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Tonight's ephemera is actually a portion of a burlesque event flyer. But i saw this Kurt Vonnegut (of all people) quote about bodies and as I flipped through the various bits of bobs that I keep for this project this flyer flew out at me from a shelf.
It's no secret that I have some body issues to deal with still. A lot of body issues to deal with still. But I loved this quote, particularly for the last line. "It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own." Especially in light of this project, the idea that my body is an instrument really speaks to me. But more than that... one of the things i love about being an (admittedly amateur) photographer in the Burlesque community, is how confident the dancers are. And not just the dancers that are tall and thin and lithe. But the ones that are my size, my shape. The ones that have chub and folds and stretch marks. The ones that actually have body to SHAKE when they shake it!
And I think they're beautiful. I've never once looked at one of those girls and thought about them any of the things I think about myself when I look in the mirror. I look at them and I wonder what it would take to be as comfortable with myself as they are. I look at them and am amazed at how hard it is for me to love myself, my body the way it is... when they are so clearly so dearly in love with their own shapes and forms.
The path to truly loving my body has been a slow one... and admittedly, a resistant one as well. Between my own negative perceptions, and my history of self-injury-- I've not done my body much service in the way of honor or love. I realized recently, that part of this is the still-lingering feeling that I need to protect myself. Remnants of abuse in childhood. But I'm working on letting go of that. (I'm still doing my forgiveness exercises every morning). And I have hope that someday my body and I will work together. That we will come together. That we will even love together.
For now, I am grateful-- for hands that hold a camera, for ink on fingers late at night, for feet that carry me to events, for a head that thinks and eyes that see, and a mouth that speaks (when it's not coughing).
And someday maybe I'll be able to turn gratitude into love. For now, I watch at events, I photograph beautiful women and wonder... when will I feel the way they feel? When will I love what I see in the mirror the way they do?
I don't know when. But someday... I will.
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