Wednesday, July 07, 2004

There's a discussion going on at Knitters Review about why people blog. I've touched on this before, but in another thread someone brought up the book "Into the Wilderness" by Sara Donati. I read that book about five years ago, and enjoyed it, although wasn't overly moved by most of the story. However, there was one section in particular that slapped me in the face with self-realization like I've never felt before. I was reduced to tears instantly, and my self-perceptions irreparably altered.

The book is set just before the Revolutionary War in America, and the main character is a woman who is struggling because she is fairly outspoken, and that's not how "proper women" are. Her father is trying to marry her off, but she doesn't care for that man, and has feelings for another, a man who is a "half-breed" - half native american, half "white". Certainly not an appropriate choice for her, but nonetheless...

She is talking to him one day about how she feels lost, and utters - here it is, my slap in the face in paraphrase - "I don't want to be invisible." He responds that she will never be invisible to him.

Simple, right?

Nothing life altering there, is there?

Except that for some reason, something about the scene clicked with me.

My entire life I've done things in a wild attempt to not be invisible. I have a fear of not being noticed. I always have assumed that I was a second thought for most people. A "we don't mind if she's there but we don't notice if she's not" kind of friend. I'm the younger sister of an amazingly talented, brilliant and wonderful man, who has always gotten (and deserved) tons of attention, and in most situations I've been "David's little sister." I've done theater and music my entire life, and been good, but never been the most talented at any of it, so I've always been swept aside for someone else. When it became clear that a career in theatre wasn't going to happen, I found radio. Invisible, maybe, but heard, certainly. I've won awards, acclaim, and praise, and made myself quite recognizable in the communities I've been involved in. My career of choice was to force people to listen to me.

Why am I so afraid of being lost? Why am I so convinced it would be easy to forget me?

I remember watching a friend of mine spinning on her wheel the day I decided I needed a wheel of my own. She's a dear friend, someone I admire a fantastic deal, though I don't think I've ever told her how much. She is intimidatingly beautiful on the outside, and her soul is a perfect match. And she followed her dream.

I'm sure she was frightened, but she did it, and is destined to be highly successful at it, I'm sure.

And I remember watching her that day, spinning green silk, in what she referred to as a "zone." It was like a cloud enveloped her, cradling her in peace.

I know that feeling, as I spin on Fiona. I've felt it in quiet moments with Misha, or Aslan, or some horses in the past...

That's the feeling I want to continue, not the feeling of panic, of desparation that I be noticed and cared for.

Thoughts for the Day:

Walter Lippmann - “We forge gradually our greatest instrument for understanding the world — introspection. We discover that humanity may resemble us very considerably — that the best way of knowing the inwardness of our neighbors is to know ourselves.”

Oscar Wilde - “Nothing can cure the soul but the senses, just as nothing can cure the senses but the soul.”

Oliver G. Wilson - “Happy is the soul that has something to look backward to with pride, and something to look forward to with hope.”


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really like this post! Even though I'm an older sibling who did well, I'm having to re-invent myself (post-academic out on her a** -- long story) and I am a total newbie in so many things now, so I can really relate. In fact, I started blogging at the time I was facing this major change -- coincidence? I think not.



4:29 PM  

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