In my bed with with flannel sheets and big heavy and fluffy blankets and many pillows.
In a cup of chocolate hazelnut milk.
Sometimes in a bag of potato chips. Crinkle cut with lots of sea salt.
In a cup of warm herbal tea with some medicinal syrup of one kind or another.
In a cold cup of coffee that has been sitting most of the day because of all the doing and no chance to sit and drink it hot.
In his arms. Always. My head to his chest hearing his heart and its irregular rhythms and knowing despite it all he is here now and I can’t worry about whether he will be here tomorrow.
With them in my arms or lying on my chest and sometimes even crawling all over me.
With her and her and her and her and the telling of our truths and wisdom and knowing that the miles don’t hurt our friendships and sisterhoods.
With her and her bff and the knowing that there generation will have something so much different than ours.
In her office and the telling and revealing of the stories and the dislodging and healing the trauma of my own lived experience that lives in my body.
In her office and circles where the ancestral and culture healing occurs.
In the words. Always the words I come back to and write and write and write.
In the writing of the words and stories and the truths.
In the liminal spaces, the unknown, the uncontrollable.
These are some of the places I find comfort.
And while all of this is true, I now find my greatest comfort in my body. In her knowing. In all she has done for me. In all she has endured. In feeling her, my, heartbeat and in noticing her, my, breath and in her, my, ability to pick him up and soothe his toddler tears and to wrap her, my, arms around her turning-into-a-woman-body and comforting her frustrations and pre-teen tears and giving her me as a place to come home and find comfort.
I find comfort in the knowing that it wasn’t always like this and that my relationship with my body, with me, has been hard won.
And yet, it has been won.
The battle to feeling at home in my body, finding comfort in her was not easy. And it was a battle. A battle of healing and resistance and fear. A battle with exhaustion and wounds and getting up the next day anyhow. A battle, that at times, was slow and peaceful (can a battle be such a thing?) and at other times tumultuous, frenzied, and chaotic.
Getting to this place of feeling at home in my body, of finding comfort there, was and is filled with discomfort. With tears. With acknowledging things I may not want to. With feeling things that I may not like. With learning things about my self and life and history I may wish I didn’t know.
These battles have been the work of reclaiming my body. Remembering her. Connecting to her through breath, through yoga, through various body-centered mindfulness exercises. Getting to know her by learning to feel her quiet whispers and rumblings. Trusting her stories and wisdom.
Reclaiming her. As mine. Mine to decide who touches me and who doesn’t. Mine to heal and nourish in the ways I see fit. Mine to love and honor and be angry with, as I need. Mine. Mine. MINE.
We live in a culture that does not like women laying claim to their own bodies. We live in a culture that thinks consent is not relevant to any conversation or transaction. We live in a culture where women’s bodies are still not considered their own, as the right to choose hangs in the balance on this election day, as at least three women today will be raped, as at least three women today will be physically assaulted, as three more women today will be murdered by their intimate partner.
Yes, I find comfort in my body. Yes, I feel at home in her. And what this looks like is acknowledging the very real fear I feel having this body. This female form. Knowing that my confidence in her could be taken as some sort of comment on some other person’s being. Knowing that my confidence in her, my using her voice. my daring to stand in my strength, my power my light could get my physically attacked.
Yes, I feel at home in my body. And I am fully aware of how truly risky that is. How risky it was for my mother and grandmother and all my grandmothers back a couple thousand years. Feeling at home in my body also means feeling at home in the trauma and discomfort and dis-ease that she, that I, carry in my blood, my bones, my DNA.
Feeling at home in my body, finding comfort in her, is not all flowers and sausages.
Yet I would have it no other way. It is through the discomfort and dis-ease that I learn more about my Self. About my own power and strength and daring. About consent and where it that lives within me. About how our culture doesn’t want any of us to claim our bodies or minds or spirits as ours.
I find comfort in my body. Because she holds the stories. She holds my history. And with her, I am learning to be and do different in this world, so my daughter and granddaughters will have a different world. A world where they truly feel safe. A where where they truly are safe.
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This post inspired by Isabel Abbott and Bronwyn Petry‘s The Body Contains Multitudes. If you have a chance to participate in either of their offerings, I encourage you to jump at the chance. xoxo