I made a new triptych. It’s called heal the body.
It was fun to make this art, to see the process through. I painted the cardstock yellow with a lil orange in the morning. It’s on a box from a package of frozen rice that Ming likes.
I’d been thinking about rest, nurturing, and the writing / art making I do. Those are the three big things of my life I want to spend my energy on. So I was thinking of words and images to depict that.
Then in the afternoon I asked Ming to take pictures of me, to get the body positions to draw from. He was patient and kind. Also very brilliant, taking pics from multiple angles so I could have plenty to choose from.
I really like how his work helped me do my work. He took this picture too! Thank you, sweetheart.
I loved choosing the words and the “give” in the wok. The middle panel seems important. But the last panel really excites me. I heal the body in many ways. I want to make more art glorifying rest and the validity of fat and disabled bodies.
health on my terms
To heal the body isn’t a yes or no prospect. Bodies die–bodies ride a wave of pain and pleasure, harm and healing. Disabled people will not find health as advertised. Health is not something I get in a doctor’s office or from taking a pill.
Health is something I find through love, care, spirituality, ritual, paying attention to my body and its needs. Actually taking the time to feel my feelings, feeding myself foods that are delicious and right for me, movement, touch, sexuality, pleasure. Nature, sunshine on my skin. Ecstatic dance, taking space, saying no, time for myself, and beautiful rest.
Health is on my terms. I will never be a textbook healthy person, for many reasons. But I’m healthy in my own way, as makes sense for me and the body I’m actually living in.
If you want me to be a thin, normal energy level, non-crazy, non-chronic pained person, you should have created a world where my needs would be met.
In that world, there would be no poverty, no food deserts, no housing development next to superfund toxic waste sites. Military bases would not leach nasty chemicals into the water. Corn subsidies might not exist, so high fructose corn syrup might not have been in foods I ate every day as a child! The fields would not be sprayed with pesticides, sometimes while workers are working in them. And nuclear bombs wouldn’t be dropped on anyone.
Organic gardens would be everywhere, and gorgeous fruit trees. Children, teenagers, and young adults would not be abused, violated, neglected, or shamed for being different. I would have spent my childhood at the beach and playing in the woods, not trapped in a jail-school or home with addicted, abused, or clueless caretakers.
all bodies are valid
Even if I got everything I needed and ate foods that made sense for me, I still might be fat, disabled, and crazy. Who knows.
I want to help create a world where all bodies are respected and cared for, not just the good bodies. My body will never be a good body, according to many people. But it’s my home, and I love it very much. Ming does also.
I’m unconditionally ok. All bodies are valid, and I will sing that until my mouth no longer sings.