Excerpt from Beyond Mummification by Jude Rittenhouse


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.

This is a small representation of the high-quality writings you’ll find in every issue of TIFERET.

We receive no outside funding and rely on digital issues, workshop fees, and donations to publish. If you enjoy our journal’s verbal and visual offerings, we hope you’ll consider supporting us in one of these ways.

Click Here to Purchase Digital Issues