Of being

c62At twenty

when most young people

have such inner light they need

no tanning

I stood in the Pre-Raphaelite section

of the foreign museum

where prisms of light gathered

in tepees over head

born with an exaggerated self-consciousness

it felt as if all the disinterested

milling around staring at art

with their mouths open and crumbs from croissants

smearing their lapels

were disapproving

it wasn’t self aggrandized

I knew then as I know now

I am just one of a million million

but the glare of the crowd

was like a purse being pulled inward

gathering her fret

I’d been inspected too closely, too frequently

as a child prone to blunder and freedom

reined by yoke of adults disapprobation and neglect

now it felt like every stare

was a leach on my skin

sucking for marrow

I wondered

at the girls who posed for masters

in cold bathtubs of water

approximating Ophelia’s death throes

or imagined when they

lay quiet in their grave

mouths still stained with laudanum

life plucked by the need for art

art approximating life and not

artifice struck me then

unable like the fawn colored girl beside me

to walk with certitude

she was only a few inches taller

though her neck was more a swan than cat

she held little more potential

yet held the world by its umbilical

whilst I sought out back doors

to any exhibit of youth

it didn’t sit well on my angular shoulders to

flaunt or even preen unaware

I had never known how to un-know

the unbearable lightness of being

(last line and title from Nesnesitelnรก lehkost bytรญ by Milan Kundera)


50 thoughts on “Of being

  1. Beneath all of the layers that were put upon us, it is amazing we can remove them and see each other’s true self, wounds, judgments, everything others inflicted are all in plain sight. And we can SEE each other for who we are in our souls and hearts and connect on that level. That is what your writing means to me

  2. I think wounded people recognize each other. Sometimes they hurt each other, sometimes they comfort each other, sometimes they defend each other. I would defend you. Every time. I feel this almost irrationally (except it’s very rational really) and so, I see us as TRIBES and so I am in your tribe. And that is where I shall stay. This does not defeat the past but it repairs the pain and the loss a little Thank you dear girl, please know every word here is from my heart to yours.

  3. Profound. I love being in your tribe. I have needed a tribe for some time. Thank you for your defense. I will imagine you with a sword next time I am feeling under attack, having my back. Your words go straight to my heart

  4. I’m absolutely madly in love with Pre-raphaelite girls. ๐Ÿ˜‰ But then again you knew that already. โค

  5. How can any young girl know ‘lightness’ in ‘being’? They are too heavily chained to consciousness, their own and other people’s. Your image of the normally constituted girl contrasted with the swan-necked Pre-Raph model is such a good analogy for that self-deprecation, the painted girl is herself a manipulated model. Where is the real flesh and blood person?

  6. So beautiful in terms of image, space and time! ” …I sought out the back doors” is also wonderfully descriptive and then a bit further ” to un-know ” and how that pulls this all together, at least for me. Thank you do much for sharing your wonderful gifts! My heart is touched and my spirit wanders.

  7. Wham bam goes the last two lines! How many of us do you suppose new knew how to un-know that as wel!. This is fabulous “dahling!” Preen those delightful feathers and show the stuff of which you are made!!! Je t’aime, Natalie ๐Ÿ™‚ โค

  8. Ah, one of your bests.. truly beautiful. I love captured scenes in a moment as you described…I have been there….felt apart… taking in something different…appreciating a different aspect of life of the event transpiring versus the person standing right next to me…. or on occasion even found someone to share the same feeling with … which always give your being a lightness when juxtaposed next to someone of the same frequency of nature…. you feel a resonance with them…its a good feeling …better than good sex sometimes …. sometimes ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Dearest Candice, this piece has pushed all the buttons. Outstanding, you’ve collected all the shards from a broken mirror and turned the pile of silver and green glass into a beautiful and graceful lament. “Iโ€™d been inspected too closely, too frequently”, speaks volumes. ~ Mia xo

  10. Thank you. I would argue that ‘good sex’ is not so good, because sex is sex, making love is love. Giving your being is definitely higher than sex, it is love.

  11. I try! Thank you. It means a lot you should ever think that though I expect few are genius but may have ‘good moments’ as I’m sure I write some really good duds sometimes! Would you email me I would really like to send you a book and need your home addy my email is candicelouisa@rocketmail.com thank you! (Don’t say no, it would be my pleasure and my delight to)

  12. Thank you dearest one, I appreciate you. It is hard to undo yourself, to wish for the back door and yet … not such a bad thing in terms of needing that release right?

  13. Ah I love this response. I completely agree. It is harder to see the lightness of being in youth though I would say it’s a common error – and as you say they are so heavily chained to consciousness (so well said). I’m glad the self-deprecation came across well. Ah – good question such a good question! I love how you make me think you do realize you ROCK as a teacher of intuition and more.

  14. I’m so glad you felt this piece. On the other hand if you have experienced it, I would wish that on nobody ever. But many do and it is part of them and the broken shards as you say, and so, I felt it for that reason and to explain why people are the way they are. Thank you dear one – I like your description of a lament that’s a favorite word of mine. Big hug to my favorite xo

  15. You wrote it so you know it too ๐Ÿ™‚ I was terribly self-conscious from being a teenager until quite recently. It’s hard to shake off the fear of not meeting expectations, even if they are the expectations of somebody completely insignificant.

  16. Hey sis, sorry for arriving late. I feel a little better now from my stomach.
    I’m drinking Powerade to get my electrolytes going. It was awful yesterday.

    Anyway, this poem of yours I felt exactly what you are feeling.

    You speak to us all…of knowing how uncomfortable we all feel in our skin.

    Truly, your best work and I love it. ๐Ÿ™‚

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