In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “A Mystery Wrapped in an Enigma.”
Some of the events from my past have been buried deep and seldom surface. I could count on the fingers of one hand the people that are familiar with this excerpt from my early days.
“That which you resist persists”, has been a basic truth in my experience, and my great desire to share who I am (another way of saying to be me) has been buried under what once was debilitating shyness. Born of extreme self consciousness, it has been a struggle to find comfort in being seen. I recall early school days when my teacher would just look at me and I would feel the immediate heat rising under my skin and knew that my face was tuning an uncontrollable red which in turn resulted in more inner devastation. Such embarrassments were frequent and painful. I had come to fear my own responses, and was convinced I was transparent enough for all to see the many eruptions that were non stop occurring in my juevenile body. Surviving this sensitive nervous system became a practice of hiding behind blanket smiles, deflecting comments and much time spent in quiet while observing the inner and outer landscapes. Sharing this tumultuous world with others was impossible as I myself understood it not.
It is said that we may not get what we want, but we get what we need. I have been surprised many times by the creative forces that were involved in the conjuring of events in my unfolding years.
It was Friday afternoon in May of 1966. I had just removed the key from the lock in our apartment door, heard the steady ring of our telephone and ran to answer it. An unfamiliar voice asked for me by name. I replied with a sense of trepidation…who was this stranger calling for me. He introduced himself and proceeded to inform me that I had been selected as one of ten finalists for the first “Miss Teenage Montreal” contest. Unbeknownst to me, my mother had entered my photo in to this contest on a lark. Surprised and alarmed, I answered politely as he gave me instructions for the upcoming televised pageant that I was to be part of. My mother was very excited over this new development and offered to take me shopping to purchase a new dress for the occasion.
Saturday had arrived, it had been a week since the surprising phone call. Contestants were arriving at the television studio. My nerves were on edge and I had a sense that I was no more in my body, but hovered somewhere in the vicinity. I do not remember the particulars of the half hour that followed, but I recall the naming of the runner ups, then…….”.And the winner is” ……I heard the L sound, beside me stood a young girl who’s piercingly blue eyes were enhanced by the draping soft folds of pitch black hair that fell around her shoulders. Her name was Lois: I turned to face her and already began my applause when suddenly I heard my name. How could this be possible ? The surprise was recorded as the realization set in.
This began the breakdown of an extreme fear. No matter how well I tried to hide….I was in the world, I was present and I was visible.
In the rehashing of years that have come to pass, I learned that the habit of moving quickly from one thing to the next and the next and the next was also a tool for dodging the call to stand present and vulnerable to one’s own truth.
I understand now that this introduction to life has been a precursor to a path that only I could walk, to find my way, to befriend my differences and to embrace this journey on the way to “Know Thyself”. This spark with in us all that has come to give and take, to love and be loved will find it’s way to the surface with the aid and assistance of that which creates all things.
Here in lies a little peak at the workings of one of those sparks.