Friday, July 23, 2010

Talking Heads Spoke to Me

Sometimes people, lots of people, draw themselves into little boxes. I am guilty of this. There was a time when I found myself wedged into a tiny nook from which escape or attempts at trying to be my real self was uncomfortable, like a new baby being birthed into the world and screaming to go backward. I was listening to a Talking Heads song today, Seen and Not Seen, that perfectly explains the process. One day we look in the mirror and it's not our face we see. Something along the way began to veer and, for me, I paid very little attention. When I finally glanced back up, it wasn't my face or clothing or eyes or anyone or thing I recognized. I peered at myself and felt like breaking out, arms and legs splaying wildly, pushing away from the safe cocoon which enveloped me. And people helped me to stay in my cocoon because it made them more comfortable too. My skiddish head dodged out of dark corners and one white spidery leg would try to poke out into the light, rapidly recede when others took notice, poke out again and make timid awkward first steps toward truth. I remember feeling like I couldn't be anyone else but the avatar I had created; grungy, pent up, angry, trying to keep people out and alone to the point of splitting in two. I was my own prisoner, diligently stacking brick and mortar up around myself. I'm not sure what changed, but I must have taken a shortcut back to freedom and let myself go.