As I got dressed the other day, and saw myself, unclothed, in the full-length mirror, I had a strange and revelatory thought.
I love my body.
It is the story of my life.
I love the squidgy roll on my waist, which chuckles because I like cake, and I love to fill a table with food and surround it with my friends and family.
I love the new, powerful muscles in my thighs and calves, which sing a song about how late in life, I learned to run, and it has made me strong and free.
I love the feathery lines on my belly and breasts, where it is written that I carried two babies and fed them, and they are growing up to be beautiful, fine young men.
I also love the stern en-dash of my appendix scar, a forever reminder of my own mortality, and my extraordinary luck.
I love the freckles on my shoulders, which map my African childhood and the many hours spent in the blazing sun.
I love the knobbly bunions on my feet, just like my father’s. They remind me that however I may think I invented myself, I am rooted in my family.
And I love the lines on my face, lines written in nights of worry and tears, in hours of fierce concentration, in days of helpless, unstoppable laughter.
Would I trade this book of a body for the lithe, smooth, unmarked and pale page of my youth?
Not a chance.
I have lots of chapters still to write.
One monkey, one typewriter, seldom Hamlet.