A few years ago I checked out the book The Yoni by Rufus C. Camphausen from the library. The librarian had to run upstairs to the archives to get it. I already knew what the cover looked like, and if I were a blusher I probably wouldn't have requested the book at all.
(I figure librarians have a lot of practice keeping a poker face.)
Note that the subtitle is "Sacred Symbol of Female Creative Power." So this book is about Vulva Power.
I've tried to think of my vulva as powerful, as a source of creativity for me despite the constant pain of vulvodynia. I once decided that vulvodynia had succeeded the Loch Ness Monster as my power animal.
Then I saw an Animal Control truck. Really.
A few stories in The Yoni involve a goddess flashing someone with her vulva in order to fix a problem. For example, when Japanese sun goddess Amaterasu is sexually assaulted and runs away, goddess Ama-no-Uzume flashes her vulva at a crowd, and the crowd's laughter brings Amaterasu and the sun back to the sky. Ama-no-Uzume's Vulva Power: Bringer of Light.
I've climbed trees naked. I might have flashed people with my vulva while I did. But these days, there is no way in hell I'm flashing my vulva at anyone, even if it would bring back the sun.
I told my psychiatrist this past week that I've been having dreams where I am trapped under waves that are rolling in and out, out and I can breathe, in and I have to hold my breath. I am trapped by my neck and can barely lift my head off the sand. He asked why my mind was focusing on being trapped by my neck.
"Because it's the scariest place to be trapped," I said. "If your foot is caught, you might be able to get out."
"Could be," he said. After a pause, he told me about an image the Native Americans had of a white man with an arrow through his neck. The white men thought the arrow meant the Native Americans wanted to kill them. "But for the Native Americans," he said, "the arrow meant that the white man's head wasn't connected to his body."
So maybe these dreams of being trapped by my neck mean I'm disconnected from my body. And maybe that's also why my vulva power is not Bringer of Light. Because I don't even want to remember that that thing is down there, let alone affirm its existence to a laughing crowd.
At the same time, living with chronic pain, I am too involved with my body. I listen to every little thing my body says to me, and you know what? Sometimes what I've heard is literally just a fart. But it must mean something! Tell me all the quantities and qualities of the fart and I will tell you what's wrong with your vulva.
My gut, however, does have a suggestion: I can fuse my head and my body by drowning them in each other and making them rely on one another to survive. The head pushes the body to keep going when the body wants to sit. The body gets done what the head can't do alone. That is the reciprocity that the arrow and the bind have severed.
What is my Vulva Power? A friend pointed it out to me in an email recently. Regarding my vulvodynia, she said that in all the things she's seen me try to do (and fail at, or so it feels to me) since we were classmates in college, I have always been persistent.
It's the one thing creativity requires.
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This is my first time participating in yeah write's weekly challenge. Click below (or here) to read others' posts and vote for your faves!! If you want to vote for me, I'm under "Esther" -- click and you'll get back to this post. I guess I should've put Mad Peach but I'm a newbie. Voting starts Wednesday at 8pm (eastern, I think), or maybe Thursday. Not clear on that; will update.
There's actually someone named "Peach" participating this week too! "So many of us! So many of us!" to quote Sylvia Plath about mushrooms, not peaches.