Homeless Sun Dancer

Walking across a plaza, between big buildings.  Your typical suits with briefcases: taking late lunches and toting their laptops.

And there she is.  Frizzy, curly hair.  Worn clothes.  Worn face.  Arms flaring and pointing to the sky.  Guttural, tonal songs emitting from her mouth.

In the context of corporate America surrounding her, she appears crazy.  Insane.  Off her meds.  Imbalanced.  Lost.

And then I notice she is gesturing towards and singing to the sun.

In that moment of realization, without hesitation, I am envious of her ability to express something so raw.  So pure.  So natural.

So human.

May we all experience moments so real.
May we all do our own sun dances.


Okay.  I've been feeling the writing bug and just experienced the trifecta effect.  You know how things come in 3s?  Well sometimes, for me, these are experiences and thought patterns and once I reach three, I'm completely overwhelmed and HAVE TO WRITE.

So here we go.

Flaws are beautiful.

Vanity and perfection are relative.

I was thinking the other day about when I busted my face.  May 2006.  Almost 4 years ago.  I was leaving a Mariner's Game with my friend Annika.  We were trying to figure out which bus to take home.  I was checking the time on my phone in one pocket.  And reaching for bus fare in the other.  And then we saw our bus.  So, hands in pockets, I got a little excited and my toe caught on the pavement.

The next thing I knew, I was face down on the concrete.  Face was first point of impact.  Mouth slightly open.  Teeth through bottom lip.  Blood everywhere.  No one stopping to help.  I freak the fuck out.  Call 911.  Oh my God my face is broken.  Etc.

Annika, being, you know, not in shock, suggests we take a cab to the ER.  So we go.  I get stitches.  I get some pain relief.  My folks come and take me to their home. 

In a nutshell, I broke both of my front teeth.  After my lip finally healed enough to let my dentist into my mouth, we realized I needed to get an implant.  It took almost another year to realize I needed one on the other tooth as well.  They rip both teeth out.  Drill titanium screws into my jaw.  I wear a flipper on each side. 

I was a hillbilly for Halloween for one of them.  Just took the tooth out for the night.  Put on a wife-beater and overalls.  People were impressed with my ability to make it look real.  I'm like, well - it is real.  I run my tongue through the gap.

I have front teeth now.  They're fake.  They're attached to screws that my bones have sealed inside them.  Awesome technology.  Weird if you overthink it.

All this is background for those first, fleeting, hazy yet unforgettable moments after I fell.  Where I was convinced I was ugly.  Where I was convinced I'd lost my entire face.  Where my face was broken.  And my beauty was lost.

And vanity surfaced.

I am a fairly level-headed, grounded person.  I'm very low-maintenance.  I am a fan of natural beauty.  So to experience this was confusing.  As confident as I am in my own beauty, this fall scared the shit out of me.

My insurance covered a part of my recovery.  I had to front a lot of it as well though, because, ultimately, getting my teeth back in place was cosmetic.

My friend Stacey commented, when I was between procedures and had one temporary cap next to a chipped tooth, that I should stay that way.  I looked a little like Madonna. 

I was tempted.

Fuck perfection.  Fuck perfect teeth.

But I still went through the procedures and spent the money to have my smile back.  My gumline is less than "perfect," but hidden by my lips.  I'm confident in my smile and do so often.

Last night, I watched America the Beautiful.  I'm not about to recap the entire film for you.  Did it tell me anything I didn't know?  No.  Was it a perfect film?  No.  But did it weave together the incredibly sad power the commercialization of beauty has over our culture?  Both male and female?  Absolutely.  It's on Netflix.  And it's even streaming on Netflix.  Add it to your queue.  Watch it.  Discuss it.  Think about it.  It leaves you pondering the deeper, wonderful, amazing truths of beauty.
This isn't part of the trifecta.  And these are something many of you have probably seen.  But, while we're at it, let's look at them, for context's sake:

(in case you can't see embedded video.)
Oh yeah, and this one too:

(link out)

The whole Dove Real Women, Real Curves campaign is coming up on 5 years old.  I'll still never forget relating to Seth Stevenson's review of it on Slate though.  It's a nice idea, but I have two big gripes. 

1) When will it not be news to have a plus-sized model doing something?  When can she just be a model?  When can she just be beautifully herself?

2)  You're still trying to sell us a fucking product that's supposed to fix something.  Fix our wrinkles.  Fix our cellulite.  Fix our discoloration.  Fix our graying hairs.  Fix our undefined eyelashes.  Fix our natural lips and lipline.  Fix these things are uniquely and beautifully who we are.

My friend Barb just posted this on Facebook today.  Good stuff as well.

Breaking over the edge of resistance.

I leave for my very brief walk to work this morning and take note of the heavy, gray sky.  But I'm listening to good music, and I'm feeling well rested and well fed.  I'm happy and I look up and there's sun breaking through the clouds.

Now whether or not the sun succeeds today is irrelevant.  I'm experiencing a moment that I think we're constantly seeking as humans.  That moment of transition.  That moment of change.  That breaking moment.

The moment the sun breaks through clouds.

The moment the sun sets behind the mountains.

The moment the sun turns into beams of light in the morning.

These moments of pure realization.

The moment pleasure turns into total ecstasy.

The moment when you're running and you no longer want to stop.

The moment in a song where you wait for it, wait for it, wait for it and then... boom.

Something changes.  Something hits you.  And you feel it.  You ride it.

When you hear good things and your cheeks flush and you want to jump.

These moments where we break over the edge of resistance and we experience something pure and delightful.

I'm dwelling on these moments.