Illustration: The Magazine of Yoga
Poet in residence
I Love This Body That’s Not the Way I Thought
BY MAGAZINE COLUMNIST CARYN MIRRIAM-GOLDBERG
I love this body that’s not the way I thought
like I love storms, or at least the surprise
from behind windows or out in fields, and their
aftermath: horizons balancing blue sky, thunderheads, nothing,
stretched out like my arms reaching two directions at once.
I love the possibilities inherent in motion and extension,
the miles of sidewalk or faint path in the open field
made by deer with genius for merging visible.
I love the way the subway car sways its song
along my spine as it cups this body in its seat,
the flash of yearning that makes us turn toward
the shimmying branches of sex, even when we’re tired,
the seasons that come and go as well as came and went,
the mechanisms of cell-building and the three children
from that flint-on-flint spark, the fast slim legs that
galloped me down long apartment hallways as a girl
and the girl who knew how to curl in a ball and hold herself
a safe ship in the loneliness, just as the woman she became
who can wake from that old crescendo of pain and put on
her walking shoes, head out into the sky
that starts at her every step.
Reprinted with permission of the author
from Landed (Mammoth Publications, 2009).
This Valentine’s Day, ask your beloved body to be your valentine, writing yourself a love poem, love song or love letter.
You can start with the statement, “I love this body… ” or “I love this body that’s not the way I thought…” and continue on, or write a note to yourself more focused on a particular part of the body, beginning with — for example — “Dear elbows…” or “Dear belly…” Then pour on the love and sweetness.
When you’re all done, let yourself receive this valentine, honoring this life you’ve been given as your deepest and most present beloved.
Beginning a writing practice? Getting started, groundrules to free you, and podcasts of other writing prompts. Visit Caryn’s Write From Your Life page (http://carynmirriamgoldberg.wordpress.com/write-from-your-life/)
We may publish any content, comments or ideas sent to us.
Name may be withheld by request.
© 2011, The Magazine of Yoga, LLC.