Dressed Down

marjorie-bertrand-eyzzqAQhcjI-unsplash
Photo: Marjorie Bertrand on Unsplash

 

He eyed her twirling in her tutu and his heart squeezed with longing.

He wanted to do that, too. It was not fair that it was not allowed.

That only girls could.

Be princesses.

Wear dresses.

Put on make up.

Play with dolls.

Paint their nails.

He’d tried, of course, but he could tell that even those who did not outright take things from him or forbid him or call him hurtful names, didn’t really feel comfortable with his choices. There was that look they gave, the forced smile, the way they inevitably ran out of patience and gave him “other suggestions” or directed him toward “trying other things.” He was given gifts that made it clear that what he’d asked for was not acceptable and therefore required others choose for him.

He could tell his parents were ashamed.

They loved him. He knew. But they didn’t quite love that part of him. The part that he loved in himself the most. The part that he hated. Sometimes.

It wasn’t even that he didn’t like sports, or climbing trees, or making mud pies. He did. It was just that those weren’t fun without adding a bit of dance, of looking for fairies amidst the branches, or pretending that the mud pies were part of a birthday bakery for princesses.

They kept saying how “wonderful it was to have such an imagination,” but their body language told him that they’d have much preferred if his imagination didn’t quite go where it wanted to. That they would have liked better an imagination of the kind they felt was more appropriate for boys.

“Do you want to be a girl?” his sister asked. They were in her room for a tea party. She was wearing one of her ballet-princess dresses and the full set of jewelry she’d gotten from Grandma just the other day. She let him wear the crown. They pretended this made him a princess, too, but they both knew she chose the crown because it would be easy for him to take down if someone walked in.

Or say he was a king.

Sometimes he envied her so much that it carved a hole into the center of his being. The ease and confidence with which she could prance around in rustling taffeta and glittery baubles, the smiles she got when she dressed up and smeared lipstick on her face … It hurt. It hurt. It hurt.

She let him into her world, but they both know that it was not his to live in. They both knew that when her friends came for a play-date he would be excluded. They both knew that even with no dress on, and with a crown fit for a king, at any moment someone might barge in, and frown, and find a reason to ‘redirect’ him.

Her question made him cry.

Because he didn’t want to be a girl.

He wanted to be a boy who liked playing with dolls and painting his nails and having tea parties and trying on dresses and decorating mud-pie cakes for princesses.

And yet … it would have been so easy. If he were a girl.

No frowns. No shaming. No overhearing adults talk of how he needed “toughening up” or was “too sensitive” or was “definitely gay-material” or “headed in the wrong direction.” Not having to know that Mom and Dad and Grandma and Grandpa were kind of ashamed of him.

“I want to be me,” he sobbed, and fingered a dress his sister discarded and that he would give his heart to be allowed to put on without fear. “I just want to be me … and I don’t understand why it is wrong.”

 

 

 

For Linda Hill’s SoCS challenge: dress

 

 

Plumb The Depths

 

go deep OfirAsif

Photo: Ofir Asif

 

Explore the vistas

Still unseen

Below the concepts

Left to grasp

As depths of thoughts

Plumb deep

The mind

And Spirit knows

What to redeem.

 

 

For The Daily Post

Branch Out

NewZealand InbarAsif1

Photo: Inbar Asif

 

Branch out

Of your comfort zone.

Go out on a limb

To offer someone else

An arm to hold

A place to perch

Above the fray

And find

Some measure

Of peace.

 

 

For The Daily Post

Relocate

Crete InbarAsif

Photo: Inbar Asif

 

Let your mind

Pull up stakes

From its old

Dusty space.

Let your heart

Relocate

To a wider

Warm place.

Open eyes

To new shores.

Plant ideas

Expand more.

 

 

For The Daily Post

Accommodating

Cuba11 InbarAsi

Photo: Cuba, Inbar Asif

 

My immediate association to today’s word prompt of “Elastic ” was about the dire need for more flexibility. How important it is we be able to curl our mind around the bend of preconception so we can appreciate beyond “our idea of beautiful” or “our opinion of correctness.” It’s become fashionable to be rigidly unyielding, to confront instead of listen, to seek conformity instead of be accommodating.

As if acceptability lives by a single yardstick and Photoshop.

We cover over imperfections. We discard or deny any marring exists. We seek the shiny new. People get judged more by their circumstance of birth than by how pliable their hearts are or how truly resilient they have proven to be in holding on to kindness even in the face of oh-so-much that wasn’t.

As I wrote this a notification appeared for Steve McCurry’s post about the “Art of Imperfection” and the power of Wabi-Sabi — the Japanese practice of finding harmony and beauty in what is simple, natural, and modest, where transience and imperfection are part of the aesthetic. How perfectly apt.

Here’s to beauty in the marred.

 

 

 

For The Daily Post

Taper to Expand

openmind

Photo: Playbuzz.com

 

Taper your prejudices

So they not block the light

Of real understanding.

Taper your worries

So they let in

Newborn paths.

Taper your reliance on

Hearing only what fits

Your opinion.

Taper your righteous

Indignation

So it leaves room

For your heart

And mind

To truly

Expand.

 

For The Daily Post

What box?!

Think outside the box!

Life’s too short to be too serious.

Be playful. Find a point of laughter. Create smiles.

Even the most functional place can tolerate some spunk, a bit of daring, a little imaginary pun.

Forget the ‘way it has to be done’–there are all manners of possibilities to explore, to reach the goal, to make it work–the journey’s just began!

Have fun!

outside box1

Ship-shape?

 

 

outside box3

Be a lady in a shoe!

 

outside box5

Potted house! (Korea)

 

outside box2

Chim-che-roo!

 

outside box4

Toasty fun!