Preening

Shug: More than anything God loves admiration.
Celie: You saying God is vain?
Shug: No, not vain, just wanting to share a good thing. I think it pisses God off when you walk by the color purple in a field and don’t notice it.
Celie: You saying it just wanna be loved like it say in the bible?
Shug: Yeah, Celie. Everything wanna be loved. Us sing and dance, and holla just wanting to be loved. Look at them trees. Notice how the trees do everything people do to get attention… except walk? Oh, yeah, this field feels like singing!

The Color Purple

Admiration.  Acknowledgement. Attention.  Recognition.  Appreciation.  More than anything… I want to be seen.   What real other proof do I have that I’m here if not for the testimony of those around me?  How do I know that all of this isn’t just a construct of my own mind?  That I haven’t been bestowed with the most colorful imagination and everything around me is dreamscape?  How many watercolored glories or fire filled nightmares have I “woken” up from just to find that I’d made it all up in my head.  I feel like sometimes it’s not long before I do this here too.  Which in some ways might be a vast relief (depending on what I wake up to).   And in a most significant way – a massive disappointment.  If I woke up and my Theeny wasn’t here.   She is the only one who consistently sees me.    Looks right at me.  Connects with me and says exactly what’s on her heart.  Asks the questions that she needs answers to and requests all that she needs in that moment.  She’s my evidence that I’m actually here.  I think.

In every other arena… I am waving a giant reflective orange flag that says “can you see me?”  Am I really here to you?  I’ll try the varied senses if I can.  Take months to source out and pick a fragrance that I think might get noticed.  Shop (for me who’s not a shopper) non-stop for things that might make someone say “Ah… that’s nice” or “Pretty color”.   Fill my mind with intelligent trivia so that maybe someone might say “okay… she’s smart” or “she knows what she’s doing”.  Do everything but string glowing lights around my entire person and go river dancing down Park Avenue.   Just for someone to glance over and say… “well, that’s unusual…” – but in saying it – acknowledge that I’m here.

Why is it so important?  I’m so afraid to be forgotten.  Clearly a topic for exploration down the line.  It’s not everyone’s fear – but it shakes me to the core to think that 2 weeks after i’m gone, no one will think about who I was ever again.   What does it matter?   If all our works here are temporary anyway?  And I’m disappearing faster than ever.

I just want to be loved.   To be missed.   To be wanted and desired.  To be included. To feel important.  Essential.  Irreplaceable.  Incomparable.

Might be too great an ask.

Might be that I’m asking the wrong people.

 

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