Today, the inspiration to write about barrettes came to mind. I’ve been exploring creative non-fiction, a beautiful genre of artistry and words. Here’s a little canvas about belligerent plastic hair clips. Enjoy!
Barrettes. Little plastic devils. Strawberry flowers. Blue dogs. Bows of lemon meringue.
A clip. Tufts of hair, wispy and soft, secured. Restlessness.
A terrier, slipped down the locks. The scalp, a teepee of awareness.
A hand, tender and soft, pulls silken threads. Tears.
A mother’s hand, slender and strong, opens the clasp, bends a white fold in the plastic.
A hug. Tears left to fall. Rosy cheeks. Swollen eyes. Barrettes.
I’ll never forget Sunday, Oct. 5, 2014. My eyes bolted open from sleep. The words My God, they are against me, cycled through my brain. Memories played out in a backwards reel: Christmas 2013, France 2005, wedding day 1996, 16th birthday 1987, a broken collarbone 1975.
I had THE AWAKENING I needed, the one I feared most: My family is against me. From this perspective, my life suddenly made sense. Emotional abuse. Neglect. Why hadn’t I seen the collective significance of these events sooner? Each experience was a pearl on the necklace of emotional corrosion. Through the years, the more I resisted its presence, the tighter the necklace squeezed life from me.
I know now that denial and dignity have a very tight grasp on each other. I’ve learned other things as well. Whether or not you’ve experienced abuse in your life, the universal elements of my experience transcend to every person on the planet. I’m happy to share with you:
MY TOP TEN REALIZATIONS AFTER ONE YEAR OF AWARENESS
The power of voice is a gift you give yourself.
Fear is a four-letter word that can go %$#* itself.
Most people are wounded. Most people aren’t doctors. Nobody is required to heal anyone.
Believe in yourself. Believe in yourself. Believe in yourself. Even if no one else does.
God empowers. He lets you scream at the ones who’ve hurt you. Then, you forgive them. (Forgiveness does not mean tolerance.)
Awareness is like mercury, it forms into small balls and rolls all over.
Ignorance is like mercury, it forms into small balls and rolls all over.
Ego is best served like chilled Jell-O: jiggly and resilient to tremors. Otherwise, it stains your shirt.
Mirrors work best when clean.
Life is too short for pain. Don’t take it. Just don’t take it.
A one inch scar sweeps out from my lower lip. It is a solitary line of residue from a mountain bike wreck, a scurry to the E.R., a thick, deep pain, a bag of frozen peas pressed to my face. It is a permanent mark of one failed attempt, a dash from one moment to the next, a crash course in physics, an alteration.
One year passed before the wound tempered without a peppered assault of tingling nerves. One year of sag-stitched smiles before necessary muscles regained proper composure. One year for the trench to deepen. One year for a repaired version of myself.
To me, the scar is not a reminder of what occurred, rather it is evidence of what didn’t: a minor concussion-not brain injury, a temporary setback-not debilitation, a chance- not closure.
Life is a series of dashes, failed attempts, and alterations. Deep, meaningful lines carve into our blood, bones, and soul. Temporary numbness masks the compositions we are ill prepared to see, and time, our fairest friend, reveals everything we are meant to be.
My daughter Sophie and I spent a summer night playing folf in the woods. Not only did we benefit from an entertaining night of terrible disc throwing, we glorified our spirits in the wisdom of the forest.