BlogHer invited me to be a guest editor and write a “Letter to my Body” for their Body Image topic. Women have been writing these letters since they began on Valentine’s day. Deb wrote hers a while ago.
It’s hard for me to think about writing a letter to my body because I don’t feel separate from it. So I’ve decided to visualize talking to myself in the mirror. I think out loud a lot so that’s not hard.
I’m going to talk about “being present in my body” even though that phrase still feels a little separate, but I don’t have a better words to say it in. I didn’t start out this way. Learning to be present in my body most of the time was a mixture of joy and hard work that happened after I grew up. And since I’m sixty-six, it’s been going on for a long time.
I’m grateful for the physicality of my life, both in it’s intensity and all it’s subtleties. Feeling the air on my skin on a warm day, seeing the world as I walk through it. I like the patterns in the cement, the leaves on the trees, I like the faces as I go by.
I’m not necessarily grateful for the fact that being present is about pain as well as joy. And when I hurt, I”ll feel the interruptive intrusiveness of quite small pains as well as the sometimes overwhelming power of strong pain.
I’m grateful for the pleasures of taste, for the repleteness sensation of eating, for orgasm and the more subtle pleasures of sex.
I’m an artist and I work with my hands. There’s the physical sensation of making something with them, something that didn’t exist before. And there’s the passion of dance – whether it’s just me dancing or when I’m teaching belly dance to kids and experiencing their intensity.
Then there’s my face in the mirror looking back with all the lines that tell the story of my life so far. I like that too.