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.