jolie laide

jolie laide

I started this when I lived in Brooklyn and struggled for grace in a city that grants moments of beauty and ugliness breathtakingly close to one another. Now I live in a place where things are a different kind of ugly and the beauty is pedestrian. I struggle with that.


Gutted like a razorback hog. It’s always open season, death can descend at any moment. And here I am, with a deep slash, from hipbone to hipbone, stomach muscles completely severed. I remember the operating room, I don’t remember my doctor frantically incising me when it became clear something had gone terribly wrong.

A little star exploded inside me. Not big enough to be very much, just big enough to be a glittering beautiful moment, a tiny wild hope. And now I am alone, on bloody sheets, unsure of how much of myself I am missing. My bare feet at the end of the hospital bed shame me, they speak of the disregard, he has not even brought something to cover that vulnerability, a small vulnerability, a manageable one, in the face of the greater vulnerability of near death.

I grieve, I am furious, I am frightened. I do the only thing I know how. I work. A week, two weeks, is too early I know, but I am driven. Here I am at my office with my colleagues awkward at my loss, their eyes not meeting mine in the hallways, my shock rendering their tongues still in their mouths. And here I am in our nascent community garden, dragging blue stone to make a pathway, to make something beautiful, to make a gift from my rage and helplessness.


Blogger Dr. S said...

Oh, sweetie. I'm so sorry.

11:19 AM  
Blogger ttractor said...

There is enough of me left to try again, should I ever be lucky enough to be in that position.

I have a small scar like the arm of a starfish, curving from my belly button, and I am a permanent Sneetch. The larger one, oddly, is nearly invisible.

I have been thinking a lot lately about how I use art/beauty/ creation to bring order to chaos. And so, this. And my thanks to you.

11:45 AM  

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