Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The Woman in the Mirror

"In my mind I'm a blind man doin' time," Tupac Shakur
What if you couldn't see? What would you miss? Would you miss looking at yourself? Would you forget what you looked like, what life looked like?

My father is blind, so this idea comes up every now and then...I know what he misses the most, our faces.

I would miss my father's face...

There are so many things to see and so many things that we see we take for granted because we have always been able to see. Imagine being able to see it all then just losing it one day. That's what happened to my dad. 

You know it's funny but I don't think about flowers much or beauty in general, however when I think about losing my sight I think I would miss the flowers. The question is, why are they not a part of my life now? I mean there are not many flowers in the dead of winter, but really Cancer patients will tell you that you should have stopped to smell those damn things more often.

And blind people will tell you to look at them. My dad used to like to take pictures of nature. I can describe a movie to him, but how am I supposed to really describe a flower? I don't even have the words and allegedly I'm a word smith.

When is the last time you really looked at something? I mean looked at it with everything you had? I mean really saw it?

Anything, I'm looking at my coffee right now. It's not even that pretty but I can see it. It's real. It's always the little things that matter, the swirl in your coffee. I'm looking at my skin right now and my hands. I don't notice them, ever. 

My skin is caramel colored and my hands are nice. 

I go about my life seeing things all day and don't even recognize their power or beauty. And what about ugly things? I didn't see any of the ISIS videos, not because I can't see, but because I choose not to watch them. 

Is my dad lucky he does not have to see how physically ugly some things have become? People setting each other on fire. I saw a woman in Afghanistan who had burn scars on her face, a man set her on fire because she wouldn't accept his marriage proposal.

NO. Stop it. I have this particular empathy towards burn victims. I'm scared of fire, scared of getting burned. It's hard for me to look at their scars.  

It is hard for me to look in the mirror sometimes, because I don't like the way my body looks. It never occurs to me that I'm lucky I can see it. It never occurs to me that it is beautiful.

If I could see myself the way my father sees me, I might see my real self. I might see my real beauty.

My father does not see me as someone who has gotten older and fatter, he sees me as his beautiful daughter. I want to truly look at myself and see that as well.

There was a time in my life that I would not leave the house without wearing make up, without at least wearing some kind of foundation. I thought I was ugly without make up, I wondered how people could look at me without it. I wondered how they recognized me without it.

Then I grew up and realized I was the only one looking at my 'flaws.' Now I go out all the time without make-up or with it. I go to work with or without, it makes no difference to me. I'm no longer embarrassed about the natural me. 

I stopped needing to wear heels, because I'm not short and I don't need the back problems my mother has because she wore heels. I stopped wearing slimming devices, mostly because they are uncomfortable. 

Often times the first person I see in the morning is my father. I see him but he cannot see me. He is a man over seventy, yet I think he is a wonderful sight. 

The truth is, when you love someone you stop caring what they look like objectively. You don't 'see' them anymore. Their flaws become invisible to you.

My father has some scars on his face from boils he had as a child. When I was a kid he told me he was in a bull fight, and that's how he got the scars. 

I still think of him as the man in that bullfight. The man who came out alive, with only a few scars. Scars I can't even see, scars that give him character. 

I have imperfections as well. Sometimes I don't see the rest of me, I just see my 'scars.' Whether they be wrinkles or a belly that is protruding too far out. 

However the truth is, all the people that love me, love me with or without my flaws. They don't care, why should I?

Maybe I'm a blind woman doin' time as well. 


Image curtesy of stockimages at

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