Some of us where born to the anesthetized or adrenalized or disembodied birthing mother, the raped or sleeping, energetically bound or gagged woman, whose imperative to survive had made her compliant to the world that asked her to be nothing. Some of us were the new born infant crying alone in the nursery crib, longing for the skin to skin, maternal gazing, oxytocic exchange that would ensure the essential quality of safety to enable the soul to fully incarnate into the body. Some of us knew the screaming hunger of a rigid feeding schedule, longing for the milk-filled breast that satiates the magnificent trauma of being helpless in a new born human body. The smell of plastic and disinfectant, the calculating gaze of doctors and nurses, replacing the pheromonal cocktail of euphoric intimacy and the exquisite gaze of life's claim upon us through the eyes of our new-born mothers. Instead she lay alone between starched sheets, the pheromonal dance of her scent, one of fear and shame, washed from her exhausted and disassociated body, cut and shaved and stitched back together, deodorized, as the immune-building elixir of her colostrum is poured down the sink.
For some of us, the placenta, the organ of our primal unity, is disposed of as hazardous waste, incinerated, obliterated, leaving in its wake a gaping place in the ground where we were supposed to be received by our Great Mother the Earth. Home now, we slept alone in cots, in dark rooms, isolated from the human body that we depended upon completely for our survival, screaming with the rage of our need and not being embraced or crooned to, reassured by the beating of a bigger heart than our own. Some of us were taught that our only salvation was to eventually fall asleep with our needs unmet, a glowering inferno still burning within and so we took a step away from ourselves, each time further away, falling asleep, falling asleep, eating the poison apple of knowing our need for love would not be met.
Some of us grew up knowing that it was not safe to have needs, not safe to ask for what we wanted, the hyper vigilance of being utterly dependent on the gaze and approval of people who had never fully received us in the way our souls required them to. For some of us the imperative to always please the other, to be good, to stay safe was carved deeply into our bodies, with the violence of fist or belt or words of shame and belittlement, it was so much easier to abide here now that we'd taken so many steps away from ourselves, from the intensity of feeling, from the petrifying grip of betrayal, from that which we had compressed into the small space in our tiny bodies, in such a way that it was no longer inhabitable. Expressing the untenable situation of being a vast being that is not allowed to have feelings, the impossibility of that compression, and the disassociation that is the only pathway to relief.
Some of us were told that you just need to be good and nice and pretty and you will receive praise and love, and you will be shamed and shunned if you display any feelings that are not welcome. Your sense of dislocation is not welcome, your hunger is not welcome, your anger is not welcome, your need is not welcome. Too painful to feel all the rage and fear and hope and robust vitality, panic and grief. Better to play it safe, pass under the radar, stay asleep. There are so many other ways to surrogate the intimacy, there is food and booze and drugs and TV and movies and fiction and shopping and work, always moving, always busy, always producing the empty output of futile consumerist imperatives....and there's sex....because all the stories say, it will all be redeemed when you meet a man who will love you, he'll love you in such a way as to redeem all past betrayals, you will meet and he will know you as the one from before and he will kiss you and you will wake up....but when eventually you meet him, it doesn't work like that because you are so asleep and so is he.
You have both walked so far from that first longing to be met by love, to be fed by love, to nestle against the breast of love, your hunger has forgotten its source. It is so hard now, impossible even, to find that pure trust of being met when your heart reaches for nurture, so terrifying to allow oneself that degree of innocence, of vulnerability, so painful to inhabit that level of trust and presence to expect it, that which didn't come all the other times of your asking, so long ago in the plastic crib, in the dark room.
And so you give yourself to the only source that the world has granted you, and you take him into you, you take his unconscious pain inside, you take his ancient longing and his seething rage, deep inside of your sleeping body, you give yourself to him, unconscious and numb. You do not ask for the needs you aren't allowed to have in the voice that ran dry in that cot long ago. You drink him in as though he were the breast your mother withheld from you. But it doesn't taste of heart, and the milk doesn't fill you in the way it promises to. And your hunger grows deeper and more shallow every time.
This, so far from the truth of what a woman was born to be, unapologetically magnificent and wild and chaotic, deep feeling rivers of transformative emotion sweeping through life and changing its face, keeping us all clean and vital, ferocious in the primal instinct of Her love, abundant flooding of heart milk, unapologetic undulation of hip and belly and thigh, furious and protective, hilarious and ecstatic, compassionate and vastly forgiving, warm skin soothing, heart beat comforting, warm gaze receiving, deeply belonging to the profoundly sensitive animal of our sensate bodies, an abundant feast spilling forth to feed any hunger that would swell and rise and fall again in Her vast capacity to meet the need of our very own humanness. The squall of our hunger, the keening of our grief, the wail of our imperative to be loved so that we may in turn love the daughters that are born through our thighs, sweat gleaming with the labour of our sacrifice to life, the life-giving crimson of our blood, sleek and wet, the thick cream of vernix, alive on our baby's skin, our eyes bright and tear-filled with the miracle we are a part of, our bodies become the temple through which Gaia lives, through which love births itself upon the earth. We are awake and fierce in that primal meeting with the daughter, who will birth our granddaughters, who will birth our great granddaughters, who will make the world anew with the fierceness of their love.
Our arms are the most tender of cradles, our breasts the most nourishing of wellsprings, welcoming consciousness to incarnate fully into the body, onto the earth, coming home to annihilate the forgetting of how magnificently powerful and deeply feeling we were all born to be.
I am rewriting my script, here and now, reaching into the wheel of time and redreaming the story. I am that baby, thick with vernix and the birthing blood from my mother's womb, we are not washed and sanitized, we linger together for an eternity, her arms around me like an impenetrable force-field of claim, the scent of her triumphant love, a reminder of my own divinity, and a belonging so vast, it stretches back to the beginning of creation......we swim for weeks, months, years on the oxytocic tides of each other's gaze, the milk flows freely and there is no need for hunger. My mother’s heart-beat is ever-present, a reassurance that I am safe to unfurl, to let the exquisite fineness of my senses be undiluted and pure in their meeting with the world, for I am whole and holy and I belong. My mother has buried my placenta into the Earth of our primal matrix and I am received there, recognized in my entirety as a daughter of the earth, at home in her skin, alive to her senses, an attuned extension of the primordial feminine principle of life, alive and awake on the Earth, fierce in my belonging to the truth of Her.
This Mother of ours She says, "Wake up, my daughter, Wake up!"
Words and image © Lucy Pierce 2017
Words and image © Lucy Pierce 2017