Ramble 13: March 30, 1999

candlight on our skin
a room full of celebration...

Smudging the place this afternoon
I pulled in the light and love
and pushed out the heavy energy.

Sage smoke curled up into the sunlight,
and I could hear the tennis players
through the room's north window.
I asked the Divine powers to bless the space,
to open it as a nurturing room of comfort
for the night's event;
lighting the cedar incense
and spraying the air with lavender
I thought of Andrea's story --
getting spooked by the darkness in the corner.
No more.
Now we want the light.
I visualized white brilliance in every nook and then left with a feeling of peace, grateful to have the force of my guides.

Later this evening I went back for the celebration:
"Fondue Dip o' the Month."
I had a new fun-do for the fondue --
hairdo, that is.
Bright pink
like the color of '80s lipstick
or the summer flowers on Mom's deck.
Not really me
but me for now.
It surprisingly provoked no reaction from Becca or Sarah.
Am I invisible?

I heated the chocolate,
pouring handfuls of semi-sweet chips
into the shiny metal bowl that rested on the pot of water
on the stovetop.
When it melted into a silky thick ooze of sweetness
I poured in the white cream.

Stir into a swirl
taste and try to breathe.
Why am I so uptight?
Shake it off.

Droves of women are arriving
pouring into the front door with laughter and shouts;
they go upstairs to the consecrated space.
All the strawberries are in their bowls,
the frozen bananas broken into pieces,
apples, pears, cake, graham crackers.
I put the chocolate dip into three bowls
and carry it upstairs

I go up and am overwhelmed with happiness
walking into a room full of glowing faces.
Warm eagerness,
soft candlelight.
The little orange flames cover the center tables
spaced around the bowls of yummy-in-the-tummy treats.
The 20-something women are sprawled on the blankets on the floor
and are curled up on the sofas.

I stand up and open the night's event with a toast.
They stop talking to listen.
I feel such gratitude that we can celebrate our bodies
and come together as a united group
of female force.
This is an exploration of our comfort zones --
perhaps stretching the boundaries past the normal state.
Thank you for having the courage.
(The words are real
yet I also feel like I may be grasping for credit,
as if I need my name and identity recognized.
A drive for position of the leader.
Sarah and Becca made it happen too.)

We look at each other.
Now what?
A second of silence.
Sarah and I make eye contact
and we know now is the time.
I suddenly pull off my Atlantic City tee-shirt
no bra
bare nipples
air on skin
adrenaline in blood.
Sarah follows
and then everyone leaps to the cue,
pulling off their clothing
right and left
garments flying in all directions
off with the jeans
no more shirts
unhook the bras
fling the panties.
Breasts emerge
round and pointy and big and small and assymettrical and full and flat.
Thighs shoulders bellybuttons
patches of pubic hair, black, brown, blonde, red
skin shining in the candlelight.
Pure joy in those first few moments:
so new,
this excitement.
We cheer,
our voices loud and full of united energy.

Looking around
it's hard to believe we are really all here at Swat --
more than 25 naked bodies
of all shapes and sizes
in a realm of acceptance and comfort.
Indian music plays in the background,
and I feel like dancing.
I like being in this skin.
We feast on the treats
and laugh and talk
and play games.
We beat our tummies to sound like rain
snapping our fingers in sync
looking around at the smiles.
I see that unity has power.
Love transcends the fear
Light shines through the dark to recognize beauty in the shadows.
Suddenly we are all tendrils of the same cosmic body,
and the "Cosmopolitan" body is only a false construct,
only an illusion,
the tight false insecure one.
While here we love our similarities and our differences.
There is nothing that falls outside the circle of beauty
because we are all that and more.
and full of movement.
(Funny to think we'll see each other tomorrow around campus
draped in heavy pieces of sewn fabric
that blocks the radiance we've exposed tonight.
Clothes almost don't even make sense at this point.)

Nakedness rocks.
Nudity is natural.

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