Living Color

22 May

In my head, they all merge into one woman. Graceful, creative, caring-they are everywoman-or perhaps the idealization of her. They speak with one soft lyrical voice, laugh with wisdom and ache with sadness.

I rapidly page through all of them, pausing to evaluate, lips twisted in thought.

The girl I wanted to hate, before, whose beauty and talent far surpass my own, who seemed to have it all, but more than I could dream, simple loves, quiet content and adventure. Then came the rabbit hole, and then this past weekend, when she became real to me, flesh and feeling and raw seething. She glowed though, even if she thought she didn’t, with an expectation, a knowing even she might just be ignorant of. Something burbles for her. I see her in green, for growth.

Someone else, the age my mother was at death, exactly, but different, easing only lately into motherhood, far enough removed from my past, but maybe not quite enough. Sharp edges and primary colors-simplicity of thought and singlemindedness-the solid stance of someone who knows exactly who she is. I see her in red, and smile.

In an obnoxiously upholstered arm chair sits yet another woman, angles corrected and purposefully maintained. A place for everything and everything in it’s place, well researched, well spoken. A laugh that fills the house and your heart-a woman you’ve known time and time again, and trust, implicitly,without question. You’re at ease with her. Perhaps you are her. Jests are easily found, yet seldom meant. Her eyes dance. She’s striped in reds and yellows, the duskier versions, the muted, vastly more interesting ones.

Another, I recognize before meeting as a soul I’ve known before, an immediate kinship, an exhaled breath saying “oh thank the lord you’re here.” We don’t recall this feeling, or why it stretches between us, but we don’t mistake it for anything other than friendship. She has an easy laugh and silky voice you could listen for until slumber, a simple motherhood I envy, finger permanently crooked in a tiny baby mouth. She’s coated in purple, tangy grape purples.

More pattern, more riots of color sits a woman I hardly know, a woman bearing more substance than I. A grey, the grey of possibility and clearing. A pause.

Red hair, the color of melon and sweet flesh, a color that brings my memory back many years to a boy who fascinated, and I find myself feeling yet again enthralled with a voice and an eye that sees what many do not, a life that calls foul on my excuses of no time, no chance to do the things I feel prone to do. She lives-she really lives, the joy of her son flowing clear through her and onto all of us. She’s no single color, no steady influence but a jumble, a rainbow, a can of paint half stirred. In my mind, her head is thrown back, crowing, Peter Pan….

Delicate neck, delicate wrists and scarves and all those things this 15 year old drama student strived for but didn’t have the bone structure for. Delicate like spider web though-deceiving and free, awaiting. She is bigger than herself, bigger than the room-her smile so simple and yet like a lighthouse, a beacon we crave. Not her approval-her happiness. She is earthy brown, green, the moss beneath our feet balancing us and cradling our heads. Her sorrows countered by living. I see her long brown hair, and grin.

One last, one quiet, one ponderous and questioning, watching. I clawed myself back and waited, unsure, curious, yet not. Then she opened, and I felt myself smile quietly at finding a truly interesting person, finding someone I wanted to ask questions of, someone who seemed new and eternal all at once. She was blacks and greys for me, but in the simplest and best of ways. A sharp laugh, a sharp wit, all edges but not painful.

In many ways, we’ve all suffered our losses, then, or now. Yet when coming together, the loudest sounds heard were laughter, the laughter of being understood, the laughter of being together, of having nothing to prove and no where to be. Even the soft sad moments have their value, memories and actions borne aloft and aloud for the first time ever or the first time in 20 years. There is healing to acknowledgement. There is healing to a circle of women, even if they hover on the dessert tray.

I am not known as someone who usually finds much value in the company of other women. But last weekend, I felt so much at home that it scared me more than the likely haunted bathroom in my room. It felt real-it felt like I was doing something real for the first time in years.

Wandering through shops full of incredible soul swelling pieces of art that spoke on that other level, that ethereal level-I felt peaceful and anxious and happy all at one time. I felt peace. I didn’t feel crazy or mannish or fat or annoying. I felt normal.

And what a gift that is.

I saw all of you in colors ladies, as part of an ever changing rainbow of life and personality, each as valid and pointed as the last. Even if I couldn’t keep my mouth shut half the time, and kept saying stupid shit, I felt enveloped and cared for in a way I haven’t felt in many years.

