Excerpt from Beyond Mummification by Jude Rittenhouse

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We received so many wonderful Tifs* from our community on our theme “The Body.” Several were published in our Spring/Summer 2019 issue which is available in print or digital format.

Hopis believed Spider Grandmother sang all life into being: wove it from music’s threads, the song of her body. Every human who arrives on Earth’s patient chest
comes through the flesh of a woman. Our cells carry every discarded or applauded memory.

Adrenaline and cortisol flood blood, brain, muscles; change a body’s chemistry, circulation, capacity. For some, delusions become sustenance: a banquet of
distractions. I found the trap door at the back of my head, unlatched it, flew out, found a safe perch up high in a maple outside the window. Inside that bedroom, my
toddler body clenched, as the huge man I had trusted, loved and followed writhed against me.

Horror and self-blame scorch, flame inside a body. Any place else seems safer. When no one hears or sees, you cease. In later decades, the scene repeats with discordant variations: a song your blood and lungs memorized.

Our cells are closets full of broken bits and diamonds well-wrapped in gauze. Forgetting is a myth: a quest you can’t reject, until you learn what is possible. Can
you feel your feet where they meet Earth’s body? I am here, singing with you. Together we may unwrap, unravel the past.

* While a “tiff” is defined as a “petty argument”, a “Tif” is anything but petty—it is a short exploration of a deeply meaningful subject. In this issue, writers investigated their own relationship or our culture’s relationship with “The Body”.

Jude RittenhouseAward-winning poet and short-story writer, JUDE RITTENHOUSE, is also a teacher, speaker, and holistic practitioner (M.A. Counseling, NKH). For 25 years, she has helped people use their creativity to achieve positive change and growth. All of her work emerges from a commitment to deeper connection and greater wholeness.

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