We are all one – what one person does affects others and the Earth we live on. Eve Ensler brings home this message in her memoir, In The Body of the World, an eloquent, poetic, heartbreaking story of how she suffers through ovarian cancer and the chemical assault of chemotherapy, quite like the tortured, violated women she had so tried to help her work in war-torn areas like the Congo.
Ensler has fought violence against women throughout most of her adult life, connecting her activism to her own abuse as a child. Here, she brings us into her own personal agony as she fights to survive cancer, connecting her own illness to the abuse of Mother Earth.
Her story touched me very deeply, perhaps because my own best friend Julie died of cancer, certainly due to chemical exposures while in the military. I dedicated my two novels to Julie, because as Ensler related, cancer can lead to a transformation that deepens your soul and opens your heart, as it did for both Eve and Julie and I’m sure many others… no matter the physical outcome.
While Ensler’s story brought tears to my eyes, and I may never be able to forget the atrocities she described in the Congo, I closed the book feeling more hope than when I opened it. Ensler completes her goal to open the City of Joy for the women of the Congo although more funding will be needed. She says that if she doesn’t close off her heart, that love will cut a path, a plan will be revealed, and she will find the money and everything that is necessary. Her activism continues, and her shout can be joined by all our shouts until they are a roar – to stop violence and genocide. Perhaps we are all part of the plan; we are all on the same path.
Becca Chopra, author of Chakra Secrets and The Chakra Diaries