To wake up like this
At the first drop of blood
Already, the blood cloth beneath me to catch
What I knew would come sometime between night and morning
This has taken cultivating relationship. It is a continual journey to know my body this well. To be awake and aware to feel the first drop of blood ooze out of me in the pre-dawn light. To the place where this blood cloth is already underneath me, not because I went to bed with it there, but because dreams in the night roused me to pick up the already neatly-folded-at-the-foot of-the-bed-red cloth and place it between me and my Christmas-new sheets.
Though it has taken years, it has not been linear. I have not grown only deeper and closer to my blood and womb. My knowing of this cycle has waxed and waned. Like in any relationship, there have been stages.
First, the courting phase, in which to be an upstanding environmental citizen I said goodbye to tampons and hello to the Diva Cup
Then, in my nomadic wanderlust chapter, the Diva Cup was replaced at a Primitive Skills Gathering that introduced me to Sea Sponges and my first women’s circle
This incited the full on love affair, that part of falling in love where hormones take over, you see everything through rose-colored glasses, and you forget the need to eat:
~Cutting up a long-cherished sweatshirt to use in place of a disposable pad
~Painting madly, squatting over paper to not waste a single drop; writing radical poetry on top of smeared blood-paint
~Walking proudly down streets with blood adorned forehead
~Posting blood art on facebook, creating a zine titled “Blood Moon” and leaving it for free in public bathrooms,
particularly the bathrooms of my college town
the partnership waned
into dark times
a literal absence from one another
taking space from each other for one, two, three moons
Not just once, but twice in a two-year span
And, like in a time of separation from a beloved, the space allows for deep internal reflection and transformation. The absence a silently loud message; the absence taking up so much space.
Something must shift, the absence says.
So, just like in any relationship, it does. It has. As many times and in many ways as it has needed to.
Eve of the first Full Moon of 2018.
Night dreams of
~a sister guiding me through a yoni steam to release blood
~walking down an escalator as my mother says “It almost smells like blood,” and I respond, “yes, I’m about to bleed.”
These dreams, combined with signs from the preceding few days, are enough to wake me in the pre-dawn light with knowing and anticipation.
Fingers splayed to rest gently on womb and ovaries, I breathe into the dull pains of a contracting uterus as I review the past few days. I witness the obsessive room tidying and nesting, the feeling that I was about to crawl out of my skin and scream just at the state of existence, the errand running: water fetched, laundry done, new pillows bought, guitar fixed, kitchen stocked with greens and fish. The body knew who was about to arrive, and I subconsciously listened, compliant in the preparations.
It’s taken years of cultivating this relationship, to welcome her arrival notice.
Fingers splayed to rest gently on womb and ovaries in the pre-dawn light, I breathe into the cramping and wonder what truths she will bring me this cycle.
It’s a relationship that I’m engaged in
I am grateful
That, for now,
She shows herself
At the same time
As the Moon
During this time
—for support in delving deeper into the blood mysteries, consider joining us for the 2018 The Red Tent Priestess Activation Training—