I don’t allow these to isolate or separate me from my own humanity or my body, or other Beings and the awareness of being Nature. This is my practice of aliveness, allowing, breathing, sensing, feeling, relating and finding who/what/where amplifies resonance in my body, balancing stability/fluidity.
I feel these deep in the tissues, visceral responses in my heart and gut.
Tapping into the collective and the rawness that is present, the sadly familiar awareness that dominant culture seeks to dominate the sovereignty of bodies that provoke fear. I don’t allow fear to set up camp, but inform me in my aliveness to feel into what lies beyond fear.
This is the Yoga of now.
My body no longer bleeds.
But mark my words, my body is mine. It always has been, and always will be, despite rape and violation of boundaries.
I am pretty fucking clear about my autonomy……and the autonomy of other Beings.
My body has lost babies.
One miscarriage happened on my birthday in my second trimester of pregnancy. I received compassionate care in the hospital as they performed an abortion on the tissue my body did not eliminate. I did not have to answer any questions that inquired whether I was complicit in any way to the loss of this life.
My body has birthed babies.
This remains a great blessing and also has not been easy. My son’s father dealt with addiction throughout the pregnancy and first couple years of my son’s life. My daughter was born with a birth defect, Spina Bifida, we underwent the then experimental fetal surgery, repairing her defect in- utero, and we then lived in a hospital across the state for four months without an income.
I had “poor people insurance”. I paid out of pocket as a self employed person pre-Affordable Care Act that provided NO COMPENSATION for any of the costs associated with this procedure. Massive medical debt was incurred.
We returned home with a four year old, and my premie daughter on an apnea monitor, who required three times a week range of therapies as well as doctors appointments, clinic visits in Pittsburgh and many, many hospitalizations.
We had a village. Family, friends, church, community. This has been a blessing.
I dealt with some of the worst depression in my life during these times. I had suicidal ideations and struggled with the most basic of tasks. My village held me, intervened and supported all of us.
So right now, in the face of the current awfulness, we need to get really fucking real with what is present.
One thing is that criminalizing abortion will not end abortion as some folks have been celebrating. White, wealthy women will always have access. Pregnant persons that are Black, Brown, Trans, Poor and/or Disabled will not. People in domestic violence situations will not. Victims of incest will not. People with disabilities will not. Many of their lives will be lost.
This is not a cause for celebration.
There will be underground networks that arise, especially in southern and other states that will provide a way to access abortion. This will not be cheap or easy. A small fraction of these may be run by good folxs sympathetic to body sovereignty, most likely, it will be provided by those of a predatory nature who only see a way to make money and will not be attentive to the provisions needed for a safe, clinical procedure. Take the time to listen to the stories of life pre Roe v Wade. People will die.
Our maternal mortality rate in the US is abysmal, especially for BIPOC and Poor folxs.
Being that this ruling will also complicate full access to reproductive health, a woman’s choice to get her tubes tied, and potentially contraception, this can be expected to worsen.
And for all those celebrating, particularly churches.
If this is truly the culture of life you want to embody, show up.
Show up in messy places.
Not just for the birth of babies, but for the life of the child that needs advocates.
Show up to foster, to adopt.
Show up to ensure programs that serve the nutritional, educational and well-being needs of children and families are fully funded.
I appreciate agencies that do this, that don’t look away.
If churches, such as the call I heard from the Catholic Church, truly have the desire to serve the most vulnerable amongst us, then please center Black, Trans Folxs.
Serve without agenda.
If you are excluding folxs because they don’t fit in with your theology, then it is time to check yourself.
It is convenient to center the lives of the unborn theoretically.
It is another to get into the messiness of our human existence.
My life has been messy and there have been people who have turned away from the sheer enormity and intensity of some of my messiness and times of extreme need. This hurt like hell.
I shared some things about my life that are deeply personal.
These are deeply personal scenarios that unfold in the lives of many that have little or nothing to do with the abstract analysis of the perceived intention of white men who owned slaves and land and had visions of something potentially great that they did not entirely embody themselves.
I realize that the revolution for bodily autonomy and sovereignty will not be won on social media.
It will be won, not as power over/systems of hierarchy, but as power within, empowering, collaborating, and decentralizing power.
Rev Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. states that “Power properly understood is the ability to achieve purpose. It is the strength required to bring about social, economic and political change. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is love correcting everything that stands against love. And this is what we must see as we move on.”
Many of us also recognize the symptoms and signs of empire crumbling and we will refuse to be condensed/isolated/ violated.
Together, we are a greater force than those who seek to condense and further marginalize our bodies/presence/joy/fierceness.