FORBIDDEN LOVE (A Love Letter To My Body)
By: Lauren Anderson
I know it’s been a while since we’ve spoken like this my love, but what better time to rekindle the flame than on St. Valentine’s Day? Alas, life has kept me from spending more time with you than I wish. But fear not ma cherie, for my affection for you is stronger than ever. It burns in me brighter with each passing day.
Forgive me while I borrow another man’s words where my own fail me, but a quote from the famous Lebanese poet, Khalil Gibran, keeps coming to mind:
“And ever has it been that love knows not it’s own depth until the hour of separation.”
Life has kept me from really seeing you, taking care of you– for far too long. But I know you’re still there for me and I am grateful for it. Thank you for waiting for me Body, until I finally got my priorities straight and spent the quality time on you that you deserve.
Body. My one and only. You are an enigma of moving parts and I am fascinated by you. How do you move the way you do? How do love me the way you do?
I confess, for so long, I didn’t realize it was love. I thought you hated me. I thought you had left me, betrayed me, deserted me to walk this cruel world alone. But oh, how wrong I was.
You were there the whole time. You had my back. Hell, you WERE my back. I just couldn’t see.
What a fool I was. I mourn all those years where I thought I was alone, only to discover you were there the whole time. Walking with me, working your silent magic to keep me upright and moving forward. Loving me as only you could. If only I could’ve seen it?
I loathe how selfish I’ve been Body. How could you stay with me all those years when I treated you so unkind? How could you keep loving me, when I showed you no love in return?
I weep as I write these words, Body. For I have been a dunce, an idiot, a real ninnyhammer. Too consumed in my own misdirection to give notice to your sterling devotion. But that all stops. For as I write this, I know now for certain that I love you.
And oh, how I love you so! Do you hear me Body?! I will clamber up the snow-capped roofs and shout it out if I must, so you can hear me. I LOVE YOU BODY!!! And I want the whole world to know it.
How do I love thee Body? Let me count the ways.
I love how you move me. You carry my fragile soul around the blue planet with expert adroit ambulation. I take for granted the nimbleness, because you make piloting all the moving parts that make up this vessel look so easy.
I love how you dance to the music. I love how you express yourself with theatrical aplomb. I love how you hold the ones I love, strong and tight in your capable arms. Letting them know in a physical way that they are safe within the strength of me.
I love your resiliency. I love the many machinations of you. My heart beats for your strong heartbeat. My blood pumps with excitement knowing all the blood you pump daily. And the way your lungs fight so valiantly to defeat my enemy Asthma, leaves me positively breathless.
With every sneeze and cough, I swoon for you Body. Knowing I have such a capable solider fighting for me on the battlefield. Risking life and white blood cells to expel any unwanted invaders.
I love the strength of you. There is so much power inside of you. One moment you move with the intensity of a fleet of ships, and the next you caress as gently as the wing of a firefly. The way you are able broker between such extremes is a sight to behold.
And even when starved of good food, good movement, or precious sleep, you manage to keep going. What power lies in there to accomplish such a feat Body?
I am reduced to a lamb in the wolf of your vigor. Your strength knows no bounds.
I love the way you process pain. When life sees fit to bat me about like a mouse in the clutches of an alley cat, you would sooner grey your own hair and wrinkle your skin, than see me perish.
I stand in awe of the way you martyr yourself to trauma, Body. And it seems my survival is your only endgame. How can you be so selfless? It’s is like a mother laying down their own life for the health of a child. How do I repay such kindness? How am I deserving of such a gift?
You show me every day in every way how to breathe in pain, and breathe out light.
In and out like the tide. Waxing and waning like the moon. It is beautiful.
And not to be crass Body, but I must talk of your beauty. For it is formidable. And only a fool would forget to mention it. But thankfully, I am no muttonhead.
I love the way you look. From your soft cotton candy hair to your hard caramel apple bottom. You are a carnival of angles and curves and sinew and suppleness. You are a spectacle of flashing, colored lights, and there is a drumbeat in your bones.
It took me too long to find the magic bacchanal that is you, Body. But now that I’ve bought a ticket for your merry-go-round, I don’t ever want the ride to end.
Yes truly, the world will try and keep us apart Body. They will try and trick us into believing that we are enemies. That you are not worthy of my undying love and affection. That I should try and change you, or destroy you, or bend you to the will of a mis-guided society.
But I cannot hurt you anymore, my love. So on this St. Valentine’s Day, I say with conviction:
Please hear me my pet, I am nothing without you. I cannot live without you (Literally).
I am grateful for all that you are and all that you show me.
I hope my confession in these pages sparks others to come out and declare their love as well. Because ours is a love for the ages my dear. Ours is a love worth fighting for.
So it is written, so it shall be. I love you I love you I love you.
I love you Body. Now and forevermore.
Yours in utter devotion,