What brings everyone together?

From the time that I spent in the discussions, I was getting help to develop and to deepen my way of thinking. I do and still, get a little bit twisted on the thinking part due to the reason that my analysis needs more work. Another reason is that I heavily depend on the prompts that are given. The prompts give me a sense of direction on what to write about ever since I could remember. However, I am able to learn from the group discussions, whether on zoom or in our chat room. As I move on to my “independent life” from this course, I do feel like I might be a bit lost in terms of the constraints. I need some sort of order in my life to not be overwhelmed. Yet, I could easily make myself something to keep organized.

I learned that there are many ways to bring and to bind people together. Some ways that bring people together is by senses as shown in Octavia Butler’s books. As well as for appearances. There are three times in Adulthood rites where this is shown. The first one is, “ “They will see him as beautiful and like themselves,” Nikanj said. “By the time he’s old enough for his body to reveal what he actually is, he’ll be an adult and able to hold his own.” ” Akin (Eka or Jodah) is born as an Oankali-human construct.  Lilith was concerned about her son being born as a male construct. As well as having no judgment against her child as he was growing up.  Nikanj reassured Lilith that he would be able to hold his own when he becomes an adult. A Connection to myself is that My body is constantly changing every day. I have been learning how to deal with my physical appearances ever since I was a child from my family specifically from my parents. My parents had helped me as a female to have my personal life taken care of. As well as helping me with my social life. A Connection to the world is that everyone is trying to make sure that their appearance is well. As well as the parents of the children, who do not want the kids to have a bad childhood. They want their kids to be able to live up as independent adults who would use the skills that they gained throughout childhood and adolescence to live on their own throughout adulthood.

The second one is, “He could feel pleasure the moment she sank filaments of her sensory tentacles into him. She was the first person to be able to reach him this way with more than simple emotions. She was the first to give him multisensory images and signaling pressures and to help him understand that she was speaking to him without words.” This was how Nikanj was able to connect with Akin. Nikanj, the other Oankali, and the other groups that are on the ship would connect by touching. Which would be seen by them in a group interlocking their arms to send messages. Which for them is faster than talking. Even though they have to physically talk to humans. A Connection to the world is that people love to connect with others. In terms of connecting, one of the main connections that start is with the mother and child.  You might hear how the baby would react whenever the mother would touch their own pregnant belly. They would react by mostly kicking when the baby gains that ability while still being developed in the womb.

The third time is,“ “When you’re older, you’ll be expected to turn your face and body toward people when you talk to them. Even now, you should look at Humans with your eyes. If you don’t, they yell at you or repeat things because they’re not sure they have your attention. Or they start to ignore you because they think you’re ignoring them.” ”A Connection to the book is that Akin’s sister was trying to keep him safe from humans before he met them. This was when he was a baby. For him, as an Oankali he could ‘see’ through his body and not where his eyes would generally be if he were a full-born human. A Connection to myself is that as someone who is shy. I would avoid direct eye contact with most people. Such as my parents, authorities, and people who are in a similar authority position. I remember my middle school teacher, Ms.Hoyt, noticing my shyness back then. She would constantly call on me in English class to get me to look at her and tell her the answer. Also, it was a way for me to participate in her class.

Harm and care walk a thin line for many beings alike. Harm is the absence of care and care is the absence of harm. Harm and care are shown in Octavia Butler’s book, as Akin is trying to go through his metamorphosis. The first evidence is, “My head tentacles swept toward it…let me examine its flesh so that I could begin to understand the difference between its flesh and my own…I wondered what might happen if these genes activated in Nikanj. It was mature. Were there other changes it might undergo? Stop, Niknaj said quietly. It signaled silently and spoke aloud. Its silent signal felt urgent. What was I doing?…. These genes were trying to activate others of their kind in other cells, trying to cause Nikanj’s body to begin the secretion of inappropriate hormones that would cause inappropriate growth.” A connection to the book is that Akin was given permission by his mother to examine her. This was when he was going through his first metamorphosis and he had to relearn his surroundings once more. 

The second evidence is, “I relax and let it work, and it said instantly, No!… Until you know yourself a great deal better, you can’t afford to relax that way while you’re in contact with another person. Not even with me. You’re too competent, too well able to make tiny, potentially deadly changes in genes, in cells, in organs.” A connection to the book is that Nikanj did not want her child to go to sleep while she was helping him because they both don’t know how his body would act. As well as to keep him conscious enough to notice if he makes a potentially deadly mistake to others or to himself. 

The third evidence is, “I’m here because a Human was able to share such ability with me… It meant Lilith, my birth mother…One of Nikanj’s sensory arms had been all but severed from its body, but Lilith allowed it to link into her body and activate certain of her highly specialized genes. It used what it learned from these to encourage its own cells to grow and reattach the complex structures of the arm. It could not have done this without the triggering effect of Lilith’s genetic help. ” A connection to the book is that Lilith was able to use her body to save an Oankali from losing their arm. The Oankali reach-in Lilith to activate some of those genes that we know as cancerous, so they could rebuild their body. Which in hindsight made Lilith, the enemies to humans and kind of like an outcast to the Ooloi or Oankali, not being able to fit within a group.  A Connection to the world is that humans as a whole want the best for someone else. Humans want to take care of others, especially those who are in their family. Such as parents, siblings, cousins, and nephews. 

Changes could be unexpected and with it, they could have a drastic impact on the person and/or family. The evidence is, “The people would permit me Earth exile, then. With no real discussion, we prepared to go. My human parents made packs for themselves, wrapping Lo cloth hammocks around prewar books, tools, extra clothing, and food from Lilith’s garden…I went to my Human mother and watched her assemble her pack. I did not touch her–had not touched any human since my metamorphosis ended. As a reminder of my unstable condition, I had developed a rough, crusty growth on my right hand. I had deliberately reabsorbed it twice…” After Akin Metamorphosis,  he was seen as a threat to the City of Lo and those around him. He has not hurt anyone else yet but he does not want to go back onto the ship with the other Ooloi to be monitored and to be away from his family. So his parents on both sides unanimously agreed to venture on Earth away from the city to minimize the risk of him hurting someone due to his new ability. This was a major change that they all have to deal with to keep the family together. A Connection to myself is that I was never prepared to change. Most of the time that I had changed, it would be last minute and a drastic change of environments. Of course, I have my family to help me with the changes.  My first memory of change was when my mother made my whole family, during a block party, move to this new apartment without telling us beforehand. Which on my side of this journey as a young kid I have left the majority of my games that I had back then and they probably all sold by now. I have left behind a gaming system that we’ll never be able to find ever again. A Connection to the world is that People experience changes whether they are prepared for it or not. It all depends on who you have with you to help you through the changes.

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