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

 

How to Keep Wannabe Autocrats from Walling Your Weird (in 5 not-so-easy steps)

“We’re all a little weird. And life is a little weird. And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall into mutually satisfying weirdness—and call it love—true love” [for life, for self, for those we share our weird with]. ~ Robert Fulghum (and moi)
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1. Resist common ideality.

2. If the fist of orthodoxy threatens to meek your Nature given wild, scream, “I love strange!” and dance for a spell.

3. If anyone suggests your differences make you less, remember that normal is a con (more apparent than real).

4. Worship critical thinking, and sense.

5. Trust your strange.

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the blackout poem bits behind the how-to


for Hedgewitch’s Friday 55.