Neither Here Nor There: A Meditation on Missing Life
I’ve been thinking. About the succulence of life. And the female body. And politics. So much of our culture is about shrinking women’s enjoyment.
Women enjoy life less because we’re only partly living our lives. We are partly here, present for coffee and hugs and meetings and meals; and we are also partly lost, in holes, on wheels, so close–we must be close!– to snagging, at last, that different and better beauty.
The enjoyment of beaches, diminished. Ocean water and sand on the body. Sunlight on those rarely seen slopes. The joy of a swimsuit.
Brunch. Croutons. Chocolate cake.
Going out. Getting dressed. Dancing wildly.
Health. Welcoming, just a little, a stomach flu, because of the slimness that follows. Salads aren’t bowls of fresh, crunchy vegetables–they are virtue.
Sex, diminished. Cellulite. Movement. Gravity. Visibility.
Adornment. Zippers. Sizes. Spandex. Muffin tops.
Walks in summer evenings, diminished.
Olive oil, cashews, french fries.
Self-less-ness. At-one-ness. Non-monitoring. Unawareness of how one’s body looks to others, in space, in a moment. A mind let sweetly loose across the inner universe, gliding free and soft.
Weddings. The happiest day of your life; shrink yourself.
The big bang of birth and motherhood. Body After Baby IS Possible!
Fellowship. With other women. With men. With your children. With your self.
There is so much enjoyment lost in the world of women. So many moments of freedom and savoring. So many sensations missed: water shimmering around a bare belly and soft, biscuit-rich thighs; the bright, lip-smacking kiss of summer pie, swallowed without anxiety or explanation; the shocking liberty of orgasm, with another, without a second’s glance toward guarding or changing the body.
What doesn’t it touch? Even if it only steals a single, silent thread of every moment, bends only a single, silent reed of happiness; even if it’s only a low-grade fever we can manage, barely notice… That may be too much.