If not for your
juicy red quiver
that blows through
my open spaces
the ones gaping and wanting
waiting to be pierced
I would be
feather weight lattice
weak kneed and leaning
Sometimes we do something wrong to someone. Sometimes we know we do, sometimes we may not. How the other people handle this can be completely different. And those differences have completely opposite outcomes for us.
I’ve been thinking about only two of those ways in which people deal when I have done something wrong–or even have ‘supposedly’ done something wrong. I say this because in one case, I don’t even know what I did.
In that instance there have been a couple of times where I had very dear friends that just stop being my friend without any explanation. Even though I tried to find out why or what I may have done to illicit this behavior, I never could find out why. This, of course, is disturbing and hurtful. But eventually, something we must move on from.
The second is where someone doesn’t let you forget something that you’ve done wrong and continually reminds you. While they still are your friend, family or whatever–it can come up in conversation when you least expect it. They haven’t let go, completely forgiven or whatever, even if you may have apologized. This, while is slightly better because you are still communicating, can be difficult. It’s a constant reminder and keeps you both stuck in the past.
I guess in the first case, a simple explanation would help. Everyone has the choice to move on from a friendship. But, to me at least, it seems kind to tell the person why, especially if you had something invested in your relationship. And the second case, once you have discussed the wrong doing, we must try to put it behind the best we can and not let it keep staining the present moments.
Of course there are many more times where wrong doings are completely forgiven and we go on even better because of them. They enrich our relationships because of giving us insights to each other and all our facets. When we can love all of someone, even the not so perfect, then that is really an honest kind of love.
It seems that humans through the ages love to dress in costume. Either for ritual or fun, humans have used feathers, paint, colorful cloth, beads and anything they can get their hands on to disguise their normal form.
Long ago it may have been to appease Gods or Goddesses or to look like an animal they were thanking to try to bring down for a hunt. Getting into the spirit of the being may have made this creature closer to the human and therefore better able to communicate with it. Or maybe it was dressing like the spirits from the other world, using the ancestral imagination, dreams and stories to create the human form into something other worldly.
Even now women continue to paint their faces (and men too) just to leave their house for a normal day out, hoping to look better or different–using the magic of makeup to create a new face.We play dress-up, bedeck ourselves with jewels, tattoos and fancy hair–maybe to try to be the fanciest beast in the jungle.
Whenever given the chance, it seems many jump at the chance to be in character, someone other than who they normally are, and come onto the world’s stage as someone new: more glamorous, sexier, crazier, colorful or just a character they love.
So this time of year is not only fun for kids, but adults alike. It’s the time to shed your persona and be someone else. Who do you long to be? What is the other side of you that you don’t show but behind a costume comes out full force? Because when you put one on it allows you to set your personality free.
While I don’t like to admit it, I’ve noticed as I’ve gotten older (and have embraced my gray hair) I’ve become invisible. In my younger life, I was never, ever an invisible person. Even when I felt then (unbeknownst to my then introverted self) that the crowds were getting a bit too much for me. Somehow I still stood out shall we say. My personality was somehow bigger than my small frame… even when I didn’t want it to be.
It was my big mouth I suppose: always standing up when I felt injustice was happening, or whispering an irreverence at inopportune moments. Or when I felt someone (preferably someone of authority) said something I felt stupid and needed to be put straight. Yep, I never held back, and usually got in trouble, bringing attention to myself and therefore was definitely not invisible.
Plus I was never, ever a follower. And in fact, usually a leader. Starting a trend maybe, like the first one to wear hot pants in my high school. To me, they were just cool. Or to bring cloth bags to the grocery store 40 years ago when everyone thought I was nuts. Or becoming a vegetarian about the same time because it simply made sense. And being the ‘class clown’ and ‘most inclined to argue’ also put me in the class of calling attention to myself–just like George Carlin so aptly said…Hey, look at me!
Did I need attention? I don’t know? I just know that I was an only child and loved school and my friends and loved to get into it with anyone who would participate in good debate or humor. Or I did some things simply because they made good sense to me and I believed they were right. It never occurred to me that not everyone felt the same way. In fact, it might be better if they didn’t.
So now that I’m 60, and suddenly a senior citizen–it seems so odd to say that because I still feel like a kid–and part of the class of people who most ignore. It feels crazy. Me, the person that most folks used to gather around and laugh with, or got yelled at, or who got sent to the principal’s office because I was so disruptive. Now I can’t even mange to worm my way into a conversation because it’s assumed I have nothing of value to say. It’s utterly amazing to me.
At least this is what I find among the folks where I work. It’s a mixed crowd of both young and middle aged…not too many my age. I’m in the hub where people come and go and I could just be a chair really. When they bring new people around, most times I don’t even get introduced. I find it rude really. The new gal that does my job in the evening is 27, pretty and has far more attention from folks (men and women mind you) fluttering around her in a couple of months than I do in nearly a year there.
Is it because our society doesn’t value age and wisdom? Certainly I have become less in need of the attention I once did. I’m more subdued and quiet and more observant. Maybe I don’t draw the attention any longer.
