Powerful, unforgiving–my soul as a work of art

I am a woman. A strong, powerful woman with a heart full of honey and a mind as strong as a steel trap. Who wants to change the world by using her fingertips on the keyboard to mold the clay of the world into a beautiful piece of pottery.  That even though the clay hurts when thrown on the wheel, it is twisted and turned into a work of art. The sad part is, that art can be misinterpreted, and so many people in this world like to take the way I look at things and twist them into the way some people look at nude drawings. Offensive. But all I want is for others to see that there is a mass full of people out there who only want to go another day without having to worry if their wings are going to be clipped, so they can no longer feel the wind on their face and the breeze in their soul. Or feel the sunshine on their back. The way sunrises and sunsets are always too short. Always a beautiful flicker that reminds us of rebirth, and of endings in whispers. So many lives are like that—powerful rays licking the earth hoping to taste the saltiness of the rocks and the mustiness of the dirt. Longing to feel anything besides the nagging sense of debt to the American dream they feel every morning when they fill their briefcase with another stack of propaganda, stomping off to work in pumps that cost more to place on their delicately manicured feet than it would relatively cost to feed an entire village or two of dying children here in own country.

And while my heart may be full of honey, I cannot make the world a sweeter place if no one is willing to get stung a little. I may watch a sea full of people, whose hearts beat to the drum of abuse and suffering in sizes my hands cannot hold, but this does not mean that my shattering in pieces that could put the sand on the ocean to shame makes me weak. I am only stronger because of it. Stronger because I vicariously have felt the pounding of a thousand nails along my heartstrings. And while I will never be like Jesus was, I can only hope that by filing my tongue every morning with an outpouring of holy words will make me understand how it feels to be uplifted.

Too many people are satisfied being the bulldozer in the city, when the graffiti is always much, much prettier. We would much rather stigmatize tagging as vandalism, instead see the beauty in the pain sprawled across walls like blood oozing from paint cans. Fall short of understanding the art that comes from the street. Girls splayed around street lights hoping their butterfly wings aren’t too crushed beneath their corsets and red lipstick. Men who know no other way to provide for their family than to peddle a little metal, just between their hips so that the world knows they mean business when they are thrown up against a wall, with nowhere to go but through the bullets.  But let me tell you, it’s so much easier to do the judging when you aren’t the one whose life is crumbling around you. So go ahead, keep the blinders on. But you are missing out on a world full of beauty. And while I see an ocean of problems we need to fix, and people who need more than a fistful of stitches, I will always try to bring roses to every sunrise, and lilies to every sunset.

I may be a woman. But that does not make me an object. Unless you count my soul as a work of art. I will only allow you objectify me if I ask

…explicitly.

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Chem(i)cal (React)ions and my plan to write a book. (part 1)

So, I’ve been planning for years to get around to writing a book. I took a creative writing fiction class a few years ago at my local college, and many people in my class said they loved my writing and hoped to be able to find my books in bookstore shelves at some point in the future. I very much enjoyed writing for that class, and developed a character I fell in love with. But I’m not sure if they were just being nice or if they really enjoyed my story.

I’m feeling risky today, and will a part of the story I wrote that will inspire the book I will write in the future. Here is installment number one.

Chem(i)cal (React)ions

I wonder what it would be like to be involved in a horrible car accident. Flames would protrude from my car, dozens of people would gather around the scene of the accident, and as the ambulance carries me away into my last living moments those passing by would send frantic prayers to the heavens, haling Mary as the tears stroll down their cheeks. Despite all of the tragedy my funeral would not be well attended because I am damaged goods, I’ve always been damaged goods, and so far nothing I’ve ever been able to accomplish, to love, or to hold has ever been anything more than that. Except her. But not even I could save her. I remember her beautiful freckled face, with long black locks that could entrance even the crankiest, senile adult. She was the sweetest child I had ever met, my whole world. And within seconds she was shattered. My world collapsed. I will never forget that moment.

