“Plato has said that whenever anyone has an experience of original beauty (an archetypal experience) , it causes the feathers to sprout. As he explained, in the olden days the soul was known to be feathered, and the goose bumps that arise on the skin are the sprouting of the feathers of the soul”

(Albert Kreinheder in Body and Soul – The Other Side of Illness)

For some reason I got thinking about stretch marks yesterday. It was a main concern while being pregnant. I remember dutifully buying industrial amounts of cocoa ‘butter’ and lathering it on.

However, as our youngest son (i.e. the bump in the  pictures that illustrate this blog!) approaches his tenth birthday I feel my perception of stretch marks is changing. My body isn’t exactly the same as it was 15 years ago (three pregnancies and births over a period of four years took care of that!) but I don’t want it to be either.

More and more I come to see my own body as the map of of my journeys here on earth: three babies have left their mark. I won’t win any ‘flat stomach competitions’ (and I am not planning on entering any either, if they exist). I am approaching my 47th birthday and I have only very few silver hairs. However, I dream of living long enough to earn ALL my silver hairs and having long mane of silver hair that glints in the moonlight, one day… Crone hair! Hair that suits a ‘wise woman’ or elder of the community…

So, really I got thinking about the human soul: we live in turbulent and transformative times. We are all having to stretch: our perceptions of ourselves and others, our perceptions of life and love – it all keeps stretching…

So arguably the human soul bears a spiderweb or road map of spiritual stretch marks? And that is how we find our way and guide others in finding the way. Those silvery lines that never tan and glisten in moonlight. They are faint but distinct markers on our journey. I am pretty sure they are related to the small bumps where the feathers of our soul have sprouted. And I wouldn’t be without either my physical stretch marks or the spiritual stretch marks of my soul. I intend to keep on stretching!

What about you?!

Imelda Almqvist