JULY – Woman of Earth
by Sue Curtis
My Body Map Story
Woman of Earth
“My body map revealed itself over 5 years, starting with a diagnosis of a rare cancer that initially left me wheelchair bound. It journeys through pain, trauma and disability, 2 years of torturous treatments and finally rehabilitation.
Through movement explorations, deep listening and sensing I discovered strength in my vulnerability. Images revealed themselves, protective and bleeding dragons, Navaho bravery, and ultimately the challenge of believing I had it within me (literally the stem cells for transplant) to heal myself.
Placed within my Physio’s hands, I am framed by the hands of people who have supported me through this journey.
My body map has accompanied me through silent retreats, is a living prayer and portrays my place in God’s hands where I am whole.
The Woman of Earth image (bottom left) found words
Woman of earth what brings you here, to this long forsaken place where time long left this aching ground? Why sit you here? Nothing lives here; have you come here to die?
The woman of earth said nothing – she had no words. In truth she didn’t know why she had arrived in this desolate place, she only knew that she was exhausted from travelling and that her legs could journey no more.
And so her weary body crumpled beneath her, planting itself amidst the dust – knowing this was where it was meant to settle. So with nothing left to give she sat perched upon the dry, cracked earth and silently waited…..
The woman of earth waited for a long time, in silence, barely moving, just listening to the silence until, almost imperceptivity she reached out her hand and touched the earth and arching back she opened her soul.
A deep and haunting cry emerged from deep within her, echoing across the barren land – reverberating and resonating through the fragile cracks in the earth below her, then in silent stillness she began to weep and weep.
Her tears bled into the core of veins that had run dry, filling hands that now gripped and cloyed and clasped the wet muddy earth of forgotten life.
Then the woman of earth spoke – not in words, but in silent movement…..
She stretched forth her limbs, sensing the touch of the living soil of desert rock beneath her. Embracing the shifting particles with her delicate listening skin, she curled and rolled, yielding to its pulse and surrendered to its deep call. Her breath whispered into membranes awaiting the intimate warmth of her being.
The once dry earth swelled and heaved to meet the contours of her body, moulding in a gentle caress around her starved bones.
Together they lay
entwined as one
a single heartbeat
ebbing and flowing
ringing out softly
from the place of
indwelling – revealing
lost truths of
For a long time they lay together in the comfort of peace until the woman of earth’s body beckoned her to sit and the earth released her. She sat and gazed upon the place they had lay, smiling in simple wonder at the imprint of her body, like a quiet shroud telling its mysterious tale.
The woman of earth did not know if she would return or whether, perhaps she might sit again in some other distant calling land. She knew not where she would go next or how to get there – she knew only this; the gentle urging of her body to step.”