[Originally posted on March 2, 2015]
SOOTHING WATERS: A RESPONSE TO THE MARCH 2015 FERTILITY SALON.
by Mika Ahuvia
The experience of pregnancy loss is one all women experience, whether they know it or not. So many painful experiences are recorded in the texts of our traditions, but the voices of our mothers bewailing their lost sparks can be heard only just beyond the margins of our texts, as in "a cry heard in Ramah--weeping and great mourning. Rachel weeps for her children, refusing to be comforted, for they are no more."
Our texts may not preserve the voices of our foremothers, but we can still invite their guidance in these difficult times. their wisdom is in our bones, deep within our wombs, only waiting for us to give them our attention.
We are not taught to feel into our wombs with love. From a young age we are taught to ignore it, to look away from it; that is a source of impurity and perhaps even of shame.
In truth, it is the source of life: with all the messiness and pleasure, agony and ecstasy, joy and peace, pain and sorrow that life is.
We women notice the pain and impurity of ourselves, but we neglect the wisdom and love inhering in our womb, the vessel of our light, the source of the flow of our femininity.
May the waters of the mikveh bring to your consciousness the waters of life, and the flow of your femininity, the womb in which you once swam, at one and at peace with your home in the universe.
As the waters hold you, may you feel the strength to hold everything, and yet let everything flow away.
Prof. Mika Ahuvia
Mika Ahuvia was born in Kibbutz Beit Hashita in northern Israel. She researches the formative history of Jewish and Christian communities in the ancient Mediterranean world. Specializing in Late Antique Jewish history, she works with Rabbinic sources, liturgical poetry, magical texts, early mystical literature, and archaeological evidence. Her dissertation was on angels in Jewish texts from the fourth to eighth century CE.