Signing my book, Lilith: Queen of the Demons, in blood inspired me to play with my blood again. Because I haven’t been for a while now. I’ve been doing the normal thing, dumping it in the loo, washing my cup out, putting it back in. Neat and clean, because I have so much to do that matters more. The sooner I’m done with this, the better.
Except this really matters to me, more so now that I feel my reproductive cycles waning. I don’t know how many more periods I will have in my life. I do know that it will eventually end, and it makes me more than a little bit sad.
My past two cycles have been longer than usual. I miss Aunt Flo terribly when she’s late.
So I’m writing. I’ve got a set of dip pens and when I have enough blood collected in my cup I dip one of them in and write. It makes me feel witchy and primordial. Like Lilith.
I pulled an overflowing menstrual cup out and spilled a gush of blood at my feet. It’s heavier than usual, and I’m quick to blame the supermoon, the closest the moon has been in my lifetime.
I had my dip pen ready, and a scrap of paper to practice writing on. I received a request to sign a Lilith: Queen of the Demons paperback in menstrual blood. It’s a brilliant idea. I can’t believe I didn’t think of it before.
My blood was surprisingly watery. I worried that it wouldn’t be dark enough to sufficiently make a mark. It looked thick and clotty at the bottom of the cup so I poured a bit of it out, but it yielded the same consistency on the page.
I decided to trust it. My blood has never let me down. It showed up whenever I painted on paper or on my skin. I held the page open with a paperweight till it dried a darker red. Now I have a Lilith: Queen of the Demons book signed in supermoon blood going out in the mail tomorrow.
I joke about having possibly made a horcrux out of a Lilith: Queen of the Demons book signed with supermoon blood, but to be honest, I feel a deep loss from having to let go off such an intimate part of me. This book is now more magical than ever. Cherish it well, you who will receive it. Part of the moon and me will be in it always.
“For each of us as women, there is a dark place within where, hidden and growing, our true spirit rises… These places of possibility within ourselves are dark because they are ancient and hidden; they have survived and grown strong through that darkness. Within these deep places, each one of us holds an incredible reserve of creativity and power, of unexamined and unrecorded emotion and feeling. The woman’s place of power within each of us is neither white nor surface; it is dark, it is ancient, and it is deep.”
– Audre Lorde
These are powerful words to end and begin another year, another month, another cycle.
In this blog I will focus on self-care, that deep dark place where I rest and rejuvenate myself. I’ve come to see my period as that time and place. I began my journey at odds with my body, full of PMS rage. Month after month I found creative ways to explore and meditate on my menstrual blood. As I approach my last decade or so of menstruation, I am so much more at ease with my body and my period. I’m sure many more changes are afoot, but I have grown in experience and patience with my body. I have “an incredible reserve of creativity and power.”
So here is my list of how I can better care for myself on my period in 2016. Feel free to do it, too.
- Sleep. I fight this all the time. There is so much more to do, I tell myself. But sleep is that deep dark place that holds our dreams, our creative energy, our power.
- Eat more mindfully. I reposted Nutrition and Care for the Menstruating Woman as a guide. I still think the whole of it is unattainable. I admit, I do love my chocolate and sugar fix. But I’ll put in greater effort this year.
- Take control of the screen. Staring into a monitor can’t be good for a woman who needs her dark time. Flowers bloom in the dark. So do we. Be more efficient with the use of the computer and devices. Be clear with tasks. Set a timer when surfing.
- Exercise. For me it’s house and yard work, going on photo walks/hikes, Wii Fit, yoga. You do you.
- Listen to and play more music. Every time I do, I wonder why I don’t do it more often. Also, listen with headphones, eyes closed. Motherhood has made me put away the headphones in favor of being available to every call of “Mama,” but now that we’re all grown, I need to put the headphones back on and treat myself to music I love.
Happy New Year to all!
A toast to the dark side, menstruation, and being a woman. Cheers!