You have a winning way, so keep it
You are an angel headed for a land of sunshine
And fortune is smiling upon you
Prepare for a series of comfortable miracles
From fasting to feasting
And life to you is a dashing, bold adventure
So sing and rejoice
And look for the dream that keeps
Land of Sunshine, Faith No More
Writing today starts from a picture. The one on the left was taken when I was fourteen, the one on the right painted in art school, many years later, with the above excerpt from Faith No More song painted as background.
Dear Marie at Fourteen,
You are often in my thoughts. I owe my life to the faith you kept through one of the hardest years of [y]our life. There’s soul growing in you, a yearning that is too big for your age and for the small constricted place you go to school in. Breathing hurts. You’re so afraid.There’s darkness in your every thought and when you go with your True Nature, the wolves around you notice it immediately and gather up to scorn, to tear your hair, to hit you in the school bus.
Your courage gives me chills. The hairdo in the picture set the hurricane of bullying in motion. I remember looking in the mirror, after Mom’s friend had finished blow drying it. The curls were permanent. At home, you used a comb to make it stand up more, until you were pleased with the wild ruff.
It was in the days of Michael Jackson and Paula Abdul, you saw those stars in the mirror when you looked at the huge hair, recognized their passion as your own. When you realized you had drawn a scary kind of attention to you it was too late. But I also remember you liking that feisty hair, thinking it was beautiful. When the word “ugly” was thrown at you from every part of the miniature world of the school yard and even your friends suggested you’d change, reality started swinging around on its axis. You started accepting that you must be hideous, since everyone said so.
To me, everything about you is beautiful. That you got into the musty smelling school bus every day, walking the ail until you found a place to sit, keeping your core intact, making it your job to one day feel alive, although you couldn’t do it at the time. Freezing everything inside so it could one day be thawed out and grown. Getting the faith you needed from books to just keep going and not stop.
Kiddo, you won. You survived. I wish I could show you what the future has in store for you or protect you from believing, even for a second, that you are alone.