patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.”
― W.B. Yeats
As I grew up, I took better notice of the world around me. That kept me alive more than once, when looking away might have meant my day ending in an explosion of surprised pain. I might not be the youngest or the most fit in the group, but when need be, I can fire out of a dangerous place as if stuffed with powder, or fight back. It's perception, it's nothing more than awareness of things around you, when to take cover and when to take flight. You learn through time, or by staring at your reflection in the weapon of your own destruction. I see the little things, I'm trained to, yes, but I try and look past the obvious into the shadows.
It's not just situations, it's not just people, it's words. Politics will teach us, if anything, that words are just that, words, and without any sort of commitment to their substantiation, they mean nothing. Words not just spoken, but crafted and spun and spun yet again until they are as lightweight and meaningless as brittle thread.
Indian Red. For me that does not bring to mind a Native American, but the fire, the variated sky of the desert, the hues of life and death. It is the color of nature's power and the deceit of man's ego, which not only rises but sometimes sets, on crimson holes in a ravaged shirt, that bloomed like sudden flowers in the darkness. It is the color of muddy, bloodied ground, from which the soul strives to leave before being pulled beneath it forever. It is the color of a sunrise in your lovers eyes, the light of hope and given promise.
A person is more than their words, and more than their form. As a woman, not just a mother, I hate to see the images being given to our daughters, in word, in pictures, as to what is "beautiful".
Models in magazines aren't just thin and pretty but they have every single pore and "imperfection" photo-shopped away. Wrinkles aren't a badge of a life well lived, but yet another thing to be blurred by a computer, and heaven forbid we be a healthy weight, as apparently if you're not a size zero you should just go buy your Muumuu and hide at home..
How did we reach such a place where what is considered beautiful or desirable is defined by a magazine? You must be this thin, you must be this age, this shape; you must be this tall to ride the ride. And I watch, we watch, as a nation of daughters starve themselves into an image that was never their perception of beauty, only their perception of belonging. Men can be no different, for that pain of unrealistic expectations knows no gender.
It's perception. It's how you look at the world and how much of the world out there, hidden away from prying eyes, you take the time to really look at. To many - a life lived is little more than breathing, pleasures and darkness. To others it is a richly layered landscape of both risk and reward.
Two different people looking at the same thing will never see it the same way. Standing at a Western art show looking at works representing bygone eras, I'm entranced by a one particular painting, It is a simple one of an older woman on the prairie wearing clothing from a bygone era. A young woman next to me gives it a cursory glance and says - "old woman in ugly dress, moving along".
The dilapidated farmhouse behind her looks empty, the land is covered in dust. There are no children or others around her, just her form, standing straight and tall looking off to the horizon. There is no history as to what the painting represents. but looking at it, I see her not as a woman approaching middle age, but the form of a butterfly as it emerges from the cocoon, carrying nothing of what it was into what it is, emerging complete and intact as the wild rose that suddenly blooms from barren soil.
To some, this would simply be a "rock", never turned over, not examined closely, never revealing that beauty that emerges when it has been cut. To not see that, to not know that, will be their loss.
I turn the desk light off, as the morning sun vanquishes the darkness, wondering too, if these words will be just words, spun off into the dark. But it's enough to know, that, which I've learned through the years, that seeing and hearing are both blind and deaf, but the well worn heart can see that which is absolute magic.