Why do we cover our bodies? Sometimes environment requires additional protection. Primarily, though, it is to hide from view the parts of the body considered indecent (as society dictates).
I see no indecency in the natural form of the body. Why, if we are born naked, are we to live clothed? When we die, do we transcend cloaked and adorned, as well? Or, is our natural self adornment enough? Will Christians wear clothes in heaven? I am no expert, but when Wakinu and Wakina created the world and discovered the eternal hunting grounds (heaven), as the Shoshone Native American’s traditional knowledge tells, they were not wearing clothes either.
The veil, beautiful and mysterious, obscures from view and reveals the vague. Whether opaque or semi-transparent, there is a mystical power – spiritually, cognitively, physically, historically – about the veil. Our bodies are veiled.
Clothes are a costume, portraying a public persona with personal value for a stage built on a social function for the purpose of performing one’s part in the dramatic play. Clothing is an external manifestation of an internal persona. In America, many teens will dress outrageously as part of their expressions/experimentations. Halloween is one common “costume day.” Japan’s street fashion, especially Harajuku, takes it to a complete extreme. I remember someone once telling me that the youth of Japan think the world as their stage for them to express/characterize themselves in any way their imagination guides them.
From utility to vogue, from unifying to distinguishing, there is a purpose to our clothing.
There was a time when folks would mend and save their clothes when they became worn or damaged. These clothes would be passed to subsequent generations. (I really need to learn to sew, so I can mend my own clothes.) Nowadays, though, we simply replace old with new. I think how we manage our closets metaphorically represents how we manage our lives. Divorces come so quickly and easily these days. When we fall in love, we marry. When we become unhappy with one, we divorce to find another. Our relationships seem to be based on a line of credit that results in divorce when we default on the payments, and then we file for bankruptcy.
Everyone has a favorite article of clothing. If you do not, you are a truly rare exception. I first met this favorite shirt in 1999. It was a Werner Enterprises t-shirt in gray with the business name written across the chest in big blue caps. The logo was inconsequential to me, as was the color. However, it was a short-sleeve t-shirt with dimensions and material that made it indescribably comfortable to wear in any season and during any activity. A recent co-worker contrasted our differing body types as, “Your body (the author’s) is built for winter and mine (the co-worker’s) is built for summer.” In other words, he is lean and quick to freeze in winter, whereas I am thick and quick to overheat in summer. Despite this hot blood, the t-shirt had the pleasure of cherry cheesecake upon my skin. Tattered, worn thin, faded, and more holes than a window screen, it was finally laid to rest in 2008. Rest in peace, old friend. You are not forgotten.
Lingerie, a clothing often associated with sexuality, beautifies women in its myriad of forms nowadays. Oddly to us, though, the focus will flip to men, just as it has in the past. The celestial planet, Uranus, completes one orbit around the sun in 84 Earth years. Half of this time is spent with a human focus on the female beauty and sexuality, while the other half of Uranus’ orbit time is focused on the male beauty and sexuality. Why? I do not know, but I am very curious!
A nameless piece by Artificer:
To those who thread needles with thimbles on their thumbs and forefingers, too, share with me the lather of your thoughts on loathsome things and love and thanks and other views.