A Meditation for Orphans - Addressing the Skin
Pick a word that evokes a sense of deep rest in your body and mind: calm, love, peace. I chose home.
Spell the word out in your mind. See each letter.
C. A. L. M. L. O. V. E. P. E. A. C. E. H. O. M. E.
Pick a color for the word. I thought about the blue of the sky, the blue-green of the sea, but I chose an iridescent shade of white because if I could live a color, iridescent white feels the most inspiring and true to my bodymind.
(The definition of iridescent is showing luminous colors that seem to change when seen from different angles. I would like to be iridescent. I also love that the word descent is part of the package. Before a bird takes flight, before a flower blooms, there is a sinking, a grounding, a descent, and then the magic leap of I am alive.)
Let a drop of your color fall into your body. Into your heart, perhaps, or your guts, or the top of one foot. Feel the drop spread.
Imagine a thick paintbrush, one you might use to paint the long boards of a house, and dip the brush into the spreading color that is in your body, and begin to paint your skin. The brush is soft, and as it covers your feet, your calves, your knees, your upper thighs, you begin to feel the nearly unbearable sensation of unwinding into love. Stay focused. New sensations, changes, miracles, can be one of Rilke’s angels, strangely terrifying. Learn to bear cellular pleasure. Stay. Keep painting your body.
Brush your torso, the long run of rear to back to neck to head. Brush your clavicle, your cheekbones, your lips.
Imagine the color is a body of water in a glass tank. See yourself magically suspended above it, and then imagine you descend into the drench of calm or love or peace or home or whatever word you had given your color. Imagine the water is made of infinitesimally small bubbles, as if fish had made champagne and now you can bathe in this sparkle of amazing.
Welcome to the pleasure of skin.
What if this is the feeling babies have when, after birth, they are cradled naked in their mother’s arms? The pleasure that tells the brain,You are home. It’s safe to bloom. What if this is also the feeling the mother’s skin has as she both gives and takes warmth from this still-wet body? A man and a woman had temporarily become one in order to create this universe of blood, beating hearts, skin, and so when the mother and child are separated, the universe is deeply disturbed, and music never sounds the same.
Look at what you can do as a thinking adult! Take the paintbrush, dip it into the pool of color that is in your body, and begin painting your bones. The tarsals of your toes, the sweet run of ribs, the deep crevices between each vertebra. Feel the brush. Feel your bones drinking in the sensation of devotion.
Learn to tolerate the endless opening to love. It’s not too late to go back and start again. This is the place the brain is unsure of, for this opening to love has no floor, no walls, no ceiling. Our bodies are made of space and water and we forget this. We think we are walls. We think we are floor. We think we are ceiling.
We are sensation. We are here to feel. That is our purpose, to feel and to love. To live out the meaning of boundless.
I love the word orphan when it is gentled by surrounding words such as home and love and safe. I love how orphan sounds. I love the awe of the opening O. I love that although for most of my life, my skin has felt too tight, too dry, too wrong, it is starting to feel right. I can feel the irredescence of the air outside my body like a weightless weighted blanket, like the air outside my skin matches the color and texture of the air inside my skin, and this makes me think I’m getting to go back to the moment of mother greets child, rocks her home, and I’m getting a second chance. Rocking myself to love. To the sweet sparkle of this is so amazing.
With gratitude to Lisa Wimberger and her books on neuroscupting (https://neurosculptinginstitute.com).