Friday, May 27, 2016

Thoughts on "Pretty" aka Random Post from an Absentee Blogger

I think every little girl wants to be “pretty.”  We want the pretty dress and the rings and all the glittery things we see.  We twirl and we stomp our feet, trying to recreate Shirley Temple on the linoleum.
 
Wait. 

Just me?
 
The jelly shoes and the tiny non-heels that sound JUST LIKE tap shoes? 

No?  I'm really alone here?
  
Really?

Huh.

Yes, that’s me at 4 or 5 or so, making a racket in the kitchen with my “tap” shoes, messy blond curls and an undying envy of Jessica, my best friend, who wears dresses to school EVERY DAY!

Grown-up self squints a little at that one.  Every day?  Really?

5-year-old me is insistent.  EVERY DAY!

My mother makes little me dresses for special occasions, like my birthday.  “I want a long red dress, Mom,” the five-year-old pleads, big eyes, serious.  “Long.  To the floor!”

Most days, it is blue jeans and a t-shirt.  Maybe shorts.  It’s hard to rock the blue jeans as a 5 year old.  Jessica could probably do it.  She is cool enough and pretty enough, except she wears dresses. 

EVERY DAY!  5-year-old me has her chin set, lower lip thrust out.

Probably best not to tell her that the dress only goes so far, that the frizzy mess of hair on her head and her penchant for dirt are equal barriers to the flounce and flutter grace of a Jessica.  She will learn that soon enough.  Right now, the only difference she sees between herself and Jessica is that flounce and flutter dress.

Grown up self acknowledges that memories of this Jessica are mostly flounce and flutter.  Unfair, perhaps.  But the tap-dancing 5 year old is in love with flounce and flutter.  And we keep only fragments of our five-year-old selves.  I kept that, and the perfect click-clack of plastic heels on hard surface.

I still love flounce and flutter, if I’m honest.  I run my finger-tips over the edges of skirts in the department store, the sequin tops in the evening wear section, the occasional floor-length extreme.  There’s a red dress in my closet that I try on from time to time, sucking in my tummy and turning sideways toward the mirror.  Then it goes back on its hanger and into the closet, and I’m blue jeans and t-shirt again.

I’m grown up enough to admit I’m too tall and too thick and that, for me, heels are one rolled ankle away from death.  Yes, I am the freak who spends every minute in heels calculating the risk factor of ankle x sidewalk / curb + city bus = death.

And I think I sort of like life.

Life as in tennis shoes and t-shirts, and a good book.  That’s good stuff. 

I think I am finally beyond being “pretty.”

And please don’t tell me I am pretty, or beautiful, or smart or any of the very nice but generic things people like to throw at the problem.  I’m not looking for reassurance. 

It’s not about that, not really.  It’s not about self-confidence or recognizing those things about myself that are worthy and valuable and important.  I’m actually a bit of an egotist in certain respects. 

It’s about “pretty,” that flounce and flutter obsession so many little girls hold onto through their teenage years, their twenties, some of them for forever.

It’s about wanting to be that girl, to be Jessica, to be someone other than who I am.

It’s about desperation and need and the I’ll-do-anything mentality that had me hopping diet to diet and then the weeping and the gnashing of teeth (might as well admit to the melodrama) when each one failed.  It’s about hair, and the realization of scalp.  It’s about rash-red skin and the odd mole.  It’s about all the little things coming together into one giant never-gonna-happen epiphany.

And it’s about being okay with that.  About being okay with me.  

Finally.

And I won’t lie.  I’d still like to be “pretty.”  If offered the proverbial pretty stick, I’d accept a good thumping. 

But that need is gone. 

I’m still trying to eat better and exercise more and, yeah, if I lose a few pounds, that’s great.  But if I feel better, if I can breathe easier walking up the stairs or if I can just make it through one session of the boot-camp program without modification or mercy, then I’m good with that.

I’m good with me, the me that loved Shirley Temple and the sound of her shoes and loved her without the expectation of being her, the me that reads books and likes boots and mostly hates taking the time to do make-up.  The me that wears t-shirts and writes random crap for a blog she’s been ignoring.

And I think I’m finally ready for more jelly shoes. 

Seriously.

If they made my size, totally there!

I bet they sound GREAT on tile!



Friday, October 16, 2015

2015 OctPoWriMo #16: Barrettes

Barrettes and carefully curved fingers,
the little girl cringes
her chords.

She is afraid of her teacher.

