Insides out

I realized in the dead of night that I must write inside out. How awkward to try to write what it seems I’m supposed to say… to try to guess the words you wish to hear. We can only know one truth, our own truth. Each lighthouse casts a unique glow and it shines from inside to out.

Rule one: Insides out. True, it’s impossible to be more exposed and that’s why it is scary. It’s a lot safer to wear an outfit, a garment to help us fit into the outer world of others’ expectations. But it is hard to find the right size, a good fit. There is always something just a bit off. So we spend our lives wearing skirts with the waistband rolled over and shoes with toilet paper squished into the toes. I put on an outfit, a costume, a disguise and feel safe hidden behind my camouflage clothing. Sure it’s kind of uncomfortable, but it’s the price we pay to fit in.

When you wear your insides out there are no set sizes (and definitely not a one size fits all). There is no precut fabric, no ready-to-wear, no place to hide. There is nothing but your blinding bareness.

I write. In fact, I cannot stop. My husband looks at me, bewildered. He equates my pen to a tool (maybe the lawn mower) and my writing to a tedious task (like cutting the grass). He comes down sleepily and finds a red slippered, white polar bear, writing away wisps of words and says in dismay, ‘But isn’t it done yet?’

My poor Boo, it will never be done. Until I’m done, it cannot be done. The goal isn’t a finished piece, to arrive at The End. The goal is to continue to feed the fire inside so it can shine… out.

A lighthouse without a light burning bright is just a useless structure, erect but eroding, in icy indifferent waves. A lighthouse living outside in must wait for a ship’s distress signal before beaming bright. If there are no ships lost at sea the lighthouse has no reason to be. So what is it? A lifetime wasted waiting. Waiting for a reason. Waiting for approbation. Waiting for you to tell me who I am. Outside in. My goal cannot be to save you. It is to be me.

In the dead of the night I realized we must live insides out. Breathe and shine bright. Be a lighthouse and save your life.

2 thoughts on “Insides out

  1. Nancy Guri Duncan

    One of your best! Yes, I too am writing for my life and it will only be done when I am. Here: snowbound and no wifi! And I slipped yesterday on ice so foot is up on chair trying to heal. Will write you when civilization returns. Loved this piece of yours!


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