Friday, January 21, 2011

A Portrait of Self

I want to remember this day. I want to remember this bedhead in bright red with dark roots and makeupless face and wearing all of my spring clothes in the middle of this Michigan winter. Putting on her amazing springtide earrings, and a favorite necklace given to me by my mama years ago by Mati Rose. I put it on when I most need it. I need it today. Bright colors on one side and on the other it says "There is nothing wrong with you." If I can't hear anyone actually say it to me, I need to wear it close to my heart.
I have painted myself with color the brightest I have. Red shoes, green pants, blue shirt bright green kids still make comments even after almost two years of it.  I come from literally years of wearing all black...a throwback from working at Eileen Fisher and living in a Seattle suburb years ago. I guess I thought it was easier and more "chic". It was. I desperately wanted to be chic. But that was then. I'm not worried about "chic" anymore. Now I paint myself in layers of color whenever I can. I don't much care anymore even if it really "matches". It lifts me. It was my 40th year resolution and I've kept it going. Quite possibly the only resolution I've ever kept.
Yes, I want to remember this day. The sounds of my little boy playing in the other room. Patty Griffin station playing on Pandora. Jewelry waiting to be finished on the table.
Hope in my heart.
And the feeling that there is really nothing wrong with me. Sometimes I allow others to make me feel terribly terribly flawed. I'll be 42 soon. I like myself. I heard about this revelation when I was 30. How when you turn 40 things change. They have. I've let go of some stuff...some clutter in my heart. I like the light in my eyes and the new big wrinkle in the corner of my left eye that I discovered the other day. (I don't spend much time in the mirror, so it is always a surprise when I really look!) I do, however have issues with my chin. Still trying to make peace with that......
uh-um but anyway, what do you do when you need to be lifted?
Aside from wearing lots of color, I love a big  cup of double-spice Chai tea and take maybe take in the scent and sight of lemons. (I keep lemon oil on my table and sniff it...sometimes even putting a dab under my nose and inhale deeply) I prefer lemons to fresh flowers (they're cheaper too.) Sometimes I keep one or two on my table to feel and scratch and sniff until they loose their lemony-ness.
and I read this poem called The Journey by Mary Oliver that I want to share with you:

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice--
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do--
determined to save
the only life you could save.