All of these horrible, overwhelming memories make me need to see the stars. I climb out of the worn, brown chair that occupies the corner of Sly’s tent. I’m staying here for now, no one in town wants me anyways. I gather the little black bag that contains my syringes and spoon. I pull out my heaven in a plastic Ziploc, pour it smartly on the spoon, add a drop of water, and fllliiccckk!  my lighter sizzles and pops against the stained bottom of the spoon. I tie off my arm with my seductive leather belt, fill the syringe, flick the needle a few times and in goes heaven. It’s greater than any toe-curling orgasm I have ever felt. My heart beats faster, my pupils dilate, and I am numb. Her memories always bring the horrible shakes for a fix, the need greater than any want. Into the neck of my friend vodka I go, toppling head over heels in its intoxicating love for my body. It smooths out my rough edges, tingles down my spine, and plays games with my brain. I’m on fire.

There have been many times I have promised myself I would end this never-ending cycle, but self-medication has not let me down—yet. It’s not like I’m hurting anyone. Mamma has long been gone, Father, too. They both died thinking they were the Lord’s personal angels, sent to do His work. I never understood that.

I grew up in New York City in a small two-bedroom apartment. Mamma was an artist, but was far from a freethinker. She and father made sure everything I did was down the straight and narrow, for all eight of their children.  You would think after they ran out of beds at night their selfish need to procreate would end, but there was always another mouth to feed, another diaper to change, and another child to love. I was the first, therefore I was the most capable to raise my many brothers and sisters, and I always felt forgotten. My parents measured quality time by the books of the Bible and affection by the type of spanking I received. There was never any praise; love was a four-letter word never spoken, even in the darkest nights.

I tried to follow my the wisdom of my parents, listen to their strong words of advice, but when I saw the way they treated each other, complete hypocrites to the word of the Lord they promised to follow, I decided their religion was nothing but a heap of garbage, it meant nothing to me. After all, their religion was the reason I hurt so much, the reason my heart had more holes than a sieve, but they didn’t bother to care. It was Mamma’s duty to bear the children, Father’s to make the money being the best preacher he could be, and ours to take care of us. Picasso would’ve wept at some of Mamma’s delightful paintings, when she felt well enough to bring the brush out and smudge it against the canvas just until the world came to life upon it. That’s the only thing I could love her for.

When I turned sixteen there was an incident. I was on my way home from the small Christian high school my parents forced me to attend (they said it was a privilege). I had turned the corner near the house when I saw our weekly grocer approach me from the shadows. He told me that he had something to show me and lead me to the alley, his grip so strong my little frame could barely resist. His dirty fingers were all over me, in places I had never dared to touch, rough all over. Before I could scream loud enough to be heard over the traffic of the busy street he was in me on me all over me. Tears welled in my eyes. I couldn’t breathe. He was suffocating in his stench, his blue eyes darker than the storm clouds raging overhead. When he was done he zipped his pants and walked off, his trophy lying on the ground a battered girl of sixteen. I ran home afraid to look at anyone, afraid to be.  I thought about telling Mamma, but what would she say, what would she care? I was a nuisance to her anyways, my presence in every room nothing but a shadow, lurking in the corner.

A few months later my body started showing signs. There was no was no hiding it anymore, I was pregnant.  I had prayed that the fucker who he raped me was shooting blanks. I guess I was wrong. Father would have nothing of me keeping it, and living in his house; there was no explaining my way out of this mess. They didn’t believe me when I told them I was raped; they did not care when I told them I was not whole anymore. Instead, they kicked me out with not a single place to go. I left an outcast in my own home.

I spent a long, long while looking for someone to take me in, praying someone would love me more than those who should have did. I travelled towards the Midwest, hoping the peaceful farms would lull my broken spirit and make it whole again. One day, in Omaha, Nebraska, I met Sly. He caught my interest because he was, at the time, a nomad like I. He had no family, no one to love him but me. We had plans to get married, he called my baby his. In my whole life I’ve never felt more loved, Yes, he was a little rough around the edges, but nothing my tender loving couldn’t fix. We were young in love, and I was due to expect a baby anytime soon. We moved in together and spent what little money we had on a cradle and clothing. Life, for a while, was good. Nothing we had came easy, but that just meant that we were more thankful for it, happier because of our trials.

In three months I had a little girl and we named her Autumn Lily. She was daddy’s little sweetheart, with sparkling crystal blue eyes and sandy brown hair. Her giggles constantly filled our tiny apartment with smiles, making life important for the first time. She made life worth living. All three of us, we were a family, a bond no one could break.

 

To be continued…