â€œThe human body is the best picture of the human soul.â€ – Ludwig Wittengenstein
"I was pretty excited to take my son to the exhibit and then I found out the bodies are REAL people" I said.
"Yeah, so?" said Bob.
"You don’t find that disturbing? A little macabre?" I queried.
"No, not at all. I think it is fitting and is certainly useful to science" Bob responded.
"But, Bob, those people, those pieces, parts and bodies were people! They were someones son, someones brother. I heard that they are mostly Asian bodies and there has been a great deal of controversy over the exhibit, particularly in Asia." I continued.
"They were probably derelicts, homeless people, no bodies or better yet, JUST bodies" Bob responds with sarcastic lilt to his voice. "At least in death their life means something, they are educating people. Homeless people, Suz. Get over it."
"And what if they were? What difference does that make?" I asked.
"Suz, they are nobody’s. No one. No one probably even knew they were gone. No one cared." Bob continued
"I refuse to believe that Bob. Those people had NAMES before their bodies were taken for some other purpose. They had families, children, pets, personalities. Someone loved them before they were taken for the good of science or whatever. THEY CAME FROM SOMEWHERE!" I insisted.
"Suz, are you talking about the exhibit now or have you lapsed into adoption again?" Bob asked with a chuckle.
"Whuhh? No,..uh…" I stuttered.
Maybe Bob was right. Maybe my objection to the exhibit that my son wants to visit is indeed rooted in adoption trauma. Transference even in science exhibits? Am I truly objecting to the use of these no name people in the name of science or am I more upset with the parallels to adoption?
My daughter WAS somebody before she was renamed and remommied. She came from somewhere and had people (at least one person) who loved her. Yet much like the bodies at the exhibit, she was presumed to be a nobody, a nothing, a clean slate that others could mold and use to their own benefit much like the bodies in the exhibit. Their names and family have been wiped from the exhibit just like my name was wiped from her birth certificate.
Maybe it was an adoption issue after all.