My body, a canvas of skin wrapped over sinew, muscles, and cells.
Aging — I am aging.
Scars tell tales of pregnancies lost, pre-cancerous biopsies, and control over my body, of one child too many.
This canvas reveals minute details, uniquely me, constellation beauty marks, and auto immune disease injection sites.
Where once adorned perfectly braided plaits — strands of three, symbolic of me, of individuality encased by conformity and society. Now escapes
Untamed curly locks a
reflection of the lioness within.
A canvas that stretches with my growth physically and spiritually.
From field mouse to fierce; I hunt in the chaffs of wheat I once hid in.
Passion paints my lips, inspiration drips from my brow, as brush strokes redefine who I once was. I strip myself down to nakedness to express sacredness within. An open book, I am,
embracing my sexuality
that needs not explained, nor approved by the watcher outside of me. I rub paint across my breasts in defiance of uncomfortableness; a masterpiece of curvaceousness — well-fed rolls of “I am enough-ness.”
This ever-changing canvas — once pastels of reserved shyness now vibrant oranges and reds and purples of passionate purpose. Lyrically, I bare my soul with letters; artistic expression, my form of confession. And the moment society defines me, I reach for a different medium and reinvent me.
Oh the possibilities, this canvas of artistry; my gallery of existence. Brush strokes of life, of love, and of loss.
And I, this canvas on the wall, I watch o’er the years of how I am perceived. My age taken in as if it is a true reflection of me. My textured intricacies appearing only as wrinkled fruit, leftovers of nature’s buffet, picked over for riper, firmer progeny. The emotion of my art overlooked as I become Mona Lisa’s mother, moved to the backroom to be replaced by an air-brushed version of Instagram worthy superficiality — where all is not what it seems.
From despair’s grave I dig myself dark until there is nothing left but to reconstruct what desires to be set free. This reckoning wrecked me until I realized I was not everyone else’s thoughts of me.
Behind the curtain, I pour a can of white paint over my body, baptizing myself from old projections of worth, cleansing my soul from archaic definitions.
I am becoming fully me, finally understanding the wisdom experience brings.
Removing myself from behind the veil to be displayed for the timeless work of art that I am; depth that exists beyond colors, reborn again and again.
Birthmarks shaped like hearts worn on sleeves — this canvas of ever-changing me. Soft rolls of subtleties, small-breasted femininity, now strengthen my identity, as I embrace all the colors that embody me. My body, proudly portraying the work of art I was born to be, wrinkles reminding me that
I have lived and loved and lost and loved and lost and loved again.
May we paint ourselves in compassionate energy that looks beyond what the world tells us to see and love unconditionally, watering our brushes with rebirth and empathy, painting new beginnings towards victory with undertones of fragility; allowing ourselves permission to be —
To Be, fully free,
in an ever state of becoming
in this age-defining society
that longs to break free.