I am learning

to welcome the soft animal of my body back into my life.

In a culture that punishes limits and demands an increasingly lethal level of productivity, I learned to live in shame that I could never be good enough. I learned to believe there was something wrong with me because this sickness never felt like home.

I learned to fear the myth of my soft animal, the inner demon. Yet when I crept to the hollow tree where she lives to meet her for myself, I was surprised to learn she doesn’t want laziness and destruction.

Mostly, she wants vegetables. She wants exercise that excites and interests her. She wants play and novelty and safety, companionship and sunlight.

And I realize these desires are offensive. To the industrialized machinations of our culture. To the systems that we were groomed, but never built, to serve.

It has taken me a long time to learn that those things that are offensive to power, in fact, point toward freedom.