Friday, November 19, 2010

I’m supposed to die soon.

I’ve reached the end of my child-bearing years, and my body is preparing its demise.

Like the salmon, I journey through puberty and the child-bearing years, and then perform the ultimate transformation, shutting down my natural processes and preparing my return to the earth. My purpose here is completed, my body begins to fold forward, gravity and hormones take control.

But I defy you, earth bound body! My spirit is alive, and although I have not contributed to the proliferation of the species (and would willingly confront and debate the evolutionary energy that must now recognize 7 billion is enough), still I recognize I am made from earth and to earth I must return. Eventually. But not yet!

My mother, bless her, was raised a lady. And ladies do not speak of bodily functions or shifting hormonal tendencies. So I stumbled through it, learning as I went. Now, confronting the final shift, I ask my mother, what was it like for you? And, bless her soul, she retains her staunch determination never to tell me anything of fundamental importance. “Oh, it was nothing, no big deal, I don’t really remember,” is her response.

Great. Very helpful. Thanks, mom.

Meanwhile, I daily awaken in puddles of my own … ahem … perspiration. Women, of course, don’t sweat. In fact, I remember hearing that horses sweat, men perspire, and women glow. I’m experiencing fabulous waves of heat followed by much glowing. Glow in the dark glowing.

I can live with that. It’s detoxifying. Like going to a sauna to sweat out the toxins, except without the sauna. But yesterday my dentist found five, count ‘em, FIVE cavities! And this in a mouth that is consistently brushed, flossed, water-pik’ed, rinsed with tea-tree oil, a mouth that rarely sees sugary or chewy treats.

My body is decaying, shifting hormonally, preparing for death. Somebody forgot to re-program evolution for the twenty-first century. It’s uncertain which will claim me first …. the fallout from climate change, the dangerously leaning hydro pole near my apartment building, or the natural demise of the physical structure.

I'll not go gentle into that good night, but it's inevitable .... me and the salmon, we’re on our way home.