Liz Benigno

a view from the porch

Body Beautiful

liz benigno4 Comments

I recently had my (hopefully) last surgery. It was reconstructive and without going into too much detail it was well, completely reconstructive. As in once there, all removed and let's start over again from scratch. 

I know what you're thinking, you're assuming that it's now waaay better than before. It's the dream we all dream. Brand new! Surely "they" are better than before right? I did have a top notch surgeon who did a  top notch job. 

A slew of professionals continue to line up to look me up and down (and inside and out). I can now strip down without blinking an eye and stand around while people photograph me, admire handiwork, eye me critically and wonder if maybe one thing or another should be moved, smoothed, rearranged, fattened etc. All of this attention has made me more mindful of my body than ever before.

But, mindful in the best way ever. As in the girl who once needed to cover up in a mu-mu to walk the beach, it's kinda nice to not care (okay, not care as much) anymore. I mean I have legs that work. They climb stairs and bend over and get me from here to there. Who cares if they have cellulite (damn you Irish skin!)? My fingers type words and turn pages in books and make meals. They cut spring flowers, hold faces and occasionally wear pretty things. Who cares if they are a bit stubby, and the nail beds are marred from months of chemo? They work.

Full length mirrors are horrifying. When confronted by one we tend to see dimples in all the wrong places, a balding head, more mid-section than we like... something. It's the something at first glance that blinds us to what is really standing in front of the mirror. The body beautiful. What a glorious creation! It breathes, sleeps, eats, moves, thinks, feels, all without a moment's thought. What magnificent creatures we are!

The truth is my surgeon did an exceptional job. But, they are only a poor imitation of the original and he would be the first one to tell us that. 

How about tonight we stand in front of the mirror and take in our full measure and glory?

Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness."