Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Operation Umbrella

I woke up this morning
to discover that
I had been living my life
under an umbrella
I was handed
years ago by
clergy, patriarchy and society
an umbrella that
limited my view of the world,
shielding me
from the sky and the sun,
sheltering me from
fresh air, free thinking,
free movement,
and my assimilation
with others
(and, ultimately, myself)
an umbrella that
I had been holding
above my head
with my right hand
for thirty-some years
an umbrella
I held because
someone handed it
to me
under the guise of
"instruction" and
"protection" and
"tradition."
That's what
you do when
someone hands you
something, right?
You hold it?

It wasn't until I
noticed the feet
of someone else
moving in a different direction
a different pattern
than me
that I dared
to peak outside
of the confines
of my covering to see
how that person
was able to move
so freely,
so functionally.
The umbrella
got in the way of
my view of that person
and it was then
that I noticed
the pole in my face
the handle
that had become
such a part of me
that I did not see
it
apart
from myself.

It wasn't until I
became aware
of the umbrella
that I realized
that I was actually
holding something;
that my view had been
almost entirely obstructed;
that I had the use of
only one arm
and one hand;
that there's a reason
I had felt so
tired and frustrated
and limited
along the way;
that I finally lowered
my arm, released
the umbrella,
and threw my head back
to an open sky
and the smell
of possibility.

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