I bend down and look at tiny flowers and ground cover in a patch of land that was previously infertile. It is at the base of a magnolia tree. The dirt is the kind of dirt that things aren’t supposed to grow in. The blueberry bushes are flush with little green berries. I look beyond my red allergy eyes at what is growing this year in my back yard. Thick green patches of daisy flowers will bloom any day now. A few have already done so. The ground is covered with many shades of green. The air is cool today, but in protected areas under the sun it’s warm.

I decided to look at everything I’ve never noticed before.  

Notice things behind the furniture, and beyond the dirty dishes, thick chunks of soft, black, fur from my shedding dog, the toys all over the floor. My first reaction when I walk in the house from outside is it’s stuffy and dirty. I’m going to look beyond that feeling to the views of flowering California red buds, blue or rainy skies, hawks and crows that sit on the very tops of  trees, dear crossing the street in the morning light.

I will look past my children’s whining voices and focus on the light and innocence they are. I will look beyond my negativity towards my womb.

Strip my hips of the tightness and shame of decades of medical procedures,

That tight spot between my thigh and my groin, the muscle that clenches when my legs were spread apart by force.

The part of my body that slowly fused into a jumble of ovaries, fallopian tubes, hanging there.

I developed a thick insulated padding around my abdomen, I can pinch more than an inch.

Old fat cells I carry with me. I choose to let them shrink, let them go.

I choose to look beyond the pain,

No, I choose to look directly at the pain.

I incorporate everything, change nothing, add more.

Look what lies beyond my tight hips,

Underneath my insulation are strong abs, strong organs protecting me.

I breathe.

I release the stiffness,

I add the flexibility.

Release the fat cells,

 relax my abdomen.

It’s a studio day. I paint pictures of people, in light, subdued colors. I draw eyes and ears and legs. I work without judging.

I work until the piece works or goes beyond into dark, unrecognizable places. Just thick, opaque, texture. No lines remain.

I am happy for my time in the studio.

I am happy for my life.

I am happy I looked behind the corner.

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