Step 12: Looking for new definitions in the right places


artwork by Lisa Congdon

There are days when my feet are swept out from under me – times I come face to face with my own torn insides. It isn’t a pretty affair.  This morning — I unexpectedly tripped into a difficult place – one small moment can turn the day on a dime.  I am blithely bouncing around the internet, when “wham” – a cuff upside my head which shakes the figurative sense right out of it.  Regardless of the trigger it is usually something related to my flawed sense of beauty and my perceived lacking of it.  An age old battle between my “self” and my “image.”  It is always a measure of my own “goggles.” But, honestly, I don’t want to get into my warped brokenness, it really doesn’t deserve the light of day.  Suffices to say,  I ached.

But as I sat picking myself to pieces, I bounced around the internet a little more.  I found myself reading lovely, beautiful words … mostly those of the lovely poet Mary Oliver. Words rich with passion, perspective, personhood.  My own thoughts eventually seemed to wander off, their smallness up and fell into the carpet. Dust under my feet. Forgotten.

Beauty isn’t what I think it is — especially not when I apply the word to myself.  My definition needs to change – I think Ms. Oliver has some words I can add to a new one.


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