Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Middle age and body love are not mutually exclusive

I can TBT without regret. I didn't even realize back then that I was skinny! But I love my body more now. Having a body has become so much more than fussing over surface and visual appeal.

I have trained this body to endure grueling drills, to be resilient and pliable, to win against viruses and stress. I am a warrior. I have learned when to coddle and when to talk tough to it. I am as wise as the ancients when I mother my own body.

This body moves with assuredness when I teach a room of distracted dance students. This body melts into embrace when touch and wordless comfort are needed. This body holds still on the mat, observing in silence, awakening in wonderment, unfolding in surrender.

This body suspends the gag reflex to clean out the litter box. This body unequivocally rejects an excess of sugar -- by breaking out in hives! No mistaking that message.

This body permits, nay, compels me to experience and process my emotions. It will not stay defeated. It will lie spent for a season while my spirit licks its wounds, but it is the body that will arise and move first, to exhale in ever lengthening, growly sighs, with increasing urgency until my spirit comes alongside.

This body catalogs in sensory memory the pheromones of my beloved, the perfume of my hybrid Jackson & Perkins roses, the precious pronunciation of toddler talk, the density of my Mom's flan.

It is a single body among so many, but the only one assigned to me. It is both vitally important to preserve in good health but immediately disposable once my energy departs it. Images of it will stand in for me in recall when I myself am gone.

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