The concept of recursion has been an ongoing theme in Dr. McCoy’s class. We are consistently going back, cross checking, and returning from where we came from. The first couple weeks of this class, I truly didn’t understand this process. I would say to myself, “Ok, never going to read that again”. However, I did not appreciate the work as much as I should have, and the more I return to our earlier work from the beginning of the semester, the more questions I have and want to be answered.
Sitting in my Foundations of Creative Writing class this past week, we were engaged in a class workshop where we critique each others work. One of my classmates wrote a poem about war and toyed with the word “creature”, ” The townspeople cry up to the metal creatures of the sky”, comparing airplanes in war as these “metal creatures of death”. Instantly, this word brought be back, almost like a “That’s So Raven” moment. I found myself sitting in McCoy’s class again, sweating from the over heated Welles room, watching the snowflakes fall, dreading having to walk in the cold. I started to remember our class discussion of creatures in “Bloodchild”, the power-hungry “creatures”….or are they? I eventually tuned back into class but went straight to our blog posts, digging for Toby’s post, “What Makes a Creature?”. I remember reading it and thinking “Ok, cool”, unaware that his post would inspire me months later. Recursion is real!
I often feel like we toy with the word “creature” or “alien” when something appears to be so different from ourselves; but what makes something so different? Because they don’t talk like how we talk, move how we move, produce offspring the same, eat the same….? At the end of “What Makes a Creature?”, Toby says “I am glad I read Bloodchild because it made me wonder less about what makes T’Gatoi a creature, and more about what makes her a person”. Can this concept of more and less be applied to all things we consider creatures? At a young age, I was taught to accept peoples differences, but there are subtle similarities and commonalities we can find within everyone or even everything, despite these differences. Is the airplane that my classmate refers to as a “metal creature of the sky” that much of an actual creature?
I began to take apart the airplane in war. Our body protects us like the body of the plane protects itself; we both shield ourselves from outside forces such as bullets, protecting our insides from anything dangerous and threatening. We both essentially have organs, hearts, bones- if something is damaged, we need to see a professional to get fixed. That is to say, if it’s not too late! We both essentially consume to keep us going and moving, if we don’t drink or eat we will shut down; same goes for the airplane, it needs to be fed fuel to keep flying. We both provide shelter; women can have passengers, airplanes can have passengers, sheltering those to safety, birthing them to a new place.
I dare to say that creatures don’t exist. When reading Bloodchild, one might say that T’Gatoi is an alien and Gan is the human. However, T’Gatoi calls humans “Terrans” to essentially dehumanize them. In their eyes, we are the “aliens” who invaded their land. The term “alien” and “creature” is used to divide the two species, but the division is based on external and obvious differences. Analyze humans for a change! We all have external and obvious differences so does that makes us creatures to each other? I would say absolutely not. To be a creature, there must be no similarities. I am giving you all a task, make a Venn diagram with absolutely anything, living or not. You will find a similarity with the most unexpected subject possible, say, a photo frame. Then, ask yourself this…is it more of a creature or is it more like you? It’s up to you to decide if the glass is half full or half empty.