The Body Project Session #16: Together, we make one.

This is another one of those sessions that I wrote about in my journal immediately following the session because the thoughts wouldn't stop coming. It goes like this: What a beautiful day! The love, respect, and compassion Viveca and Vainca have for one another is one of the most beautiful sisterhoods I've ever witnessed. They have struggled together, risen together, live near each other, play together, and are so in sync that I (and my right-hand lady for the day, Stacy) mistook them as twins. It was such a purely joy-filled afternoon.

Back story: Both women have not seen me since I was a baby and possibly since I was a toddler. They were good friends with my mom in the 70s (oh my god, those stories are hilarious) and both friended me on Facebook within the past year or so. Now currently living in California, they started following this project with great sadness that they couldn't join. As the project was coming to a close in June, they realized they'd be coming to Wisconsin at the end of the summer and asked if they could "do a sitting in support of strong sisters coming to terms with our middle aged bodies."

We instantly connected the moment they walked in the house, and we proceeded to talk about everything from the project, to sisterhood, to our collective of hairy legs and pits, to tattoos and piercings, and their intense history growing up.

I finished setting up as my mom made her surprise entrance and the three women hugged and laughed and hugged some more, catching up after years of not seeing one another.

 My mom. :)

My mom. :)

We all came up with two poses that perfectly capture the two main attributes of Viveca and Vainca's relationship: humor and love. I couldn't be happier with the way these two embraced their session and each other. Thank you, ladies. You're both beautiful and have incredible spirits.

Thank you, Stacy, for the beautiful candids. <3 Here's their story:

 

In Her Shoes. If you want to know about our sister relationship... watch the movie In Her Shoes. It's our mirror. Our lives. Our story.

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 GO BIG or GO HOME!

GO BIG or GO HOME!

We had never seen this movie before, and while struggling with how to tell our story for The Body Project, there it was--in our hotel room on television during our annual sister trek to the homeland--our story unfolding in front of our eyes. This movie is about the lives, paths, hearts, and healing of two sisters who relied on each other... sometimes together and sometimes apart. Really... this movie was written about us.

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Maggie, played by Cameron Diaz, sums it up by saying to her sister Rose, "Without you, I don't make sense."

That's it for us. We complete each other in a way that only sisters can understand. We know each others thoughts, finish each others sentences, and can share our deepest secrets and know we are safe.

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Ying and yang. Peanut butter and jelly. Coffee and cream. Together, we make one!

She is me and me is she.

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At the end of our movie (forever a reference for us. Yup... our movie), Maggie reads this poem to Rose at her wedding. It's our poem. It speaks us.

[i carry your heart with me(i carry it in]

BY e.e. cummings

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in

my heart)i am never without it(anywhere

i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done

by only me is your doing,my darling)

                                                      i fear

no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want

no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)

and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant

and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows

(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud

and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows

higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)

and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

 Connected by the heart.

Connected by the heart.

We are connected by our hearts.

Vainca and Viveca forever!

As I see and contemplate the remaining word ‘connected’ still black on my arm, I am reminded of our photo shoot for The Body Project. Being surrounded by family, friends, and the lasting love we have for each other brought to my surface not only a wonderful reunion, but, the ability to feel at home and at peace with me... the fundamentally and physically bare me. I am happy ‘connected.’ Thank you so much for opening your heart and home to my sis and I, and providing a foundation for women to explore, and ultimately learn and love themselves! The surprise reunion was the frosting on the cake!
— Vainca
The Body Project is a reminder that we all have the power to reconsider our doubts and dislikes about ourselves. When posed with the opportunity to confront myself and my inhibitions head on...I find ...it’s not that bad! I am what I am, and when I can get comfy in my skin, I can be content. Thanks for the opportunity to reach in...dig down...and settle into a bit of comfy. It’s easy to focus on what’s wrong, but it’s so much better to think about what’s right.
— Viveca

 

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