Barrettes and carefully cupped cheeks,
the young woman lets lips
linger.

She is afraid he will laugh.

Barrettes and carefully cleared mind,
the woman fills pages
with poems.

She is afraid of them.

Barrettes and carefully curved spine,
the old woman is waiting
to die.

She is afraid.



Poet's Note:  The prompt suggested a paradelle...but I'm way too tired tonight for a paradelle.  So I'm posting this simpler style poem instead.  I wrote it earlier this month.  Goodnight everybody.




Thursday, October 15, 2015

2015 OctPoWriMo #15: On a Day without Consequence



On a Day without Consequence

I would find the swings,
metal rings
and the rubbered sling
of a seat.

I would scuff my feet,
sneakers neat
advance, retreat
to the sky.

And maybe this time
learn to fly.




Poet's Note:  The prompt...what would you do on a day without consequence?  There were so many possibilities with this prompt...but I have missed swings...the feel of the wind on my cheeks, the pinch of the chains suspending, the pump of my feet and...sky.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

2015 OctPoWriMo #14: The Bridge


The Bridge

It’s one of those bridges,
a rickety suggestion
of rope, secured
either end
by hope
and maybe
a nail, a tenpenny
leftover rusted through
and ready to fail.

I cling, I claw,
palms raw, uncertain
how I ended up here,
a thread away
from…

blue, misted hues
of unknown depth.
Is it water?  Or is the
ground too far away
for eye to find it.

Behind, the
echoes of the girl
I was - toddler, tween
and twenty - eyes
shut and shaking
tears.

The rope
creaks.

My
future
self rises
from chest
to leave me
with all the rest.

When the rope snaps,
we fall.

Somewhere,
fingers once mine 
tuck a tenpenny 
nail into pocket.
and my feet
leave
without me.




Poet's Note:  The prompt was the bridge from yesterday to today.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

2015 OctPoWriMo #13: Risk of Alliteration

Risk of Alliteration

Just do it already
Just pick up the pen
Pen a masterpiece,
Pen a poem
Poem lucked to the page
Poem plucked like a plum
Plum snapping black
Plum pulsing heat
Heat of the sun
Heat of my fingers
Fingers fondling the flesh
Fingers finding the rare imperfection
Imperfection of worm
Imperfection of tooth
Tooth glancing the surface
Tooth and lip pressed to the promise
Promise of the raw and the red
Promise of truth
Truth if there is such a thing
Truth the hard gnarled pit
Pit of a plum
Pit of my stomach
Stomach too full too round
Stomach rebound
Rebound from strife
Rebound from life
Life – the constant push
Life – the rearview second guessing
Guessing how many jelly beans in the jar
Guessing how far they might take us
Take us halfway to Florida
Take us farther, up the beanstalk
Stalk the stars
Stalk that empty space
Space between word and wonder
Space the final question
Question – is life limited to humanity
Question – is life limited to god
God of the Bible
God of self
Selfish
Selfless
Less a lie than it started
Less a truth than once thought
Thought I’d have it figured out by now
Thought I’d own myself outright
Outright declare myself
Outright dare myself a poet
Poet…
Self…




Poet's Note:  The day's prompt revolved around the risks we are willing to take for/with our writing...combined with a blitz poem.  Blitz poems, in my limited experience, tend to go wild...so there you go...

Monday, October 12, 2015

2015 OctPoWriMo #12: Reflections

Reflections
                -An alphabetical brainstorm…on bees

Aerial adventures, the
Bumbling bravado of bees
Clumsy crash the windshield,
Debate death,
Examine the edges,
Find the seams, the
Glimmer gleam of self in glass.
“Huzzah!  Huzzah!” the hirsute creatures’
Invocation to the interior
Justifies their
Killing, a
Limited liability for
Man - molded in multiples and
Nonplused by the notion
Of ‘other,’ of equal,
Pride of place pulsing in veins
Quiet with the habit of living, veins
Rich with reason unchallenged,
Skin unblemished, skin
Tender and as yet
Unbroken. 
Valor is easy in such circumstance.
We assume it with our
eXistence.
Zzzzzz.





Poet's Note:  The prompt...an ABC poem!  I haven't done an ABC poem in...years!  This may be sort of random...but I decided to just go with it!  Woohoo!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

2015 OctPoWriMo #11: 36 Years



36 Years

I have managed 36 years
and all the tears
fears
and near
overwhelming
possibility they contained.

That is all.

That is enough.





Poet's Note:  The prompt...what have you accomplished...