Ode to Dr. Ford
Often a sweetness comes
As if on loan, stays just long enough
To make sense of what it means to be alive,
then returns to its dark
source. As for me, I don’t care
where it’s been, or what bitter road
to come so far,
to taste so good.
- Stephen Dunn
This is how I practice in this body. A body that was built for creating life, cramping up in agonising pain each time my uterus sheds its inner lining. A body that carries the trauma of past bodies; white bodies, brown bodies, male and female bodies. A body that was assigned female at birth.
Through these six senses I know this body. I call it energy. The men of this world seek to know this body. They call it: woman.
My body craved by men, looked upon by men with eyes full of desire. A body subjected to the unwelcome touch of men. A body whistled at, called at, laughed at, sneered at by men. Beaten by men. Used by men.
Sometimes I could smell their desire and sometimes I could taste their hatred.
Hundreds of men. Countless men in my 42 years. Men whose desire quickly turned to rage when they didn’t get what they wanted. Desire and rage. My body receiving it all, since as long as I can remember.
When I was a child I learned to sail. Sometimes the boat capsized and you had to learn to right it. My practice is how I right the boat of my body.
This is how I practice in a woman’s body. I sit with her. I breath into her. I drop awareness down into her deep curves, supple flesh, mysterious centre where, with the right conditions, new life might grow. From that centre I witness energy rising, like fire from a caldron, I receive ancestral ripplings-out of the pain of generations of suppression, quieted rage.
I sense into a contracted heart. A heart that learned too early how to shut down, close up, never believe in too much for risk of devastation.
I risk gently sidling up to that heart, soothing her. Magically, as the heart softens, I risk feeling my broad hips and cushiony buttocks on the earth, taking my place, encouraging years of holding back to begin to release, expand, be here.
Energy I once identified with and called “anger” becomes clear light. It illuminates my experience with great clarity and brings with it a sense of potency, integrity, the rightness of me here, now, claiming my place on this earth.
This is how I practice in my body. I lift my eyes to the sky to remember limitless space. I let that limitless space penetrate me fully through the gates of the eyes, completely. My heart merges with limitless space and I am limitless.
I open my ears to the sounds arising in limitless space. I let my heart be fully penetrated by sound. So much so that I become limitless space in which sounds arise and pass away. I delight in the clarity of sounds arising in space and relax more deeply.
I smell what I can smell and taste what I can taste. I welcome smells and tastes as and when I want to. I notice that they are always changing, as I am changing.
This freedom in knowing directly the experience of this body, my experience alone, to be delighted in, tastes so good.
I notice there is no taste greater than the taste of freedom.
I begin to trust more and more deeply the recognition of what tastes like freedom and I can also clearly know what tastes like delusion. This recognition is dependent upon reclamation of this body.
Knowing this, confidence grows. A confidence in that which is within me that has always been awake. She knows what is true and not true.
And she believes Christine Blasey Ford.