On June 6th, 2015, at the 21st Biennial Conference of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research at the Centre for Women’s Health and Human Rights in Boston, conference participants celebrated with an Open Mic evening of Menstrual Poetry to close out #SMCR2015. This is the last in a series of posts at re:Cycling that aims to give a broader audience to some of the poetry performed that evening.
Flow – by Rosie Sheb’a
Flow. My feet flow through each cycle. Every revolution takes me further into the cycle. Life cycle. Bicycle. Upcycle. Recycle.
My small wheels move along the road, a mirror to the larger wheel of which I am a tiny, insignificant, and yet pivotal part. My essence is essential to the whole. The microcosm of my womb reflects the entire universe!
I look at my legs powering my bicycle across state after state. I watch as I bleed and listen to my body as my ovulation is reflected by the road. My menstrual cycle is a perfect replica of the seasons, of the stages from egg to caterpillar, to pupa, to butterfly. The Earth rotates around the sun, just as my pedals rotate around my crank shaft, and foot by foot, mile by mile, I move forward. We move forward. Propelled by our destiny as cyclists. Life Cyclists.
We cycle, and millennia of oppression melts away. We are part of something immense. Individually, we are just a tiny cog in the giant clock of evolution, but together, we can say menstruation. Period. I bleed. You bleed. We were, are and will be bleeders. Without our blood, life as we know it would not be. Cycling, together, we conquer fear. We surmount shame.
Sustainable cycles? It’s a pun about bikes and periods, but it’s so much more than that. Our message is clear. Love your cycle. Love the cycle. Take care of yourself, and you take care of the planet. Learn about your body, and you will be empowered.
I watch a teenage girl ride her bike through the streets of Philadelphia. Will she have knowledge of her cycle?
I see an old woman on a park bench in New Orleans. Who is learning her life lessons?
A middle aged dame in Texas tells me she doesn’t like “that word” and I wonder. Does her daughter know her – Period?
A transgender man tells of his forgotten tablets and using soft leaves to soak up his accidental summer-camp flow.
So many perspectives from so many places and we’ve only just scratched the surface. So many lessons to learn from our neighbours. Collectively, we have a purpose.
Learn to love. Love to grow as our cycle continues. I watch a playground of children. What world can we envision for them?
A world where we know our bodies? Where we can be ourselves without fear?
A world void of hatred?
Who knows. I am but a tiny wheel on the cycle of life.
Yet one small action can trigger a revolution.
One cycle. One. Cycle. We are in it.
Where do you want to go?
Rosie Sheba is the owner/director of Sustainable Menstruation Australia and rode from Austin to Boston with Sustainable Cycles to present at #SMCR2015. She has a background in evolutionary biology and ecology. Rosie sees positive relationships and experiences of the menstrual cycle as the keystone for the evolutionary survival and success of humanity.