In the tailwind of international womens day I thought it might be inviting + sweet + bitter to publicize the pages of my own journal over this past week. Every individual across the spectrum will be poked in their unique ways upon the presentation of the word 'womenhood' and what follows is my own, teeth and skin, exploration.
Womenhood. Femininity. Power. Blood and Flowers. Red of passion and Ruby of seduction. Trauma, Love and Loss. A concept warped and wrangled and highly, highly personal and the sisterhood that catches us.
I started bleeding at 12; all shamefull jewels and rejection of queendom, and I stopped at 13. The dragon that resides within every women, had emerged in all of its glorious power, ready to set fire to its purpose and b l e e d all through my life, yet, upon its emergence I screamed with the traumatised voice of my ancestors and with the ropes of a masculine society, I tied it down and hid it away. We all have different tactics; mine was starvation, dissapearance, malnutirition, self-punishment. I hid my dragon by making sure that my body was not a safe place for it to breathe. And my identity with womenhood fizzled out as I did, faded into weak smoke from my exhaulted dragon.
At 21, I am just now accepting what I could not (and was not supported in exploring, like so many others) in my rite of passage into teenhood.
I am a woman.
I want my divine womanhood + all of its curves and shapes.
want my body.
I want my period, my blood + flames.
I want to destroy the ropes I unwittingly used to tie it down,
and I want to break the cycle of shame for my ancestors.
I want my period to breathe fire, but..
I am no less a women without it.
I do not need it. So, what I am exploring within these excerpts + poems is the dismantling of the idea that a womens bleed is the finite source of her power, and that womenhood can be fulfilled without it.
To lead the way I have included small notes from my pilgramage back home to my body.
Fragmented notes to my body, from nights of skin + tears like smashed glass.
Love, one day I will be able to touch you + it will not be skin deep. We will fall far inside of each other like snakes consuming their own skin
I cannot wait to be the seasons inside of you, from the ledge at where I am standing, looking in, I can see I have truly felt n o t h i n g in my life so far, nothing as tantalising and erotic as earth through your skin. When I make it home, we will wed.
I thought homecoming would be churchbells + lillies, satin + gemstones + eruptive laughter, but it was decimation. Vesuvius grief and clawing at my bones for lost time and unfelt memories. Yet, I would still prefer this to a ghosts embodiment.
Ok, now I am fully back within my body, I can tell you; what I learned from my dry womb
They say the emperesship of a woman
is gleaned from the dragon in her womb,
if this is where my womenhood lies,
what happens when mine is a tomb?
I cry for my formant dragon,
whom I cannot seem to mother,
for years I have awaited his crimson flames,
and grieved over his dry choked smother.
Since my blood ceases at my sacral,
is the mark of my womenhood jilted?
By life I cry to all women to shake this shame unfiltered,
Just like the sapped buds + crimson fading in a seasoned rose,
I am not demanded to bloom again,
I am loved like the rose clam-closed.
This dormant dragon has taught me shameless love,
and worth in the unconditional,
and that a womens womb is still her power,
even beyond the expected + traditional.
b r e a t h e
For those who feel seen by this journey of mine, who perhaps find fragments of their own shadow in these shards of mirror, I encourage you to explore;
-feeling meaning beyond reproduction
-feeling power beyond the womb and everything that has come to represent for you
-feeling desired beyond what society tells a women she is here for
-feeling healthy + creative despite your physical body