Anne Lamott, from a Facebook post on November 25, 2012:
Quickly, and probably with lots of typos: I am beginning to think that this body of mine is the one I will have the entire time I am on this side of eternity.
I didn’t agree to this. I have tried for approximately fifty years to get it to be an ever so slightly different body: maybe the tiniest bit more like Cindy Crawford’s, and–if this is not too much to ask–Michelle Obama’s arms. I mean, is this so much to ask? But I had to ask myself, while eating my second piece of key lime pie in Miami last Sunday, and then again, while sampling my second piece of Crete brûlée in Akron, if this is going to happen.
For the record, I do not usually eat like I do in hotels while I am on book tour. But I have a terrble sweet tooth and I am just not going to be spending much more of this and precious life at the gym, than I already do, which is at best, three times a week, in a terrible shirking bad attitude bitter frame of mind. I go for three one-hour hikes a week. I’m not a Lunges kind of girl.
And even if I were, I’m shrinking. I’m not quite Dr. Ruth yet, but I used to be 5’7, and now am–well, not.
But the psalmist says I am wonderfully and fearfully made. Now, upon hearing that, two days after Thanksgiving, don’t you automatically think that “fearfully” refers to your thighs, your upper arms, the little tummy roll that has helpfully crept over the bottom of the iPad, so that it might help you type?
(The other night, when I passed the one available spot in a parking lot, after looking around for ten minutes, I thought, “I would kick myself, if my feet didn’t hurt so much.”)
No. “Fearfully” means that we are so exquisitely fragile and delicate and vulnerable that if you really thought about it, you’d quake with existential anxiety. It can all be taken from us–our babies, our dogs, our books and imagination imaginations, our ability to see whatever shards of Light we might notice today amidst the noise and the haste…
And WONDERFULLY made, perfect, all evidence and bad self esteem to the contrary, gorgous as children and poems in the eyes or god. Not made to starve ourselves. made for radical self-care, so that we can fill up and give from a place of crazy generosity because we have been so freely given delicious food and outrageous friendships.
So yeah, I just started out to share this one possible insight–that this will be my body the whole time I am here! This one! Yikes, how awful. No, wait wait, this exact one, that is STILL HERE, against all odds. Thank you thank you thank you God. We have lost so many precious friends who would have done anything do have some more time in this joint, with our Mother outdoors, with those they love most. Anything!
So that is how I am going to spend today, pretty much-sort of more-or-less believing that this is it. This body, this biography, this exact family, this everything. And it is wonderfully made, of love and energy, for love and energy, for giving, forgiving, for–as Wiiliam Blake said–learning to endure the beams of love And joy will always be the best make up.