By Lyrically Mute:
I bet it does not begin with sex. Perhaps, it doesn’t even end with it.
It begins with wonder.
I wonder if everything you think you are, is because that is who you are allowed to be.
I want to wonder if it begins with a pop of purple on a pink lunch box that a boy of four wants to carry to school, or a girl who likes climbing trees and receiving a cricket set for her 9th birthday, but I won’t. They may be stray stereotypes.
What I will wonder about is how I felt, each time I tried to be, but got told to be different, so that I am precisely, not different at all. Those were terrible times.
Terrible times indeed. One summer day, I had my seven year old legs in a pair of bright orange bermudas and my khaddi-pailvan arms in a white t-shirt. My feet were determined to climb the slipper-slope of the slide all the way to the top, because those were the adventures of seven year old feet back then. So, I was climbing climbing climbing and a friend of mine decided to push someone waiting to slide down before I reached the top (to give me a hug mid-way or summat.)
So, an eight year old bottom slid down the slide and a pair of sever year old feet flew up in the air. Relatively recent permanent teeth kissed the slippery slop of the slide, but the slide punched ‘em in return.
One tooth was permanently chipped. One parent decided to have it cosmetically rectified. One dentist couldn’t tell the difference between yellow and cream. One toothy smiley became, forever and ever (no, not really) zipped close because more than one person decided to chant a catchy taunt.
Have you ever trimmed bits of yourself, painfully, sometimes, with a pair of blunt opinions, to just be the size that doesn’t get noticed for being something other than what people are used to seeing?
One mildly discolored and oddly shaped tooth. That’s all it takes sometimes to shrink the smile of child.
Cranky, annoyed, aggressive, violent adults were perhaps children who’s toothy smiles shrank because of his words, her actions, their opinions, and sometimes, your very presence.
And then there are adults who aren’t cranky, annoyed, aggressive, or violent but who are the eighth, ninth, tenth, forty second color of the rainbow. And we all want our skies streaked with rainbows every now and then, no?
Life is rich because of the people you have in it. And richer still when they are able to draw in your life with a color you’ve never seen before.
Maybe we should, like Vashishta says, just be responsible for the growth of the person, the way the sky is responsible for the growth of a tree.
If there is one ‘order in nature’ that I have recognized, it is to celebrate life in all it’s ridiculously rich diversity, and perhaps we are never more ‘against the order of nature’ than when we are trying to dull this richness by asking everyone to be the same.