Monday, July 1, 2013


The sun drags golden fingers across the sky, chasing the dregs of night away.  Green eyes meet their twin in the silver framed reflection, careless and distracted with the mental list accumulating even as the coffee brews.  Pushing my hair back, icy water sluices across my cheeks, dripping down my neck to shimmer on the ridges and valleys of my clavicle.
Stare to stare…no make-up, no pretense….strange this person I am more intimate with than any other.  I’m not entirely certain she likes me at times.  Bare feet slap on cool floors, the vacuum smack of the fridge as heavy cream paints whirls of beige into the mahogany elixer that whispers my name. 
I face her again, reaching for pencil and powder, rouge and the glide of lip stain.  And I pause. 
There was a day, years and years ago…a photographer young and eager, wishing to please as well as to sell.  “Do you want me to hide them?” she asked, snapping her gum as she tilted her head.  “Hide what?”  


“Those…”  She pointed.  And to a mirror I turned.  Like my mother's, they are.  (a face beloved, memorized, cherished)  One on the side of my nose, the other nearly hidden in the curve beneath my lower lip...

A blemish of no color, a flesh toned mole.  Soft mounds that lay quietly, announcing that I wasn’t made in a mold.  Wasn’t carved for display.  Noticed when one is within the realm of intimacy…or digital photography.  I’ve spent years coming to terms with their firm hold upon my profile.  Was advised to knife them off in highschool, teased by family and schoolmates.  Witches have such I've been told.
Strange the journey from insecurity and craving elusive perfection through the acceptance of the immutable to embracing the unique.  I fear much of this journey I have mapped out in my mind, highlighting the path and pledging my heart to following it….however, it’s possible I may be a bit stuck in that middle area.  What we see in the mirror is as slanted as a funhouse; the shortcomings exaggerated, defects looming larger than life, voices from the past echoing long beyond their deserved graves. 
I know each of us carry our ghosts.  We size up and compare, lining up imperfections and insults, rating them on some personal scale as if in classifying them on the lower end, they might be diminished.  The immensity of a history is only known by the self.  For, try as we might to communicate such an experience, there was only one soul that lived your particular story.  One heart that laughed and bled that night when the stars seemed brighter than the sun…
The world can be cruel.  Perfection is a lost cause, I’ve learned…joyfully so.  (well, with the exception of a good hollandaise sauce or an orgasm)  Parenthood is a bog of quicksand and contemplation; relationships a braid of sacrifice, laughter, and forgiveness; and self love an exercise in repetition and listening.
I am good.  I am unique.

 I am enough.   


mobiuslife said...

You know, whenever I do a photo session I ask similar questions about moles, blemishes, etc.. Some people are emphatic about leaving them and others equally so about removing them. It all depends on the person and their personal relationship with that part of their body. Everyone is flawed - some are visibly so, and some are not - but isn't that what makes us unique? Isn't that what makes us stand out from the masses?

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I love your outlook. I try not to look too close at the image in the mirror. But I also don't feel like I need to compete with my appearance with anyone else.

Robbie Grey said...

Perfection is boring. It is our quirks and flaws that make us interesting. Revel in your uniqueness.

Brian Miller said...

you are enough. it is a message we all need to hear....its something i was just writing about...or have been for days after an interaction with my son...our flaw make us unique...and beautiful...i'll keep my scars and my dang big nose...smiles...and no cream in my coffee please....smiles.

Anonymous said...

I heard someone use the term gratuitous cruelty the other day. Uhm, when isn't cruelty gratuitous?

You are more than enough. Ask your grandmother ;).~Mary

Chantel said...

Gregory--so well put! It's amazing, the power of a focus, or not.

Susan--the day we realize life isn't a competition is a wonderful one, isn't it? :)

Robbie--lol! "Perfection is boring," no wonder I dig your brain.

Brian--thank you, and I couldn't agree with you more!

Mary--"gratuitous cruelty"...seriously, is there a frequent discount punch-card? What do I get if I tip? lol xo

Freckled Philologist said...

News to me - I've always considered you ravishing!

Dee said...

Dear Chantel, yes and more than enough. Peace.

Marita Abraham said...

Chantel. Thanks again for this inspiring post.

ND Mitchell said...

And enough is always enough! Always love reading psalm 139. You are "fearfully and wonderfully made" :-)

Chantel said...

Mary--you are the sweetest thing ever. xo

Dee--thank you. :)

Marita--thank you for coming by!

David--it is beautiful--though there are moments my "fearfully" is greater than my "wonderfully," you know? lol

Mel Heth said...

It is so refreshing to read a post like this when everywhere you look, everyone is going under the knife or the laser or the syringe to become "perfect." I've long joked that I'm a Picasso, with my off-center teeth, crooked nose, and cock-eyed ears. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

You are beautiful, my friend.