my house, my body


It was a privilege to sit with our inside writers this week and have a chance to relive the read-around from a week ago. Still fresh in everyone’s memory, it came alive again through sharing the 50 comment cards (some of which were quoted, below) around the circle. Each time a familiar line was spoken, heads nodded around the circle. Such pride in community effort! Such supportiveness of one another’s courage!! Such joy at being spoken with as ‘real’ people, for a few moments of genuine interaction free of reprimand.

In keeping with our current theme of grounding, of experiencing ourselves as embodied presence, we challenged the women to write about themselves metaphorically. The challenge was inspired by Nancy Mairs (author of Remembering the Bone House)  and read: “write your body as a house, with the rooms being different ages or events.” I think we were all equally challenged. What emerged, however, was a surprising variety of interpretations of the prompt, ranging from the whimsical to the more concrete.

The following was written by a relatively new participant, the most she has yet written with us:

My House, My Body

As you step into my house, you step into my mind. My house is full of different rooms, just like my mind. When you close one door, I close a part of my mind. When you open one door, one door of my mind opens.

The first room of my house is full of little baby things. Safe baby things as for my body was only a baby,. As you proceed on to the second room in my house, you will see things that help you walk and more toys, as I am still a small child.

As you move on to the third and fourth and even the fifth rooms in my house, there are still little baby things; but they are starting to change, because I’m changing, changing into a little girl. The sixth and seventh rooms are pretty cool, full of coloring and learning to tie shoes and to read and color, for I am in school learning.

Rooms eight, nine ten are starting to become bigger and more adult-like. You don’t see toys because baby toys were not cool things anymore. You see clothing, book bags, paper work and maybe even a t.v. if it was on a good day; because I am no longer a baby or a little child, I’m becoming my own young woman who is putting the puzzle of her life together.

Eleven and twelve, not too much changed in that room that you didn’t see in eight, nine and ten. But thirteen, watch out! THAT room you could no longer enter without asking. Don’t ask what’s in there for it is private and I am no longer wanting to be labeled as anything.

Fourteen and fifteen came running into that private room that you did not see because room thirteen was not for you. Fourteen and fifteen was about boys and music; the new cool things – clothing and style, as fourteen and fifteen was a different time in my life.

Let’s skip rooms sixteen and seventeen, because they’re no fun. But let me tell you about room eighteen. Wait. There IS no room eighteen in my childhood home because room eighteen was an apartment of my own where I started out all over again, just like one through ten. I had to change into an adult, take responsibility and live.

That’s my life and that’s my rooms. So please come in. Just not into room thirteen.


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