And I thank you.


19 Responses to “Living Color”

  1. niobe May 22, 2008 at 8:10 pm #

    Wow. You’ve summed everyone up perfectly. I didn’t even have to click the links to recognize them. And can I say that I really, really like the way you described me?

  2. sweetsalty kate May 22, 2008 at 9:01 pm #

    This was so incredible.. I second niobe. And now it’s 10 PM and my brain is mush, when I’d like to do you justice with such grace.

    When I think of you now all I can think of are those pendulums, all of them off the charts in front of you, wild with electricity. We laugh it off and call it bunk, but somehow, that’s the vision I’m left with. Of course they’d spin like that. You’re thordora, and you pulsate.

    (cheesy, but true, and irresistable…)

  3. Mad Hatter May 22, 2008 at 9:16 pm #

    If by red, you mean the colour of your talons, then I am pleased, humbled, yet awkwardly undeserving. If, on the other hand, you mean the colour of a garden tomato at harvest, then, yes, you have nailed it. Spot on.

  4. MereMortal May 23, 2008 at 1:07 am #

    such a moving, honest, and deeply connected tribute to women of light. i am so glad you found this tribe of colors.
    and i think i’d like you: the “crazy or mannish or fat or annoying” bits and all. in your writing, i am gifted with glimpses of your deep, dark, beautiful mysteries.

  5. kate w May 23, 2008 at 7:46 am #

    Wow. Yes, you got us… and now I’m going to have to go back and savour the paragraph about me again. I’m such a narcissist.

    As for time, well, you have a lot more sex than I do… that takes time!

  6. cinnamon gurl May 23, 2008 at 7:47 am #

    Oh poo. That was me. And I meant to put a winky, happy face on it… πŸ˜‰

  7. Bon May 23, 2008 at 8:16 am #

    and one more, that perfect bright blue-purple that is commanding and electric and gorgeously rich, regal and natural, something i’d like to wrap myself in.

    it felt real to me too.

  8. thordora May 23, 2008 at 8:22 am #

    oh I was worried you’d all hate me for this-I’m pleased. It took me all week to work up to writing it down, but you were all so vibrant to me. Such a pleasure to be around and listen to.

  9. sweetsalty kate May 23, 2008 at 9:39 am #

    Oh, and a can of paint half-stirred, for cinnamon? I loved that.

    And I thought of you as bright purple, too.

  10. Hannah May 23, 2008 at 9:51 am #

    Oh my oh my, I am also a narcissist I guess, because I read this over and over again. Words fail me. And as you know now, I’m not often speechless. πŸ˜‰

    Thank you for this. It feels like a wonderful gift.

  11. Mogo May 23, 2008 at 10:03 am #

    “As for time, well, you have a lot more sex than I do…”

    THIS is a flat-out lie πŸ˜›

  12. thordora May 23, 2008 at 10:29 am #

    well, NOW it might be closer to the truth.

  13. Mad May 23, 2008 at 11:16 am #

    Hey, none of us know how much sex Sin has so, really, it’s all relative. Names can be deceiving. To wit, I am neither crazy nor angry most of the time.

  14. Mogo May 23, 2008 at 12:25 pm #

    I meant it more in the sense of “thor can’t possibly be having MORE sex than anyone else”… because, well, she isn’t πŸ˜›

  15. thordora May 23, 2008 at 12:26 pm #

    and who’s fault is THAT dear?

  16. bubandpie May 23, 2008 at 1:03 pm #

    Okay I thought this post was awesome and then I read the comments and it got even better.

    But “a place for everything and everything in its place”? Urgh – you caught me! It’s so true. And red and yellow – my favourite colours. (Oh wait – did you know that already?)

  17. Mogo May 23, 2008 at 1:38 pm #

    yours, dear. “I’m tiiiiired”.

    wwwhhhhhaaaaaaahhhhhhh 😦


  18. thordora May 23, 2008 at 2:44 pm #

    yours “I’m on the computer” wahhh!

  19. bipolarlawyercook May 25, 2008 at 5:37 pm #

    So nice. Some of these ladies I’ve “met,” but I am looking forward to checking out the rest.

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