What happens to kids who just don’t fit the square, round or even triangular holes in society? They end up like I did, seething inside, wishing for friends, afraid of the certain mockery when I opened my mouth, envying the easy friendships others had.

Finding solace in art and reading; always alone, always wary of sly, scathing, scornful words. Not trusting a single person. I studiously and purposely developed a razor tongue after my dentist did The Bad Thing to me when I was 13 – after a very short time of intense practice, I could have cussed a sailor into taking notes.

I hated that dentist – what made him think it was OK to hurt me like that, putting his man-thing where he did? What arrogance, what disrespect, what ignorance of the glorious human spirit he violated so grossly.

I hated him, myself, and the world, and I wanted everyone to know it. It’s taken me decades of strict inner training to curb that cutting tongue. Especially since I have seen in very vivid examples how anger and hate do NOT work to get you love, support, kindness, affection, or any kind of respect.

It’s just shocking to me to see the blatant brutal hatred so casually flung around these days. If we kids spoke to my parents the way kids now talk to theirs I’d still be in solitary confinement with a mouth full of lye soap.

What can be done? We seem so small, so puny, so ineffective against all that, if we view ourselves as alone and helpless.

But what if we take a hard look inside to see our true value, the real beauty that lies within, the connection to the divine every one of us has, despite such an incredible multitude of varying beliefs?

What if we embraced that simple, powerful inner flame and communicated from that – as well as possible?

It feels good. It’s simple. It’s truthful. It makes friends. It helps me not to feel so all alone and powerless. Beauty is with and within us, all day, every day – we need to continually be vigilant, look for it, even amongst the shit. We need to find it and embrace it and act from the core of it. That’s the only hope, I think.

text and image © Angela Treat Lyon 2022


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