Wednesday, February 18, 2009

We are not our bodies

We are not our bodies.

As one who lives with birth,
I am at peace sitting at the doorway between life and death,
sitting beside each woman as she discovers the infinite.

At each birth, I must acknowledge that the doorway is open.
I honour it, thinking,
"This may be the day,"
and I am at peace.

I still remember being
in the last few lightning flash moments of labour
with my son,
thinking, with clarity,
"Death is a viable option here.
Perhaps the midwives will consider that."
But they didn't hear my thoughts, and my son
was born
onto my leg, and peed
all over me.
Our laughter seemed to make his wet skin shimmer.

I have been in a room, filled with Sufi women
mourning the loss of a baby
reciting the chapter of Mary
and hearing their chanting
knowing that the root of the word "rahim" means womb
being lifted up by their sounds
that rise and fall like the ocean
that recreate the sound of the beginning of time
the divine feminine
the womb

I wanted that day to last forever.

To our western minds,
how can a day of mourning be so breathtakingly
beautiful?

To our western minds,
how can we accept the knife-edge of pain and ecstacy
that exists in birth?

We are not our bodies.

- Jacquie Munro, Vancouver Doula, Slow Birth, Slow Planet

3 comments:

Rosie said...

I have been in that room.
Thank you for your strong
gracious words,
Truths we know in our heart.
I often want to convey this message to women all round
with baby
but I labor
to find my words.

I am not my body.

Taryn said...

This is wonderful.

Anonymous said...

So beautiful. Thanks.
-Vanessa