There are times in all our lives each of us wonder, what does the world see when they see me. When I look in the mirror, I see all of my flaws, real and perceived I count them off one by one. Staring in the eyes of my harshest critic, I see each year stamped across my face telling a story I might rather forget, or wish was never written at all. So I stare, I run fingers through hair sprinkled with silver, I count the furrows across my brow, the lines surrounding my mouth and eyes; then I wonder where the time escaped to and what others see.
Does the world see my flaws in the same way I see them? Can a stranger read my pain, my triumphs, my history as if it was a roadmap written on my face, across my skin and over the angles, plains and curves of my body, or do they only see slight imperfections where I see something altogether different, something damaged, unworthy of a second glance, unlovable in the harsh light of day.
Cool wind dances across heated skin
Leaving memory of other breath
Fingers trace the water’s edge
Sending ripples across a reflection
Unrecognized in the moonlit glow
Coalesced I come together, softer
In the silence memories pull nearer
The ethereal me beckons, closer
Remember, beauty under stars
Shredded without thought, nor care
For youth, innocence or hope
Lost in a scream for mercy
Tracing the water’s edge once more
Reflection lost to harder currents
Merged again, harder and more true
In the moonlit garden of memory
Does the world see my flaws? Does the world see the scars of my history? I don’t know, some of them are obvious, they are badges of honor I can’t help but wear them on my skin every single blessed day of my life. I wish this were not the case, but it is the skin I live in the only skin I have so it is the skin I will have to walk this world in and the skin I will leave this world in. My problem? Truly, my problem is so many people over the years have left their calling card, announced their presence and left me something to remember them by; I can’t seem to step away far enough to start over again without carrying them along with me.
So, when I look in the mirror, I see my history. Some days I see myself victorious, but other days I see myself vulnerable and hurt, stupid for all the times I have laid myself open. When I look in the mirror, what I see is someone unloved and unlovable, someone who is not worthy of honest straightforward love, who must pay for any affection with something, either straightforward with my money or something else of value, including pain, because this is how it has always been.
Every single day I work toward changing my vision and work toward demanding more. But some days like today, this is what I feel.