Friday, July 30, 2010

P.S. On Flesh

After I left the mall suitless but laughing I realized I had slipped into being compulsive about my appearance. I just HAD to LOOK good! Like all lies it enslaved me for a time.

But what looks good in Godde’s eyes? ALL flesh! There is no body suit of skin that is superior or inferior. No way of being in the flesh is better or worse to the divine heart in which and by which we all have our being.

What a difficult love to follow. What a hard breath to take. But what a vital life pulse to keep you alive.

I’m pretty sure Jesus didn’t shop (How much retail would there be in the desert for sandals and loin cloths after all?) I’m also sure I will not resort to a berkah or other tent-like coverup.

However, I do plan to petition Sophia, the feminine face of Godde, to be my personal shopper. I think she’d be good at online shopping too so would help me avoid malls, stores, and fitting rooms altogether.

Looking in my home mirror this morning was, well, as good as it gets for this flesh— a good enough good.

Then I remembered the most lovely flesh hymn I’d ever read. Baby Suggs preached it in Toni Morrison’s novel Beloved. She has no official credential but speaks power to her people in the clearing, telling them about the sacred belovedness of their black flesh.

Here is Baby Suggs’ paeon to the sacrament of human flesh.

"Here, . . . in this place, we flesh; Flesh that weeps, laughs; flesh that dances on bare feet in grass. Love it, love it hard. Yonder they do not love your flesh. They despise it. . . . Love your hands! Love them. Raise them up and kiss them, touch others with them, pat them together, stroke them on your face, ‘cause they don’t love that either. You got to love it, You! And no, they ain’t in love with your mouth. . . . You got to love it. This is flesh that I’m talking about here. Flesh that needs to be loved. Feet that need to rest and to dance, backs that need support; shoulders that need strong arms. . . . More than eyes and feet. More than your life-holding womb and your life-giving private parts, hear em now, love your heart. For this is the prize" [pp. 88-89].