I believe that every woman should at some point in their life create a self-directed sexual portrait.
I know, this isn’t something that you feel comfortable with. I get that.
I read a few years ago that book you kept hidden under your bed when we were young. Lex found it, of course. And I inadvertently ended up buying it at a second-hand book shop. When I described it to her, she was like “THAT’s the book Mom had hidden under her bed”.
There was a time when I was oblivious, didn’t know myself, and was even a little afraid of this side of myself. Certainly afraid of my naked self.
So one day I set up my camera on the tripod and started taking pictures of myself.
Shot upon shot, different poses, lighting. I’d take a few, and check the shots. Change my position, play with shadows, and really explore what I enjoyed about myself.
It was an energizing experience; freeing; sensual.
Peeling back the layers, stripping away the deviant layer remaining from my ex-husband, exposing that core of being he tried to squash. And all the lovers that had thought they possessed me, and the ones that actually had. I exposed it all, and like a snake shedding its skin, eventually it was just me.
Couple months ago now, I made the mistake of showing this video to ol’Crossroads Man. Yeah, I know, stupid. He couldn’t peel his eyes away. Wanted to watch it again, and again. Frankly, I don’t know why I showed him. What I had hoped to accomplish I know not, but lesson learned.
I even was stunned by it, truth be told. My memory of the video was sketchy. I’d made it back in 2008, and so much has transpired since that time. My four years with Tim, Tim’s death, living with Lex, and now here I am today, 7 years later.
At the time I remember I felt uncomfortable with how I looked. I hated my stomach, and my thighs rubbed. I thought I was fat, and well, I could go on and on. Certainly I’m not alone in those feelings.
I do find it funny how you, of all people, should be so bashful. I mean, Grandma was one of the most open-minded of women. I recall one of your oldest friends in tears expressing their gratitude towards Grandma. Of how she sat you all down and explained the whole birds and bees, answered ALL your questions, openly and honestly. And she did it cause she knew no one else was going to. Back then, better to keep you virginal and in the dark; I mean, it was the 50’s.
You no doubt recall the conversation we had in your bedroom that time when you found the hickey on my neck. You know, about what boys want, and empowering myself. I remember how upset you were; I think I was 14.
Shy as you were, you know Mom, you got your message across. I learned from you that day, that I was in charge.
Now, of course, took a bit, but I finally got it. Believed it. Finally soaked into my being.
These men we allow to distract us from ourselves. Those who seem bent on breaking us down, rather than building us up. And why do we let them?
Over the years, I have learned how to ask for what I want. Had a hand in figuring out what it is, too.
You said to me that day… “never give everything away… keep something back for yourself“. And I remember being confused.
I’ve learned over the years it is the inner self, that resilient spirit, that we must always cherish. That sense of self that lifts us up.
For years, I thought you meant to hold something back. No, you meant that I should look within, cause that I can never lose. Thank you.
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Advice To A Girl – Poem by Sara Teasdale
No one worth possessing
Can be quite possessed;
Lay that on your heart,
My young angry dear;
This truth, this hard and precious stone,
Lay it on your hot cheek,
Let it hide your tear.
Hold it like a crystal
When you are alone
And gaze in the depths of the icy stone.
Long, look long and you will be blessed:
No one worth possessing
Can be quite possessed.
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