Thursday, March 19, 2009


March 19, 2009 shame
She stood before the mirror and stretched her neck to see above the crack in the glass. Pulled her fine toothed comb through the knots that kept returning, tug-tug-tugging until the hair either gave way or broke. Stretched her dark curly strands until they cooperated, then bound them in a black elastic band. Tight against her skull, revealing the crooked widow's peak near the center of her forehead. The comb was thick with unrepentant hair, so she pecked at it with her fingers until the black gathered in a wad in her hands, then she tossed it in the garbage. When all this was done she opened the drawer on top of the dresser and pulled out the crimson scarf her father had left for her, the one with frayed edges and permanent creases where the knot was tied day after day. She laid her shame atop her coal black hair, folded in the front, just behind the point of her widow's peak. Pressed it down against her hair and knotted it at the back of her neck. With all her wishing she wished it gone, and yet she could not imagine herself without it, this deep red scarf that covered her head. Silk, woven tightly with the sin she did not choose, with the pain she learned to swallow, with the smile she learned to paste on her face. Red, sorrowful, achingly sorrowful scarf of silken shame.

NOTE: Well, I am half way through my 40 days of Lent Word of the Day Writing. I have to say I don't always love doing this! Sometimes, actually most of the time, I just don't feel like doing it. But I made a commitment to sacrifice something for 40 days, and that something ends up being my comfort. Tonight I am sitting in this lovely old house across from the Nauvoo Temple. Kate is keeping her promise to sing to me before she leaves. I am weeping as she plays her beautiful guitar and her angel voice floats out the front door and over the Mississippi River. My writing tonight does not reflect the beauty of this day, sitting between two of my daughters in the Temple, walking where prophets walked and died, watching little grandchildren run across the greening hillside between the temple and the river. My "words" for each day are given to me from a Random Word Generator via the Internet. Shame is one of my least favorite things. It makes me sad, and mad at the same time. I think it is arrogant for people to say"shame on you", and it is sad when we say it to ourselves.
That's all I have to say tonight, since it is 1:30 am.


  1. It is 1:30 a.m. where I live, my friend. You have just written; I have just read. We were born to be friends. I love you as much as a girl could love a sister. Your words cause me to think about things I have pushed aside for a time. Feelings curled up into a ball, rolling around in my head, bouncing around in my heart, and spilling out into my own cup of memories. Thanks my friend. I love you.

  2. webster defines shame as a "negative emotion; the capacity to feel unworthy". great care and caution should be used if this word is ever to be uttered. it is a powerful word and just the thought of it brings tears.

    i miss you!

  3. cor- why dont you just write what you are feeling? are there rules that it has to be a random word everyday? maybe just the days that you dont have something that you already want to write you do a random one.i dunno.just a thought.

    for what it is worth- it has been a great 20 days for all of us readers. love you and miss you!

  4. Wow! You are keeping this up on the road...I am impressed. You have sacrificed for our joy of reading your thoughts. I wanted to ask you if you always write the first word that pops out of the generator? It looks as though you do. I often keep clicking for a new word. Some words just leave me blank. You obviously have no blank spaces in your brain.

  5. I want to hone in on what Fran said...AMEN.

    I hope she doesn't mind....I just can't seem to spill the words out. Words of gratitude and love. I SO much enjoy your writings...I fear a great depression will return in another 20 days. Emotions and memories stirred...and I'm better off for it - thanks for pouring yourself out, and allowing me to drink you in.