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Writing About My Body, Day 7

What I can control about the appearance of my body: how full my fat cells are, what clothes I put on my body, what products I put on my body in terms of keeping my skin moisturized, protecting my skin from the sun, highlighting certain features or covering others (like pimples), if my hair looks curly or straight, where hair is visible on my body

What I can’t control about the appearance of my body: the shape of my buttocks, the length of my limbs, the prominence of my knees, where my calf muscles are attached to my ankles, the shape of my right eye, the keratoconus in my corneas, the diameter of my wrists, the predisposition of fat to gather first on certain areas of my body, the length of my torso, the average ratio of my waist to my hips, the nerve damage that changed the shape of my smile circa 1998, the archless planes of my feet, the length of my fingers

What I might change about my body surgically if I had the money and the procedure was medically feasible: the shape and vertical position of my breasts, where my calf muscles are attached to my ankles

When I like my body best: When I am naked, when I am wearing a black bra and black panties and smiling at myself in the mirror, when I like the lipstick I have on, when I have just finished plucking my eyebrows, when I am hugging someone I love, when I keep going on a long walk even though my feet hurt, when I take on a physical challenge even though I know I’ll look ridiculous doing whatever it is

When I like my body least: When I am PMSing or on my cycle and I have to go through 4 or 5 outfits to find something to wear because nothing fits and I hate everything in my closet, when it betrays me with asthmatic wheezing or an attack of vertigo or a cluster of fibroids, when I don’t take on a physical challenge because I’m too scared to look like “the fat girl,” when there’s not enough room in a restaurant for me to squeeze between chairs and I have to ask people to get up so I can get by, when I can’t get up on a bar stool cause it’s too tall and I’m too short

Who I blame for how I feel about my body: That’s a dumb question.

Whose body I want: Mine. It’s been through a lot. Almost died from pneumonia. Been hit by a car. Had a corneal transplant. Been slit open from just above the pubis to just above the belly button because of tumors. This body isn’t perfect but it’s a survivor. I could learn from it if let myself.

30 Days of Writing About My Body, Day 3

If you believe that everything happens for a reason, then I must believe that my struggles with my weight, or I suppose, more accurately, my struggles with my appearance happen for a reason. (And for the literalists out there, I mean more than how eating and exercise affect what I look like.) I was thinking today that I always default to the negative things that come from walking in this particular body. But I never think about any possible good that may have come my way because I’m short and plump. Is it possible that people are more likely to hear me as intelligent because I’m not a bombshell? Is it possible that I’ve formed the relationships that I have because I don’t look like a man-stealing femme fatale? Is it possible that because I never took my looks for granted that I was more likely to work harder toward getting what I wanted? Since I’ve never stopped to think about the positives associated with looking the way I do, I can’t even form the what-if questions without them sounding ridiculous to my ears. And I suppose it’s not really as neatly cause and effect as I’d like to make it, at least for purposes of this post. And I also think that no matter how I frame the question, there’s is no adequate answer. Still, it’s interesting to think about, and an opportunity to reframe how I look at my body. Yes, there are many challenges associated with being a woman of size, so to speak, but I think I’m going to choose to believe that there are also doors that open because of this particular body, whether or not I can precisely point out which ones they are.

30 Days of Writing About My Body, Day 1

25 Synonyms for My Body

trickster
temple
monument
waiting room
shrine
hiding place
liar
truant
wound
stain
gathering place
swapmeet
map
encylopedia
journal
stage
backdrop
enemy combatant
middle C
solar system
devil
fortress
riverbank
superhero
exclamation point

Writing a poem in the rain

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it is raining this morning but I am sheltered on my friend’s balcony, keeping company with the trees. Wrote this in my journal this morning: “The rain is so beautiful and here I am out in it safe, and maybe that’s the metaphor: to be in the place of discomfort and know you are safe and there is a certain beauty to it. It is wet and cold, and nourishing and cleansing if you can just persist.”

And then I wrote this poem…

Desire the Sun.
Swallow it whole
Feel it burn
Your dross to gold
Become a force
Of love and nature
Woman with heart
Of gold & mercy
Woman with the
Golden Insides
Heart of a crone
Heart of the infant
Woman standing her
Holy ground sure-footed
Worship the rain
Palms facing up
Slick with God-glory
Body become Hallelujah

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