as bold and distinct as my childhood neighbor’s yellow roses, which tossed their scent at us over the backyard slats, as if they knew I liked to stage fake weddings with my siblings and the neighbor girls there.)

No, what my company really sought when it hired me — what I imagine most white-collar firms do — was a sharp brain attached to just enough functioning eyes, ears, hands, and lips to maximize their returns on my neurons. Our bodies matter mainly during weekends.


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