when i was new

 

marionette girl

when i was new

 

you would want to read me

to watch and investigate   

to play with me.

 

i was shiny, then:  

fresh-out-of-the-box

and sweet-smelling

like that slightly perfumey plastic

the kind that signaled something good

when we were young

and didn’t know the difference.  

 

(i used to think that the plastic bottoms of my

cheap chinatown shoes

were chocolate and try to eat them)

 

now you put me away again

you’ll share a little bit but you don’t really want

to give your toys away.

 

no.

 

so i’m shoved back up in the closet,  

stuck collecting dust

an empty glass-eyed stare 

waiting to be pulled back down

at your leisure.

 

you almost forget—

but suddenly i

light up your eyes again.

and it’s

almost as exciting as

the first time

you held me like that

your skilled grip a perfect balance of

firm and gentle

bending my small pieces around

guiding my limbs with such skill and grace:

i fold, hang and glide,

a marionette surrendered deeply in a dance

of pleasure.

 

for a moment you are captivated

watching as

we move in synch.  

 

then i’m away again.

each time you tug my box down from the shelf

i’m a little more used up

and you are a little less thrilled.

with each reach i’m closer to shelf life,

 you’re a little more bored.

 

(mommy! I want a new one.

this one doesn’t work anymore.)

 

i work, though—

i work better than before.

you’ve warmly worn me into

shape.

 

but you can’t see it.

you are blinded  

by the shimmery show

of new distractions

 

(mommy! i need a new toy to bring to class.  

show and tell is tomorrow!)

 

the thing that you bring out

to tell stories of—

that has to be pretty.

 

it has to always be better than

the last.

 

this could never stay enough.

 

 

{Image: Send me adrift at Flickr}

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Daily Post: Toot your sensitive horn

Most of us are excellent at being self-deprecating, and are not so good at the opposite. Tell us your favorite thing about yourself.

Hee hee, I said ‘toot’.  My silly side is one thing I like about myself, but enough of the immaturity.  Here is some serious stuff.

One thing that has always been difficult, that I’ve always not liked about myself, is that I’m sensitive, really sensitive, probably in the HSP category of sensitive.  Like in the way people have called me: crazy, neurotic, emotional, intense, unstable, reactive, overly analytical, etc etc.

I am a Cancer, which is a notoriously sensitive and emotional sign.
I am a Cancer, which is a notoriously sensitive and emotional sign.

I never knew how to handle this before, and sometimes it came across as a negative trait.

So I figured it was a negative trait too.

I’ve also often overcompensated by appearing so cool and calm and collected.  Then it surprises people when they realize how sensitive I actually am, so they probably feel deceived, or uncomfortable, or turned off when they discover this – and I don’t blame them, in a way.

So I’m trying to not hide it anymore, to just put it on the table, up front, in the best way possible, and also to just manage it better socially.  For instance, by setting healthier boundaries, forming close relationships with those that can truly honor this side of me, and by consciously caring less about peoples opinions about me.

I’m practicing embracing it and using it as a tool for (com) passion, and for (for instance) positive and constructive reflecting. Writing (here) is one of my tools.

So, I’m growing into it, and I’m loving myself more as I do!  I’m learning that it’s not a bad trait…I just didn’t understand how to manage it before: it seemed to have a mind of it’s own, rearing it’s ugly head when least expected, sometimes in unflattering ways.

I’m not going to be sorry about it anymore.  I’m going to accept it, work with it, and apply it in only the best ways.  I’m going to develop a career that uses it (writing, teaching) and really try to look outside my head so that I may use that energy compassionately instead of bottling it up.

I’ve recently realized that I relate to other sensitive types very well.  We make fantastic mediators and mediums.  We can be wonderful friends and have a keen intuition about others.  We have the ability to ‘sense’ things that some others can’t.

So from now on, instead of going ‘ugh, I’m so sensitive, it causes so many problems,’  I’m going to say ‘wow, I’m so sensitive, it’s such an amazing gift.  How can I use this to better myself and others?’

NOTE: I don’t even know how ‘valid’ the HSP concept is (I’m no psychiatrist).  I think that everyone is sensitive to some extent, and we all could all use an assessment of how we can learn to be more so (eg: empathetic) to others, or to work with our sensitivity to use it in meaningful ways.

Moments of clarity

This morning a coworker commented on how I ‘look glazed over’. Throughout my life I’ve heard similar things from people: “you look…” (tired, glazed, spacey). I think that they sometimes assume that I’m daydreaming, slacking, not paying attention or uninterested.

When this happens, I worry that I appear unintelligent, and I feel underestimated (especially at work), because in reality there is always ALOT going on in my brain! I am often paying attention to multiple (complex) groups of ideas while also being very aware of my external environment. I really want to tell this to people to try to ‘alert’ me of things that I know are coming (yes, mom, I am actually getting out of the way of that wheelchair even though I’m not actually looking that way!).

Instead of taking personal offence to these observations, I’ve decided to use them constructively.

What does it say about how people percieve me? When am I actually not clear? Can I ‘fake it till I make it’ to get more focussed? How can I work towards a lifestyle that truly brings me more day-to-day clarity?

One conclusion that I have come to is that I need more opportunities to express and act on the really great ideas, while creating the space to let go of the negative-analytical thought patterns.

After having realized this, I decided to make a list of moments when my mind has felt clear lately:

1. When I’m at the pool. Going swimming (hottub, sauna) absolutely clears my head, whether I’m by myself or not.

2. During a long walk in a natural setting.

3. While taking photos. The photo at the top of this post was taken during a long morning walk by the ocean. Just looking at it and remembering how I felt at that moment brings me a sense of peace. I just love the way the water looks.

4. When I’m writing, editing, proofreading (etc). Writing this post is absolutely uncluttering my brain!

5. At work: when I’m more social or involved in teamwork.

6. When people ask me for help and I’m able to offer an absolute yes.

What things don’t bring me clarity: envy, negative/analytical thinking, watching TV for long periods of time, surfing the internet for hours, making too many to-do lists, a messy house, fighting with my boyfriend, spending money.

Maybe being perceived as a ‘space cadette’ is not the worst thing in the world, because it’s pushing me further towards being the person that I want to be, on the inside and on the outside. It’s forcing me to bring more peace and clarity in my brain (and heart). After all, when my mind is peaceful and clear, this must show too.

Do you have a ‘moments of clarity’ list? Can you acknowledge where these moments of clarity come, whether at work, home, or play? How do you integrate more peace into your life regularly?

Thank you for reading.