I am thinking about bodies today. They are eerie and mysterious and they know things and they do things and they affect us in ways we only barely understand.
Last night I had PMS.
I assume it was PMS. I was lying in my bed, weepy and tired. My lamplight was on, the room smelled vaguely like our puppy--who really needs a bath because damn. I kept trying to think of why I was weepy. What had made me that way? What was wrong? I couldn't settle on anything. But it had been about a month since my last major bout with the weepies.
I don't really have periods (God bless my Mirena), but ever since seeing Heather became a daily thing, I get PMS.
I also get sick when she's gone. Within a day of her leaving on her last business trip, I'd lost my voice and found myself shaking in the hot bathtub, cold, coughing, and miserable. Within a day of her getting back, I had my voice again, my throat no longer burned, I felt--and was--better.
Human bodies affect each other. Through touch, through breath, on a molecular level we affect each other. The swings in oxytocin, in estrogen, in the countless other hormones and neurochemicals that swim in our veins, through these, we affect each other.
We are, all of us, biological creatures.
We fight that, I think.
We want to believe we have choice. (I want to believe I have choice.)
But even if I do: my body has an opinion.
Awhile ago I had to make a choice--decide what to do. I'm not going to talk about that choice here. (I'm not sure I'm ever going to talk about it, to be honest. Though I might. Someday.) What matters is this: I wasn't sure what the right thing was. I wasn't sure at all. But I knew when I thought of the one option--no matter how much I wanted it, no matter how much I thought it was the right one, no matter how much it was what I'd always thought I wanted--whenever I leaned toward it, I would feel sick.
I am Mormon.
It's an identity I claim, however much I no longer fit the rigid definition of Mormonism I grew up with because I am queer and I have decided to stop fighting that fact. I am queer. And I am Mormon. And both of those things are part of me. Even the church can't take that away.
I was taught as a child about prayer, about stupor. Discernment. My patriarch told me I had a gift for it. You know the right thing in your mind and your heart. You know the right thing, because you cannot hold the wrong thought in your head. You feel the spirit in your body.
Truth manifests: in the body.
Mormons are not big on the "weakness" of flesh. We don't particularly believe that humans are fallen, that mortality is a corrupted state.
But we do believe in the sanctity of the body.
My body has taught me things that the Mormons couldn't.
But the Mormons taught me to trust my body.
It's only one of a thousand contractions I'm only just beginning to work out.
Reviewing the Mail: Week of 12/9
2 days ago