It’s quite interesting to watch the squabbles, the dances and cruelties. I’m proud to have joined the ranks of the wise ones actually. There’s humor sitting back while seeing those that make fools of themselves as I once did or listen to tales of woe and know how unimportant these things really are in the grand scheme of life.
I only hope I’ve taught my own daughters to treat their elders better than I am treated at work. And I hope I never acted in this way. We can certainly choose moments to be invisible, but no-one should make someone feel that way. We all have the same rights to be equally colorful, vibrant and brilliantly seen.
“Live free or die!”–this was the refrain I was used to hearing from where I just moved. A war cry I often made fun of when I was there, especially as a paramedic. We would change the saying to: Live free AND die when we’d arrive on scene of a motorcycle accident, no helmets, the person dead or dying. Ayup, no helmet laws…that’s right folks, do whatever you like for sure. It’s your life despite best practices and safety information! Go ahead: live free and die for sure…keeps me in business.
It was all a big joke, but many there took their freedom very seriously. And, I suppose, with good reason. In a world, where Big Brother seems to encroach upon us in so many aspects of our lives with all the rules and regulations, I kind of get it.
I, for one, have never been so good at following all of the rules. The ones that didn’t make much sense to me, or seemed unfair or unjust–well, yeah, I definitely went outside those boxes. In that way, I related completely to the above sentiment. It makes me nuts when someone tells me to do something that I deem as irrational or I simply know to be incorrect because I have proof. It gets all my hackles standing on end.
And I must admit, I’m not very good at being quiet about it. I’ve always had a rather big mouth–for as long as I remember. Pressing the boundaries and getting myself in trouble. Not exactly self-righteous, but willing to go against the establishment.
So here I am facing The Establishment like I never have before: buying a condo! It’s a whole new experience for me. I was always afraid I might not be able to do it and to ‘fit in’ and follow The Rules of folks telling me just what I could and couldn’t do with reference to how to live. But I had no idea to what extent it would happen until I went to my ‘orientation’ meeting today. There was reams of paperwork and boxes to check off. It was nuts.
Already a bit crabby missing work because they only have it during the week, something I felt rather archaic–maybe I was already a bit prejudiced I admit. Sure, it’s ‘an active adult community’ (this meaning 55 and over), but that means many of us work for goodness sake!! So why not run some of these after hours or on weekends?? I suppose because the office lady doesn’t want to come in then…but sheesh.
This meeting is mandatory, even though I had already met with someone from my particular building. One can’t close until you go and get some paper from them for the title company!! She didn’t want to overfill the class, meanwhile (if you include a couple) I was the 5th person. Really, 5 is too many? She’s afraid someone would ask too many questions. But instead, SHE talked in redundant circles, about nothing. Garbage, what colors to paint your house, where to park your cars… Are you joking? An hour and half later, I thought I might scream.
And even though she told us to hold all questions until later, she snipped at me with the one question I had, which was never answered. Ahhhh! It was crazy. And there were so many rules! I’m not sure I can go to the bathroom without checking with someone first. Or at least…the color of the toilet paper I buy…
No, but really, it all seemed rather silly, but I’m sure once you move in nobody even cares. And when she said there’s a woodworking club that the MEN are in (I asked if woman can join…yeah yeah, I was being smart)…I thought: maybe I’ll start my own club. Like the rebel club. Or the people who use weird toilet paper club. Or those who never listened during meetings in high school club. Or the live free or die club….
Or maybe I’ll just go into my cute little new condo, shut the door and mind my own business.
The other day I received a wonderful surprise in my mailbox. It was a late holiday gift from my oldest daughter. There were a couple of gifts, including a great picture of her with her boyfriend and a lovely necklace. It also contained an amazing card.
You all may say: well, this isn’t so amazing–a daughter sending her Mother some gifts and a card for the holidays. What’s the big deal? But you see, it is a big deal–for a number of reasons.
Yes, many daughters and mothers have their issues, and my oldest and I are no exception. She had some pretty rough issues as a teenager and I ran myself through the mill wondering how much had been my fault. We became pretty distant because of them too. But she’s not a kid any more, closer to 30 than 20 and as my mother has been saying for years: by the time she’s 30 or so, things will change. It was hard to believe…but now I am beginning to think it may be so.
She got through her tough times pretty much on her own. Moving far from home and scratching out a life (with help from me and my ex too), and is now an amazingly successful young woman. It has been an incredible thing to watch. But the really beautiful thing to experience has been the slow and steady mending of our relationship. For this is what I have truly mourned.
So when I received these personal items…a necklace–a piece of jewelry, something she hasn’t given me for years and years, I was so touched. And the saying that went with it was clearly thought out and matched with where I am in my life right now, something she clearly sensed. In fact, I wore it to my new job today, feeling rather lost and unsure. For it is a tiny compass and reads:
“Go confidently in the direction of your Dreams”
And so I shall….
You all can see what the card says on the outside, but inside my baby wrote:
“Dearest Mommy! I’m so proud of you for following your dreams & finding happiness. I love you always and forever.” H
In most cases it’s supposed to be the Mommy saying these words to the kid, but this kid has already followed her dreams and gave me the inspiration to follow mine. And well, that last line…if I ever doubted her love before it seems I may have been imagining things. One thing I do know: I never stopped loving her…and I never will.