Archive for empowerment

DARK NIGHT OF THE SOUL

Posted in musings, relationships, social commentary, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 22, 2009 by kimmy

I couldn’t help but feel a tremendous amount of empathy for him because I know exactly what he’s undergoing.  If there was an easier route, we’d take it.  However, how many of us really know where we’re headed when pain grips so tightly that all vision is temporarily halted?

Having been through it more than a few times, I know that the reward on the other side is much greater than the effort.  However, first-timers are often overwhelmed by the magnitude of the challenge.  It seems insurmountable, but that’s only an illusion concocted by the players.  If you extricate yourself before intermission, the ensemble will be short an actor and the drama suspended, causing resentment among those left onstage.  Pity we can’t send in an understudy…

Not that he would be welcomed.  A pinch-hitter is only as good as his predecessor.  It’s unlikely that he’s aped your habits well enough to fool the audience, or the blood demands of your fellow thespians.  So you must choose between your own wellbeing and that of the show.  Which will go on?

Of course the problem is that the longer the show goes on, the harder it is to leave it.  It’s like a long-running stage contract in Las Vegas or a sitcom with endless residuals.  It’s difficult to leave the steady paycheck and familiar routine.   And yet even these may not be enough for you, especially when you’re alerted to something greater beyond them.

Hence the quandry, which in essence is not conflict between others, but internal strife.  When you realize that the hot mess you’re in is of your own creation, suddenly you have no one to blame and the long watch begins.  It’s a lonely black night sitting with yourself, ruminating on all the detours you’ve taken.  You might rail against all those choices, despairing over your inability to hit the bull’s eye.  But who of us do on the first try?

You might feel ashamed that you didn’t learn sooner and had to involve so many people in your journey.  But how can you thank those who are ignorant of the role they’ve played?  Or angry and dismissive when you do?  No amount of explanation, however earnest, will convince them.  Just as you have, they must discover these subtleties on their own.

And they will… in time.  But for now you must sit quietly in the dark and wait.  The light of understanding will come, not carried on a tray by a rowdy host of friends and family, but slowly over the horizon.

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DERAILED

Posted in musings, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 9, 2009 by kimmy

Sometimes the best laid plans go awry. 

I should have known that avoidance wouldn’t work, but after some serious soulsearching, it was my only option.  Being the catalyst for radical change wasn’t the role I wished to play, so I decided to put as much distance as possible between he and I.  Maybe it only forestalled the inevitable, but I was determined that no one would suffer by my hand.

Least of all myself.  It had become a torment to be in his presence and yet not part of it. I hated being caged and forced to behave like a good moralist.  But the circumstances were beyond my control and there was no point pining for someone unattainable, so I turned away.  It didn’t matter that he sought to bind me to him by unconventional means; I could dismiss those ethereal ties and walk unfettered without him.

Or so I thought.  I tried to distract myself with friends and new acquaintance, but they only served as a reminder and that mystified me.   It was his story coming out of other mouths, his eyes gazing from other faces, his quirks demonstrated by other hands.  It was as if I was being shadowed by a thing I could neither acknowledge nor confront.

It only stiffened my resolve.  I persevered until I was nearly home free, interacting in the moment with as much raw honesty as I could muster.  I was only steps away from complete liberation when the portend of a dream brought everything to a halt.  A freight train derailed in a broadside collision with a speeding passenger train, the boxcars crashing in every direction and my sifting through the wreckage for survivors.  The only one I found was shellshocked and no longer recognized me.

I knew what it meant, but I didn’t want it to be so.  Was this my reward for acting in good faith?  It troubled me and I couldn’t go back to sleep.  He was beckoning in such a visceral way that I could no longer ignore the summons.  So I answered the call and wasn’t in the least surprised when all my carefully laid plans suddenly imploded that very afternoon.

MY INNER BURLESQUE

Posted in musings, personal, writing with tags , , , on December 2, 2008 by kimmy

I’m given my cue.  The first chords ring in the orchestra pit and the percussionist steps onto the pedal, thumping out a rhythm on the bass drum.  It sounds like angry natives rallying in the jungle.  The warning grows louder and closer with every beat until the Master of Ceremony takes the stage.  The music comes to an abrupt hush as he grabs the microphone.

“And now, the Kit Kat Klub is proud to present the one, the only … Rita LaRue!”

I check my wig, fluff the marabou feather boa draped around my shoulders and step into the spotlight.  It blinds me to the audience; only smoke and the clink of glass alert me to their presence.  A fortunate thing, really, because this is my first time on stage . . . as my tarted-up alter ego.

The music resumes, drowning out the applause.  I strike an elegant pose near a Doric column made of cardboard and let the boa slide down my arm.  It coils onto the floor and I step over it, extending a long leg from the slit of my silver lamé gown. Keeping in time with the sultriness of the melody, I close my eyes and glide over the floor just as I have done a thousand times before in the safety of my living room. 

I can hear the catcalls and whistles, but their faces are shrouded in the dark.  If I can’t see them, then they don’t really exist.  They can’t see me tease them, dropping one item after another to the floor.  There’s no one to catch the glove sent flying into the dark or to appreciate the sway of my hips.  It’s only me, sweating under the lights, lost in the imagery that the music conjures.

As the song draws to a close, I’m left with only a merry widow and a pair of stilettos.  Shall I unlace the ties and let it fall, or leave the blackness clamoring for more?

WANTON WOMEN OF THE WORLD UNITE

Posted in musings, social commentary, writing with tags , , , on June 13, 2008 by kimmy

 

 

Today, my girlfriends and I were discussing the new craze in Muslim Europe which the bloggers over at the New York Times just can’t get enough of:  hymenoplasty.  Apparently, surgical reconstruction of this superfluous flap o’ skin has become a lucrative business for those surgeons willing to abet women desperate to recapture their virginity. 

Obvious jokes aside, one has to wonder about the lengths a gal will go to cover her tracks.  You really can’t replace the lid once the box has been opened, but there are plenty of women lining up to do just that.  What with prospective grooms’ families demanding ‘certificates of virginity’  before they agree to marriage, who wants to be outted as a slut? 

But the procedure begs the real question.  Why is female sexuality still considered the blight of mankind?  No matter how many strides forward we take, there are just as many black-garbed priests, imams, nay-sayers, bible thumpers, fingerpointers and blamelayers pulling us backward into shame and guilt.  “Know your place, worms!”, they tell us,  “Keep your legs closed because your pussy belongs to your husband, father, community, family, tribe, social group, ethnic division, caste, etc…”   Invariably, the authority cited is always some dread god who despises women and takes pleasure in their humiliation.   The power latent in a woman’s free sexual expression must be great indeed if it merits the intervention of a god to control it! 

And if it’s truly that powerful, the feeble actions by men are certainly no threat.  Why then do we cower and seek to lie about our behavior?  We have become brainwashed; we don’t question authority and we believe the lies told about us. If we refuse to recognize the authority, or at least refute the interpretation of same, we’re no longer conspiring against ourselves. 

There is nothing morally wrong with female sexuality; there is, however, something terribly wrong with judgment and  accountability.  Blaming women for the world’s ills does not excuse one from personal accountability; it’s only a temporary reprieve.  Eventually, even the most self-righteous will have to answer for themselves.