Five Star's 308th Great Blog Roundup Is Brought to You By Jacqueline Woodson
This week's Five Star great blog roundup is brought to you by the hard work of being human while writing, Tamir Rice, true beauty rituals, perfection in acceptance and love, acknowledging what one did for the great thing it was, the things she keeps, what you see and what you don't, love and loss, the labels we use and what they mean for those we label, and Jacqueline Woodson:
Here is where I am with writing at the moment: it feels like I am trying to soak the last bits of moisture in a well up with a disintegrating washcloth. Where once putting down the words was like bailing myself out of the rising groundwater, now it’s all reaching and struggle and hard work.
The first thing I am pocketing is your name. Tamir, like something uttered in prayer. We will all be saying it so much in the days to come, it will sound like a chorus of hushes in a holy place, a sacrifice, not of praise but of sorrow. I am drawing it close to me now, listening to the sound of it on my lips first, before all our commentary turns you into a cause, foreign and distant.
because i'm your elderly abuelita i use pond's cold cream and moisturizer pretty much every goddamned morning in the winter, because they make your skin feel like gorgeous fried chicken… trust me: after you fight through the congested commuter train out into the throng of hot dads in their biker shorts and clicky shoes blocking the condiment island at starbucks before finally stumbling ten minutes late into work your skin will be the goddamned wave.
I often feel embarrassed in situations like this, embarrassed by our messiness, by my seeming inattention, by their volume and enthusiasm.
Embarrassed, to some degree, by their joy and their complete indifference to certain social norms.
And so, in some ways, also proud.
All of the pictures of myself I really love obscure my body. Or I crop my body out. Because, see, there are times when I don’t hate my face. When I’m wearing makeup and the lighting is good and I’m impeccably Instagram-filtered, I can feel like 65% of the way to pretty. I’m even willing to go down as far as mid-torso if I’m wearing a particularly flattering top. But full-body, no makeup, messy hair? No. No. Nope.
…for various reasons, I hang on to a few key items that both remind me of a painful time in my life and offer me a portal into the future. Not the flux capacitor kind. Just the “hey, I’m okay with the choices I’ve made so I’m moving forward despite not having a DeLorean” kind.
I don’t share all of this with you to make you feel bad. I share it because I want you to know me. The real me. If my posting a photo of the result of years of dedication on the floor of my living room provokes a “she’s such a bitch for having that body” response, then we have not been communicating enough.
It wasn’t a war or a fight. Those things have rules. This was more like Aaron getting in the ring with the Mohammed Ali of cancers, and smiling for round after round after he got his teeth knocked out and his face rearranged.
I hate the terms/labels "low functioning" and "high functioning" because they don't tell me anything about the WHOLE child, and I'm ALL about looking at the child as a whole person.
And because you are a fan of finding good, new writing on the internet: