One humid summer afternoon, Remy got to missing his dad, who was in Japan doing fieldwork. After searching around the house, I found him in the backyard sitting on a rock and crying tears that were so sincere and alone that I immediately cried right along with him--out of both empathy and also a sense of joy that he, after a mere five years on this earth, was able to feel so deeply for someone else.Because I was crying, I was short on words, but I carried him inside to an overstuffed chair and let his little heaving body fill in every space on my stomach and chest. We stayed there for a long time without speaking while he calmed--he seemed to want to melt right into me until any hurt he felt was gone. I had already been thinking a lot about bodies and the spirit, but that moment brought new clarity to my abstract ideas and tentative conclusions. My body is home to my children. I lie between my children each night while they fall asleep and they reach out in the dark and stroke my face or reach for my hand. It's like the reaffirmation of both their place in the world and their place in a larger plan, as they run their tiny hands across the familiar and tangible landscape of my body. My body for them is a manifestation of home and home is what the spirit has always felt like for me.There have been times in my life, more than I'd like to admit, that I've spent copious amounts of thought and energy trying to rearrange the home of my body. Roughly pushing furniture around with dissatisfaction, barging in with the latest trend, sitting at the window wishing my home was anything other than what it was. I think, like many, I've been harsh to my body, spoken unkindly to and about it. Watching Thea move through the world with almost comical confidence has shifted my paradigm. Since she has been around, I slowly, one step and one day at a time, began reclaiming confidence in my body. I feel fierce in protecting her confidence and I've learned in order to do that I have to protect my own. I've learned that in order to be an efficacious woman with any sort of spiritual power, I first have to love my body.
Ashley mae Hoiland
If I were the Devil . . . I mean, if I were the Prince of Darkness, I would of course, want to engulf the whole earth in darkness. I would have a third of its real estate and four-fifths of its population, but I would not be happy until I had seized the ripest apple on the tree, so I should set about however necessary to take over the United States. I would begin with a campaign of whispers. With the wisdom of a serpent, I would whisper to you as I whispered to Eve: Do as you please. Do as you please. To the young, I would whisper, The Bible is a myth. I would convince them that man created God instead of the other way around. I would confide that what is bad is good and what is good is square. In the ears of the young marrieds, I would whisper that work is debasing, that cocktail parties are good for you. I would caution them not to be extreme in religion, in patriotism, in moral conduct. And the old, I would teach to pray. I would teach them to say after me: Our Father, which art in Washington . . .If I were the devil, I’d educate authors in how to make lurid literature exciting so that anything else would appear dull an uninteresting. I’d threaten T.V. with dirtier movies and vice versa. And then, if I were the devil, I’d get organized. I’d infiltrate unions and urge more loafing and less work, because idle hands usually work for me. I’d peddle narcotics to whom I could. I’d sell alcohol to ladies and gentlemen of distinction. And I’d tranquilize the rest with pills. If I were the devil, I would encourage schools to refine yound intellects but neglect to discipline emotions . . . let those run wild. I would designate an athiest to front for me before the highest courts in the land and I would get preachers to say she’s right. With flattery and promises of power, I could get the courts to rule what I construe as against God and in favor of pornography and thus, I would evict God from the courthouse and then from the school house and then from the houses of Congress and then, in His own churches I would substitute psychology for religion and I would deify science because that way men would become smart enough to create super weapons but not wise enough to control them.If I were Satan, I’d make the symbol of Easter an egg and the symbol of Christmas, a bottle. If I were the devil, I would take from those who have and I would give to those who wanted, until I had killed the incentive of the ambitious. And then, my police state would force everybody back to work. Then, I could separate families, putting children in uniform, women in coal mines and objectors in slave camps. In other words, if I were Satan, I’d just keep on doing what he’s doing.(Speech was broadcast by ABC Radio commentator Paul Harvey on April 3, 1965)
Paul Harvey