It makes utter sense to stay healthy and strong, to be as nourishing to the body as possible. Yet I would have to agree, there is in many women a "hungry" one inside. But rather than hungry to be a certain size, shape, or height, rather than hungry to fit the stereotype; women are hungry for basic regard from the culture surrounding them. The "hungry" one inside is longing to be treated respectfully, to be accepted, and in the very least, to be met without stereotyping. If there really is a woman "screaming to get out" she is screaming for the cessation of the disrespectful projections of others onto her body, her face, her age. (218)
The idea in our culture of body solely as sculpture is wrong. Body is not marble. That is not its purpose. Its purpose [is] to protect, contain, support, and fire the spirit and soul within it, to be a repository for memory, to fill us with feeling--that is the supreme psychic nourishment. It is to lift us and propel us, to fill us with feeling to prove that we exist, that we are here, to give us grounding, heft, weight...The body is the launcher of those experiences. Without body there would be no sensations of crossing thresholds, there would be no sense of lifting, no sense of height, of weightlessness. (221)
The body is like an earth. It is a land unto itself. It is as vulnerable to overbuilding, being carved into parcels, cut off, overmined, and shorn of its power as any landscape...The breast in all its shapes has the function of feeling and feeding. Does it feed? Does it feel? It is a good breast. (227)
There is a line in Ntozake Shange's for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf. In the play, the woman...speaks after having struggled to deal with all the psychic and physical aspects of herself that the culture ignores or demeans. She sums herself up in these wise and peaceful words:
here is what i have...
so much love
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Excerpts are from Chapter 7 of Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype. pp. 213 - 229. New York, NY: Ballantine Books. 1995. These excerpts are about embracing the body. (The last one, with its poetry, is my favorite.)