How Do You Measure The Weight Of A Body?
How do you measure the wind, the sky? Can you truly measure the sea? Can you measure a mountain?
Will you ever understand the abundance, the sheer force of nature? Yes, I suppose you can, but it may take a lifetime, yours, and mine.
And you can try to measure the weight of my body, just try, but you won’t know how, you won’t know where to start, and frankly, neither do I. You won’t know how to quantify, justify, dignify my body, because it exists inside memory.
And how can you measure memory?
My body is a rocky pile of loose and slippery hope, a sky-scraping wall of shame, a holy cathedral for worship, and a soothing haven for rest.
Tell me, how will you measure the weight of that?
My body is at once a raging river, flooding, and a living lake, changing, depleted at times. It is a crashing waterfall. Beautiful. Violently engaging.
And it is an ocean of mystery, a mystery so deep, and with canyons vast and remote.
You can enter, you can have a look around, and you can even swim for a bit, but you may never return to the safety of the surface, after seeing for yourself what it holds, so you better be committed.
How would you begin to measure the weight of what you discovered, what you found out about the revolution that took place?
Just try to measure my body, so lush, like a rainforest, and smooth like soapstone, and solid, like Camelthorn planks, and soft, like velvet rope.
How many secrets have climbed inside, this body that is but a battered Pandora’s box of moments tucked away, hidden from view, some sad, like the stab, the push, the knock, and some warm, like the steady, reassuring kick of a baby growing deep within?
A body empty, then full, then empty again.
How do you measure what a body remembers?
My arms remember holding, lugging, cradling, my breasts still sting and tingle and feel the gentle pull, the way I was drained, laid bare, giving. The body of a mother, yes, but a woman first. How would you measure that? These lips that speak the truth, and still taste his youth. This lap that knows his head, that still feels his breath.
And my big, sturdy frame, like a tree standing tall, in the light of day, reaching, and in the dark pitches of night, soberly on guard, defending. It remembers.
A body that betrayed me, not once, but a thousand times. The scars, every pock, every line, every sore spot. A body crippled, broken, ashamed, sorry, bent over, taking it, tender, muffled, alone, curled, with clenched fists. Obeying a clever mind that often played tricks. A body that tried beyond measure to resist.
How would you measure the magnitude of my back breaking, my spine caving? Try, if you dare, to measure the knee-buckling weight of that.
Measure that and tell me — tell me what you understand about me — what you know about my body in inches and pounds.
You may see it, my body, but you understand nothing. Your numbers mean nothing.
Because my body is the sun, the moon and the earth combined. It is stardust, twilight, dusk, and years. It is time and space divided by strength and tears. To measure a body is to measure nothing, and yet everything, everything that ever was, too.
My body is as ancient as it is new.
Measure that, and tell me.
Tell me what you know. And then write it down on your chart.
Kimberly Valzania practices mindful gratefulness. She feels creatively driven to write about and share her personal experience and opinion on weight loss, fitness, life changes, adventures in parenting, day-to-day triumphs (and failures), and the truth-seeking struggle of simply being human. She believes that life is indeed a journey, and that precious moments appear (like magic) when you surrender, hold hands, and fling yourself into the great, wide, open. You can read more at her website.