Nearly seven years ago, a woman who was pivotal in my development as a queer woman told that my body will tell me what I need to know. I just need to listen to it. A year and a half ago, another woman important in my life told me the same thing ... and a week ago, called me out on it. "Slow down. Breathe. You're not breathing. Breathe." And I stopped in a way that I hadn't for a few months, and felt that electric crackle in my chest, the one that tells me when something's wrong, that serves as a focus point when the world weighs down.
My body doesn't light on fire these days; it goes through the motions. I don't push limits. That stopped over a year ago. I curl in, closer, closer, this is what I think I most need, this quite moment, this ... but, no, it's not what I need. Not what I want. I just say it, because it makes me feel better most days.
But, I'm starting to find out that it's a lie.
Nerve endings. Blood rushing to minute places of my body. The body ... no, my body, feeling electric, feeling the pulse of blood pounding through these veins. Don't forget your alive. Pieces may have died, but overall, you're still alive, there is still room to move, to kick, to scream, and to cry.
Some days, this body forgets the vast spectrum of functions that it's allowed. Rather, it's the smiling, bouncing, caffeinated "How can I help you and what can I do for you?" me. When we both left, there were certain things I just packed up, pieces that I put into storage and haven't gotten back out. Like my bike. Like my desire to hike. Like my desire to move this body, to feel the ways these arms can snake out like will o' the wisps, and the way that my hair catches at the nape of my neck when I get sweaty. My cells have tried to forget what words were slung at them. My body tries to tell me what I need to do, but I just can't pick myself up like that, cart myself around, and believe that I'm doing it for myself, and only myself.
When does it become for myself? Making the decision to say yes to this, to say "No," quietly, forcefully, and fully, to all that I believed, all that I thought was real, to watch it just float away?
But, it doesn't float away. It doesn't go up in smoke, dreams ... it gets reflected in mirrors, in this place, over and over, until I am able to grasp the truth that those words, believed, thought, felt, and fed into this body, that they were not real.
That this body, electric and pulsing, is real. Is here. Is now.