Monday, January 3, 2011

Percy at His Bath, or, Ambivalence (Eleven)

Today Jill is cutting my snags and my curls.
My legs grow longer.
My tail gets brushed.
Then, the bath.

Mary has been reading a book about
a woman who made a secret journey
to Lhasa. She reads aloud to me the parts
about the village dogs, who are big and
fearless and full of bark. And, all
their lives, dirty. I am filled
with envy.

then it's over and I am in my bed
as white as snow and soft and all
the sea salt gone. And over every part of me
an absurd but lovely fragrance.

This morning I heard of a book, "My Princess Boy."  A mother wrote about her journey dealing with her young son who wanted to dress up in pink and frilly clothes.  She and her husband came to terms to not judge their son on what a "male" should and should not do, but to accept the beauty of the boy as he choose to live his life. 

As I listened to this mother and her child on national TV this morning being interviewed, I thought of my own childhood.  I fought stubbornly with my parents when they wished that I would not dress "like a boy" and who would say, "For gosh shakes, can you wash your face now and then?" My  mother even one time told me, "If I had a dog, I would shave its rear end and make it walk backwards, and it would still look better than you!"  (oh Percy, are you more handsome than me?)

That was an "ouch" at the time, though I can now understand  her frustration as I look back and ponder what her life must have been like with 4 teen agers in the house.  I have changed a bit, and will done dresses now and then, and indeed, have my share of frilly things.  I also still love the dirt, the rough and tumble, and the freedom from gender constraints. 

I will be going on a 12 day trip to the rain forests of Guyana in 3 months and we are only allowed 25 pounds baggage.  With about 17 pounds of camera/video gear, this doesn't leave much room for clothes and personal items. I'm so looking forward to competing with the others on the trip - how few clothes can I get by with, how dirty can I get, and who by the end of the trip will be mas macho?  At the same time, it will be delicious to get home and in a clean bed with fresh clothes.

Ambiguity, my liberator!  Our liberator! The liberator of future generations of children.  May they not be bullied for difference, diversity, and choice.

Where does ambiguity liberate you?

1 comment:

  1. In Oregon, playing organs, genetical general guns going off on fortee's somethings woman.

    (except by noun, most everybody else in her family will want to kill me because google remembers everything, except, which was obliterated)