Journey to Your Deepest Self

Dream of Beauty

Torn Kirsten Rose

“There aren’t very many things better than playing drums with your friends while watching beautiful women dance,” he said.

If I had come to the dance,
would I have been counted among the beauties?
What if I was
clumsy, out of step?
What if I was the only one who
didn’t know the dance?
What if everyone could see I was the blemish
Upon their collective face?

“You’re pretty. You can stay. But your friend, she’s gonna have to go,” he said.

What if I didn’t mind
that I didn’t know?
And what if I was able to laugh and smile and
love myself
Would all of the dancers and
all of the drummers
and all of the others
wish I hadn’t come?
Would they push me out,
lock me out,
hate me together?

“So what if you ain’t good looking. At least you’re faithful,” he said.

It’s happened before, you see-
many times.
To me and to others.
Right in the middle
of un- self consciously
enjoying my self-
being singled out as the bad one,
the wrong one,
the one who shouldn’t be here.
The mistake.

“Wipe that smile of your face! You look like a fruit fly on a banana,” he said.

Most of me is so very afraid
of it happening again.
And the rest of me
has been protecting.
But in order for it not to happen
I have to believe in myself-
however I am-
clumsy or graceful,
ugly or beautiful.
Somehow, I am supposed to know that I am beautiful.
Know. It.

“You’re not graceful enough to be a dancer”, she said

“You’re too ugly to be here”, he said

“You’re too big,” he said

“Everyone, except her,” he said

How can I find this knowing?
I’ve lived my whole life pretending I didn’t need that knowing.
That beauty was something
too far out of reach to even want.
It’s like the sun.
Like believing you can reach out and touch the sun.
Be on the sun.
Be the sun.
Coaxing growth.
Being adored and welcomed.

This is my challenge,
my mission.
And it’s do or die.
I won’t
I can’t
go on living
as the ghost of what might have been.
And I have no sense of a path.
And all the kind words of others
that float to me now on a breeze
or flutter down to me from a high cliff,
I have cast away as waste-
can’t be trusted
can’t be believed
can’t be true.
And yet, I ache for them.
Body and Soul, I beg for them
like a meadow for sweet rain
at the end of hot September.
Maybe I dream of the day I’ll feel the
Yes, I am beautiful
And isn’t it wonderful-
all this beauty
all this love
all this life
And it’s me.
It’s really, really me.
And I won’t be pretending.


2 Responses to “Dream of Beauty”

  1. Betty says:

    This is hauntingly beautiful, Kathleen… so tender, raw, revealing. I love feeling the sweet yearning to be loved, truly loved, no pretending, and how it’s unfolding inside of self.

  2. John says:

    Whoa Kathleen, amazingly beautiful words! And I’m not even pretending…

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