Badges of Defiance (and beauty)

I strolled into the pharmacy, removed my jacket, rolled it into a bundle, and tried to stick it in my shoulder bag… without success. “I might have to get a cart to haul my jacket around”, I said to the nurse who had accompanied me to pick up my meds.

“You don’t wear your coat indoors as much as you used to,” she said. “Are the hot flashes that bad?”

I opened my mouth to say yes, but frowned… and said, “No, not really. Not now. The chills and hot flashes get nasty at night, but I feel quite cool right now.” I peeled off my knitted cap, letting my sexy scalp and a bright grin reinforce my sense of coolness.

“Weird,” she said.

I nodded, agreeing with her ‘weird’ assessment. I mean, I’ve always hated to carry my jacket around… I’ve been known to keep the damn thing on even if I’m boiling in it.

But…

…some time later, while walking home from the hospital, jacket shoved in my bag (persistence or raw stubbornness pays off), I reexamined the exchange… and realized that my newly found determination not to wear my jacket (unless I must) is not weird at all: I enjoy showing off my one-breasted glory. I feel incredibly strong (and slightly superior *cough*) walking around with a symbol that roars: I am not only kicking breast cancer’s ass, but I am looking freaking amazing while doing it!

I just roared with pride-rich laughter, while typing the last sentence. Because to me, scars prove that when life kicked me in the (insert sensitive area here), I didn’t just kick back, but I kicked… and got up with learned lessons on my skin. And that, my Wicked Luvs, is wild magic that makes my beautiful (and modest) flesh stunning.

That understanding about my Self is what makes me appreciate the wisdom and love in Fleur Delacour’s reaction, after someone suggests that her fiancé’s new scars might make her reject him: “What do I care how ’e looks? I am good-looking enough for both of us, I theenk! All these scars show is zat my husband is brave!”

That understanding about my own value is what makes me want to chant the last few lines of Rommy’s “Signature of a Scar” into the heart and skin of the world:

That understanding of how I wish, I wish, I wish… everyone could feel about their own Selves is what inspired this year’s Beautiful Freaks Fest’s theme: Scars, Scars, Scars… Such Terrible Beauty!

Show off your stunning terrible with me: Let’s create art (short tales, dolls, poems, sculptures, paintings, spells, jewelry… anything you can think of) that celebrates the magic of embracing the scars life has marked our skins and minds with and turn all that hurt into an artful armor of terrible beauty.

click the banner for details

 

Out of Nature’s Bones

I was rambling about my hate-hate relationship with winter, when a lady said, “I know what you mean. These damn months always remind me of getting ugly and dying.” The comment caught me by surprise. Not only because the lady had no idea what I meant (I just hate cold weather), but because I have never equated getting old with ugliness. Beauty changes with time, that’s true… but time doesn’t kill beauty. Only people do that.

Anyhoo, here is a haiku trio that embraces beauty that comes with time:

after the first spring,
new miracles do flourish
out of Nature’s bones

the sun shines
in the fallen leaves
of New York

time-caressed blossoms
evolve under winter’s kiss,
showing new beauty

.
for Poets United.

She Runs Twisted

Sherry Blue Sky, over at the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, invited us to Play It Again. I can’t say no to Sherry, so I said yes, and chose to Take It to the Streets. While I was at it, I said yes to Prompt Nights, too. I agree, Sanaa, Imperfection is Beauty(full)… with extra character. And because I’m feeling quite wild, I’m also linking it to Poets United (Poetry Pantry, 303).
.

“She Runs Twisted”

She runs twisted, from life to death,
the asphalt of her skin potholed with stories
of living, dying, and reckless loving.

She likes it slow in storms and at night,
fast when the sun’s a kiss away from setting,
with music roaring all her hollows full,

at any time, with wheels speeding caresses
over the surface of her heat. She loves it
when rain whittles poems into her middle,

leaving her beauty-marked with life,
marking her beautifully towards dying,
loving her marks with tales of living.

She runs twisted in life, in death, in love.

.
Abstract Nude, by Aja
abstract nude, by Aja
see more of her work on Sagittarius Gallery

*I deleted the first image I shared with the poem…
It did not feel quite right.
You can here it here, if you like.*