I am watching Tristan groom his feet as I write tonight, he does this every night without fail. I have never seen anything quite like it, he is so very gently. He tenderly licks them one at a time, turning his paws slowly almost therapeutic, and after he is done with one he safely tucks it under himself. It’s as if he is trying to heal them from everything they have been through. I imagine with the abuse he suffered, his feet have been through a lot. There is speculation that they were burned with lit cigarettes. I do not know this for a fact, but I do know this ritual for him is comforting, that it calms him from his anxiety and soon after he finishes he falls sleep. Most nights when I watch this I end up teary, not because I am sad so much, but because it’s really very beautiful.
I think about my body, what I have subjected it to over the years. How I am not gentle with it, the disdain for what it has become is nothing less than a deep rooted hatred.
Today a dear friend of mine asked me to swim with her. My first thought was “hell no” I wouldn’t even go to a pool if all the people were blind AND blindfolded. As I listened to her talk with nothing but love and support in her voice I realized what she was really offering me. She was offering to stand beside me, to proudly walk into a place that was hard for me, to say “screw it” if anyone had a problem with my girth in a bathing suit and to do what is best for me. I am tired of being ashamed and hating my body so much. On Sunday…early Sunday…Charmaine (thank you love) and I will be at the gym’s swimming pool. I will try to be gentle and tender with myself and think of Tristan and he sweet paws.