I first encountered Gil Hedley many years ago in what felt to me at the time like a murky soup of people. When he spoke, the murk gave way to clarity and the sun seemed to shine, even though we were indoors with no windows.
Gil Hedley is a poet anatomist. He teaches all kinds of people about the body through his Integral Anatomy human dissection workshops, his DVDs, and now through his gorgeous new book of free verse, Coming Into Form. From the cover art (“Self-Knitter,” sculpted by Lauren Rose Buchness) of a little person knitting her own skin, to the words that feel sometimes like Rumi–2011 and sometimes like ocean waves and sometimes like nothing you have ever heard quite this way before, the book is a gem.
This is the kind of book you never shelve because you want to have constant access. No matter what kind of mood you’re in, there is something in it that can catalyze growth, nudging you to inhabit your own form just a little more, just a little more joyfully.
Perhaps because of the mood I’m in, the poems that speak most to me these days are those that directly address the struggle. Here is part of one of my favorites (titled “Taking Care,” but the titles are only listed in the Table of Contents, leaving one poem to flow into the next without interruption):
“Don’t worry, I’ve taken care of it~”
. . . about anything.
My dear, this may not happen
until you put the camera down.
Yes, it will be alright.
Put the camera down.
And when you do, have a sit for a moment.
Because inside of you,
~inside of you~
. . . inside of precious you,
(not “out there”—
—never “out there”)
those words are being whispered
again and again
by your very Self,
in every moment,
for you to hear:
“Don’t worry, I’ve taken care of it . . .
don’t worry, I’ve taken care of it.
My love, I’ve taken care of it,
I am taking care of you.
I have always taken care of you.
I will always take care of you.
I am taking care of you,
I am in you, caring.
I am in you,
I am in you,
I am . . .”
Rarely is a self-produced book this perfect, but this book could only have been this perfectly produced as a product of the pure Gil Hedley Self. To read more about it, go to GilHedley.com.