After my run today I put on some music, a flowy skirt, and started dancing in front of a mirror outside. I could smell the sweat that glistened on my skin. I looked down at my feet as they lifted and dropped to the beat of the music. Funny-looking feet I thought. They looked like they belonged treading on wild ground. In wild fields of grass or desert or forest.
They weren’t slender and careful, but hearty and loud. The Wrong feet I thought. They must be wrong. They should be more beautiful, more lady like. My feet seemed more suited to be tree roots than dainty wings for my body to use to glide over the earth.
I watched as they fell, the soles of my feet curving over the ground below. I looked and saw how with every step they became one with the earth below. There was no reluctance in that connection, no hesitation. They bounded down as though earth was reconnecting to itself.
I thought that was quite nice. It’s nice how sturdy they made me feel. It’s nice how the earth seems to know them. I figured it wasn’t for me to judge, this relationship between my feet and the earth. They seemed to get along so well, maybe the earth didn’t think they were Wrong at all. Maybe the earth loved them as it welcomed their thud onto its surface.
I watched them again and they seemed rather…lovely. I imagined my ancestors stomping across their fields, with these same sturdy soles. Maybe they liked how well their feet wrapped over the ground. Molding to its form and keeping their gait steady.
I saw my feet through different eyes and I loved them. I looked down and whispered ‘thank you’.
My eyes moved upward as I surveyed the rest of my body. It too seemed sturdy. It seemed large, with thick thighs and full branches for arms. I watched as it danced. It announced its presence with every slide of my hips and whip of my hands. As though the dance was an affirmation of life, of presence. It yelled to the air around it, I AM. It whipped itself around as though shedding its boundaries of skin and flesh. Resounding in its message to the sky and to the trees, We Are.
Its dance seemed to be one of understanding. Understanding the relation of All Things. The earth under my soles, my body and the air around it, the sun shining off my skin, the trees exhaling life, and the insects and birds echoing that dance all around me.
It didn’t seem so Wrong either, this thick body. I liked the way it moved, like thick resin slowly slipping down the bark of a tree. And fast sometimes like a woodpecker hungrily tapping its way to sustenance.
I liked feeling this way…natural. I felt like a human, like a woman, like an animal. I wasn’t rushing to cover up my scent with deodorizers and all manner of fragrance. I wasn’t covering up my curves and jiggles with fabric and binding them with elastic. My hair stayed frizzy and knotted into a loose bun atop my head.
Could I stay here? Here, where I felt real. Would I have to be a liar again? To stop dancing and feeling my feet in the soil. Soaking myself again in fragrance and paint and a courteous demeanor. Would I rip my heart away from the trees and the sky and train it to stay quiet and find solace in the validation of society?
I didn’t want to be a liar again. I didn’t want to zip myself up in a body bag of deception. Please Lord, don’t let me be a liar. Don’t let me forget.
I want to learn the language of all of nature and to let it float from my tongue. I want my skin to radiate the truth of the earth and all it knows about who we are.
Could I live truly? Or would I slip back into ‘good enough’ and ‘normal’.
I wanted to yell to myself to find a man who was real too. Someone I wouldn’t have to lie to. Someone I wouldn’t have to appease. Someone who was awake. An animal like me. Whose feet knew the curve of the earth and whose skin had befriended the air around it. Someone who had a secret knowing with the sun, like I had a secret knowing with the moon. And in this, we would smile.
If you see me walking on the street or laying in a field somewhere, yell out to me. Ask if I am a liar today. Ask me if I speak the language of the trees or the deception of man. Point to the sky and remind me of the sun and the moon and how their light knows the bumps and valleys of my skin.
In this, I would be so grateful and hope to respond that I remember who I am today. I am not a liar. But please, ask me again tomorrow.