A spoken musing recorded as I prepared for the day.
I watch my body change, soften, thicken. Change that might happen over time, that you might expect to see happen over time condensed to this short time of pandemic. It's seems like my body changes with every phase of my life. And while that sounds like an obvious statement I’m not talking every age as you get older things happen, not that change, although that happened too. Puberty at youth, menopause within the last few years. This is different.
When Paul was in palliative care and in hospice, I became very thin. Almost as if I was trying to be in a solidarity I could not possibly be with my husband who could no longer eat, who had cancer taking every ounce of calories and nutrition out of his body.
I could eat but often didn't simply because of the circumstance of being in the hospital. People fed me, for sure, but I ate much less. And I didn't even notice until the day after he died and I was dressing for the tribute show and I put on a skirt which immediately fell down low on my hips and I was afraid it would not even stay on.
And then after that, having the time and also needing to keep busy and to keep active, going to yoga five days a week, I stayed slim but built muscle and became strong. And so during that time I was fit and sculpted.
And then pandemic. And for a short time, maybe even as much as 2 months? I say with a question mark. I was able to, or I did, keep up with some amount of exercise with yoga with weight training. And then it just fell away. And here we are hitting the 6 month mark and my body is pillowy. Soft. My thighs, I can feel them rubbing together in a different way. And when I bend over I can feel just the folds of softness in my torso.
Oddly enough though, this softening, this shifting of muscle to flesh, has not fleshed out my bosom. I think it was the muscle that was keeping my breasts bright and my bosom has become smaller, flatter, less perky.
I don't notice this by way of complaint, it is simply noticing. This is simply wondering about how our bodies respond to and reflect the different phases of our lives. When I was in that liminal time after Paul died and going to yoga I had a sense of open-ness even as I had a sense of unknowing-ness. There were summers where I realized that I did not need to be responsible for anyone but myself. And I could go away and not worry about whether I came home. I started carrying a sleeping bag in the back of my car because of the one weekend that I ended up sleeping under beach towels in the mountains near Squamish. It gets cold in the mountains even on a hot day.
And now I'm here and I have a responsibility for my father-in-law who has dementia. And like everyone I've been home. The yoga studio closed and now it's far away even though it's open. And I have not started my own yoga practice, somehow finding that just not . . .something I just haven't been able to do in this moment.
We didn't know how long this moment would be. And we really don't really know how much longer it will be. But it seems like after 6 months I'm probably here for a while .... Noticing the change in Bill. Noticing this physical change in myself ....
My body holding my life ....
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