Ponderings of a Wandering Imagination


from Jade Beall's "The Bodies of Mothers."
from Jade Beall’s “The Bodies of Mothers.”

As I recover from the birth of my son, not quite 11 weeks ago, I have been thinking about my body a lot. After getting out of my bath this morning, a stolen few moments of luxury, I sat in front of a long mirror brushing my hair and observed my naked stomach, thighs and breasts. Yes, things have definitely changed. There are things about my shape that will never be the same and things that may yet. My mother told me, “It took 9 months for your body to become this way, it will take time for things to get back to normal.” Although, I must admit, I loved the huge curvy swell of my belly and thighs while I was pregnant. I had never felt more feminine and luscious in all my life.

Now that my little son has emerged and is growing steadily, my belly bears a resemblance to what I can best describe as a deflated balloon. It somewhat appears like it’s old shape and yet, there is definite evidence of it’s former occupant.

The young girl who still resides in me, conditioned by society and fashion magazines, used to recoil in horror at the idea of letting the fine-tuned instrument of my ever managed body go. But the woman I have become is not repulsed in the slightest. There is an almost jovial sense of humor in the sheer lunacy of it all. The ridiculousness of fighting change. Change is ever constant. The snake which does not shed it’s skin is near to death. How many mental illnesses must be hatched under the pretense of keeping things the same? The terrible fear of losing a well fabricated sense of self-hood which has become outgrown, as ill-fitting as a pair of childhood tights one keeps trying to cram them self into.

At this moment there is an awesome sense of pride in what my body can do…has done!

What an amazing power to have grown another living being inside myself, to have spent hours of sweat and effort to bring him forth into the world, and now to transmogrify my own flesh into the sustenance which sustains him! While that conditioned little girl sometimes looks in the mirror and thinks, “My God, what has happened?” the woman and mother in me thinks, “My God, what a miracle!” What a relief to have shed yet another skin, another past, another obsolescent identity.

I used to think all my little projects were the meaning of my life. But now I know they are the spice added to the flavor of the meaning of my life and that the true meaning is in “Be”ing a strand in the immense tapestry of Creation.

People too often make the mistake of dismissing that which is common as being beneath their consideration for divinity, and yet the alchemy of it all! How magical that this can occur with such perfect harmony. In a Universe of such vastness, the birth of a star is also common. What elegance in the conception of the order of things! My God, what the Universe must have felt at the moment of the bang which gave birth to us all!

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