We didn’t ask for it. We didn’t create it, but it’s true. Every time we talk about bodies and healing, we are in relationship to histories and beliefs about what is normal and what is not. These histories and beliefs carry invisible assumptions as heavy as gravity.
Many of our people had some belief or practice that saw their kin with different physical bodies or different ways of expressing or different experiences of their senses as evil or possessed by spirits or a danger to the community as a whole. Not all of our people believed this. Some saw those who were different as gifts, as beings in closer relationship to the sacred. But those European histories that first colonized this land and created the mainstream beliefs that define healthcare and religion and politics come from histories of torturing, killing or separating those who were seen as physically, emotionally or mentally different. It wasn’t and isn’t only European histories that had violent ways of dealing with difference. For the purpose of talking about culture in the US, I am writing here about Eurocentrism but please learn and know your own histories. Very few of us come from people who knew how to love radical difference within our intimate spaces, even before we were colonized.
The image at the top of this page is of a slime mold, the first multicellular reproductive organisms or our shared first mother. When a slime mold is split into parts, it finds its ways back to reform together. And when a slime mold learns, it learns instantaneously, outside of linear time.