Wednesday, December 18, 2013


The body is sacred ground. It is hallowed, consecrated, holy and beautiful. We see it in variations of good, bad, and worse. Our lives are devoted the maintenance of the idols of our bodies, though we see ourselves as sinners.
Oh, I shouldn’t. The murmurs pass your lips before anything else, like a password that negates the molecular sparkle of sugar across your tongue. A blessing in reverse, maybe, or a counter spell. An antidote to a simple pleasure.
We’re taught from an early age, with our stubby legs and hungry eyes, that life is more than just black and white. It exists in gradations of the two, blending and blurring and smearing the lines. Of course, there are those who would draw over them again in permanent marker. There are those who etch new lines into the barren earth of our malleable hearts to trap us.
Life is so much more than black, white, or grey. It is an explosive cacophony of color, a riot of reds and purples and blues and golds, spilling across our fragile bones in grand swaths of sunsets and argon. Oh, I musn’t, you whisper with a white brush of stitches across your lips. Oh, I can’t, you echo as you paint calories burned in black lines across your skin.
We are the cavalry, the infantry struggling against something far more insidious than bullets or mustard gas. We gasp and choke on words that taste like chlorine gas and gather in our lungs, saving up for later attacks in the dead of night. We struggle and we fight and we forget.
Our bodies are canvases and pens and microphones. They’re art. They’re poetry, they’re music, they’re tributes to every day the sun shone on our skin and every mistake we survived.
Holy things survive because we keep them in cases of gold and glass, but they crumble upon contact. They survive because they go untouched, and dust gathers, filling creases and folds and the tiny imperfections we proclaim to worship in one breath and damn in the next. Some things, though, live on and on and keep going because they’re tenacious and robust, and if the body is not a tool of survival, there is no such thing.
The most important thing is to shuck off the heavy, ill-fitting vestments of our religion, of hating our bodies. We are not cheap imitations of gilded idols. We are swirling bits of life, the most wonderful and poorly thought-out force which survived fires and asteroid impacts and diseases and the ocean pounding it into submission.
The body is neither sacred nor blasphemous. It simply is, and that’s amazing enough.

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