Have you ever felt like a crayon that didn’t quite fit in to the Crayola box, no matter how much you wanted to? Your unique color and flavor seemed weird instead. As a child with glasses, asthma and foot issues that required clunky, red orthopedic shoes, I had often felt like a differently colored crayon, outside the box and somehow, chameleon that I was, learned to blend in with the other crayons, so as not to feel left out. Now as an adult, I revel in being unique and sometimes deliberately exaggerate the differences to stand out. I surround myself with riotously hued companions whose own eccentricities match or compliment my own. How tedious and bland life would be if we were limited to black and white and shades of gray and yet there are many who, in an attempt to play it safe, do this and miss out on so much vibrance. My lifestyle feeds this paradigm richly. As I am writing these words, I am gazing around the room and take in images of a SARK poster called Living Juicy, a chakra print, teddy bears, a string of twinkle lights,, a fabric butterfly that hovers above me, a window box image of a faerie that a friend brought back from a trip to Ireland a few years ago, heart shaped wind chimes, vision boards that have helped me call in my dreams and desires, my massage table, a sun mask with sun glasses perched on it (“My future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades.”), a white plume feather that I received a few years back from a member of a Mummer’s parade string band when we both volunteered at an event sponsored by Gilda’s Club, bookshelves filled with other people’s inspirational words, (I collect books like some women collect shoes, with more of them than any other type of object in my home)and photographs of loved ones, including my parents, beaming out at me. Listening to my Saturday morning ease-into-my-day music on a program called Sleepy Hollow on WXPN.
I grew up in a silly family who sang goofy songs, with parents who danced in the kitchen (even into their 80′s), who played with us as if they hadn’t forgotten, mom tossing jacks and dad shooting marbles on the floor…the consensus was that my dad took us kite flying because he had missed out on that activity when he was young. They set an example for out of the box interaction and to this day, I hear people’s stories about how cherished they were/are. They embraced diversity and taught us to do the same. Among their circle of friends, they welcomed folks from various countries and faith traditions, abilities and socio-economic backgrounds. They took us to multi-cultural events; the World’s Fair in NY two years in a row in the 1960′s bring with it cherished memories. I was watching family home movies a week or so ago and with delight, took in the images of us dancing with Keystone Cops and at the Indian pavilion where the raven haired women were fascinated with my sister Jan’s bright red curls. As a result, my own overlapping soul circles celebrate diversity as well, coming from different ‘walks of life’, hailing from around the world. Some friends walk on their own, some with a cane, others wheel themselves from place to place. Some are deaf, some blind. Each has their unique way of viewing life and interacting with it.
What colors do you bring to the canvas of life?
Are you willing to color outside the lines?
How can you create yourself as your own masterpiece worthy of gallery lighting?
Can you transform ‘different’ to ‘unique’ and ‘weird’ to ‘out of the ordinary’?
http://youtu.be/o7YMuYs8VWs Don’t Laugh At Me by Peter, Paul and Mary