When i was very little i saw a movie in “Sessão da Tarde” (a campy movie session in Brazilian TV) in which an actress would say something to the effect of: «The human body is perfect, except for one tiny spot in the back which you cannot reach with your own hands…» In fact i guess she was bathing with a guy, something like it. I don’t remember almost anything else of the film, nor which film it was.
Then, some months ago, i wore my smarty-wannabe face and quoted this movie to my sister. Or maybe someone else. But the response was much to my amusement: she said she had watched that movie too, and that the comment was not at all as clever as i believed.
What i find interesting in this story is that a somewhat cheesy string-of-words played around in my head for a long time. It was not exactly something i believed very much or gave too much attention. But it was there, and this notion of the perfectness of the human body — and even more, this idea that maybe there was a semi-perfection, like perfect with one thing taken out; almost in a persian carpet way — was very important to me.
Because if the human body is perfect, than this simple, day-to-day fact would call for perfection in the rest of life. If there was at least one thing that was perfect it wasn’t so foolish to seek perfection in everything else.
Today, i do realize that this perfection of body concept is just another form of “paradise-lost perception”, an idealization of something or time that would be source of pure joy, that would make us safe and happy, and ultimately just an projection of our desires into something that is not really the way we want it to be — like picturing the “life in the country” as different from the city’s madness or childhood as a moment of purity.
Nevertheless, this perception of perfectness and levels-of perfectness was seed to lots of ideas and doubts and wishes — maybe even leading me to a better understanding of how this was just a foolish outward projection. It later became crucial in my world-view, regardless of being a inverse (or unbuilt) form of it.
And in many ways a small unimportant phrase could link many ideas and help me see further. A small string of words became an important tool.