in praise of belly buttons...

11 november 2019

river jackson-paton

[hand written in my journal!]



for much of my life

my belly button had no meaning

it may as well have not existed

granted at one point i pierced it

but like the apparently useless earlobe

what purpose does it serve

apart from a place for holding jewelry


but then something shifted

first, as a trans*gender person

i began to differentiate between

the beginnings of my identity as trans*

and what people note as

belly button birthdays

so i began to have some

different awareness around

my belly button


but all of that was only preparation

for what would happen

through the powerful teachings of

body-mind centering

because before it was a belly button

it was my navel center

it was the location of

accepting nourishment

and expelling waste

it was the place of

taking in & letting go

the navel is also a tether

a center

around which my six limbs orient

head & tail bow in

arms & legs spiral toward it

the navel is the center

around which i experienced

my first external movement


now fifty-one years later

i can remember

those first nine months or so

gathering my limbs around

my navel center

being tethered & connected

taking in what i needed

letting go of what didn’t serve me


i guess that jewelry is a mark of

honor, appreciation & gratitude