We are the blending in.
The eyes lowered shut and the shoulders bent in and our curves covered over.
We blend in small, we blend in quiet, we blend in soft, we blend in good.
We blend in with moderation and mild, and yes sir, no sir.
We blend in with smiles but not too many teeth.
We blend in with scent smothered in perfume
With nails painted shell pink
With hair straightened
And skin peeled
And nose shaped
And breasts enhanced
And fat sliced away
We blend in so much that you can’t really see us, you forget we are there, or even that we matter.
There is no seat at the table. We are not even allowed in the room.
But what if we set up our own table
And to it brought a feast, where all shapes and sizes and colors were welcome. In their abundance, in their blaze, where there was room for each one.
I would eat at such a table, and burp or fart or roar at such a table.
I would look around at this table of bounty, this table of beauty, of women in their fulness.
Around that table we would go, with a name spoken, a name woven proud.
You are welcome.
You are welcome to be your own true self.
To remove the cloak of invisibility,
To rip the gag from your mouth,
To wash off the perfume that hides your true scent.
Here there is room to spread your wings and shake your tail.
You are welcome here however you are.
Jewish, with dark curly hair, nose too big, and body odor. Acne. Polyester pants that ride too low or pull too high. The lonely days, with just one friend. No boys, no prom.
A hair cut I did by myself where my bangs curled out like a wave.
Always looking for someone else’s light to bask in.
If you let me into your circle, your light will shine on me.
In your light I am accepted, I belong.
I never thought to look for my own light.
Let me into your group
Let me into your home
Invite me to your party
Invite me to belong.
Always teetering with the belonging. Always outside looking in. Never thinking I already did, belong.
So, what would I own?
I would own this nose of mine. Its size is its size. Its lineage, my lineage, of strong Jewish women who somehow survived everything they threw at them, to be here, in me, tonight.
I would own this wild curly hair. Its own rebellious nature claiming ‘you will not tame me, keep me quiet.’
I would own this scent of mine, smell of mine. It is the scent of the wilderness, of the great connection to earth. And it is the reminder that underneath it all, we are also animal.
I would own the snorts when I laugh and the anger that roars through me.
I would own who and what I like in bed, and on my kitchen table.
I would also own the quiet, the need for space, the gentle whisper, the shimmers of energy that ripple through me, and the dark depths I am called to explore.
And I would own, welcome, rejoice at this Soul, Self, Muse, that is my own, my very own.
I would own that my life is my life is my life. And that is enough.
My Soul sighs. It is enough. We are enough.
Not that we are finished, exploring, expanding, growing, creating. The world is not static and neither are we. What we do and who we are, those are not the same thing.
But in our essence, in our perfection, in our wild hair, big nose, smelly old self, we are enough.