Tuesday, May 3, 2011

letter to my body

This morning while I was showering, I was thinking about a few recent conversations I have had about bodies. In one, my co-conversant asserted that we are our bodies. I disagree forcibly, and I have been coming to terms with exactly what it means to disagree with his point.
So as i stood in the warming water, I began to speak to my body, and I was overwhelmed with how much love I have for it. It's a good thing that I practically live alone, I guess. I think it's worth writing down, because there is a lot of hatred peddled all around us that I don't believe in, and don't care to be part of. So here it is: my letter to my body.

Hi body.
 Thanks for always being around me. I am really grateful for you and I validate and recognize your innocence and beauty. There a few points I want to make because I'm not sure that you will ever be more beautiful or able in all of your life, and I want to be sure to make them now before the appropos moment passes.

First off, I'll point out a few things I love about and want to thank you for.
  I love that you heal; you heal. And you do it without my conscious knowledge. It's incredible. With the whole recent neck deal-y, I have been amazed at your mad skillz, and the incredible knowledge stored within that I didn't know you had. Seriously, so blown away.
  I love those lungs that have taught me what it means to persevere, to accept and give, and then to look for more. Lungs are, hands down, my favorite body part. I am consistently amazed how they fill up and release and then refill again, and again and again; a beautiful cycle of accepting the rhythm of the world. I'm sorry for all of the exhaust fumes and urban-weary air I've made you deal with.   
  To that little part of skin between my eyebrow and my eyelid, you are so beautiful, and not-unlike my mother's. It's my favorite part of her face, and I hope that as you age, you will increasingly echo her.
  The long long legs that make up (much) more than half my height, you are so kind. You don't make any sense, but plenty of folks like you well enough. I second the popular opinion that you are wonderful, and end marvelously in ankles that are graceful. Thank you for recovering so well from my adolescent abuses and my lack of care for you.
  And those eyes. Those eyes! So profoundly elemental in my practice and my passions. Gratitude runs deep here in my license to seek the world beyond my own. I'm sorry for the things you have taken that you didn't want to. May we try to heal.
    
  Next I would like to explore a bit more this idea that we aren't our bodies. Rather, I believe, we are engaged in a miraculous partnership with physical and spiritual matter. Beautiful harmony here. I think we are maybe placed on earth to learn how to interact with physical realities, and we are able to do this through our bodies. Everything we know are experienced through the body- the good and the foul smelling trees of springtime's abundance, the blazing brilliance of the sunrise, the crunch of cabbage, the sound of waves crashing and the pain of being a woman- these are things I know in my body, and I know them certainly.
  Body: thank you for teaching my about the world and for allowing me to join you.

  And last (for now at least) I want to tell you that I forgive you. I forgive you for being different than what popular society calls beautiful. I never held this against you to begin with, but I want to out the notion into writing here. On the contrary, I appreciate your subversion of the normative powers-that-be. 
  I forgive you for snapping back to the synapses that have helped me survive. I am conscious of the power of efficiency which you are consistently seeking, and I am grateful for your moxie. I promise you that I am working hard to re-train you. I am working to teach you to grow and progress. I'm grateful for a gospel that teaches me (so thoroughly) that I can do that, and that you and I are partners in so doing. Thank you for subjecting yourself to my will. I will not let you down. I might not be successful the first time, or the second, or maybe even the 107th, but I will be true to you- I will continue to love you. I will feed you the good things of the earth, I will put you to bed when you tell me it's time, and I will pray for you with every breath you give me.
 I close with a video which I dedicate to you, body. Again, thank you deeply.
-a



5 comments:

Marge Bjork said...

thanks. this is one of those things I work on all my life. I love that you love your body.

brown sheep said...

needed this today. love your whole soul.

Jasie said...

this encapsulates all of the reasons that I love you. Thanks for writing it, and writing it so beautifully.

Christine Armbruster said...

i love this. and i love you. this is always so comforting to hear. especially currently in a place where you are constantly aware of how you look in comparison to those around you. thanks for keeping it real and reminding the rest of us to as well.

Britt said...

i have tears streaming down my face. that was beautiful. thanks. love you.