30 Days of Writing About My Body, Day 5
“Some tissue, such as bone, is especially dynamic. Each body structure has its own rate of reformation: the lining of the stomach renews itself in a week; the skin is entirely replaced in a month; the liver is regenerated in six weeks… after five years one can presume that the entire body is renewed, even to the very last atom.” — Larry Dossey, Space, Time, and Medicine*
This is the body that splayed itself o a cold thin table, offered up its soft belly to the surgeon’s finicky blade. This is not the same body that cowered in the kitchen, drowning in my mother’s rage: “I don’t care if it hurts your feelings to hear that you are ugly.” How many cells are left of the body that cuddled with mouther on the couch, her eyes wild with delight as she watched The Bachelor. This is almost the same body that woke up to an empty bed this morning. This will almost be the same body who wakes up tomorrow and stitches herself into a garment of grief. And the body five years from now, when there is nothing left of the hand that is writing this or the giddy mouth that kissed the famous author or the arms that held my father’s shrunken body which was not the same body he’d had the day before, the body now turned to ash and loss, my body of tomorrows, how will I recognize its electric arrival, how will I mourn its sweet shed skin?
* I borrowed this epigraph from Maureen Seaton’s “A Constant Dissolution of Molecules” for which this quote is also the epigraph.