Thursday, 5 June 2014

A Woman's Act - A Common Tragedy

I've known men and women who could have changed the course of my life, saved me if I'd let them. But I always turned my back before relations got too deep or they grew tired of me, before they realised that what they're seen of me was just an act. An act of conformity, to not be myself but to be what was expected. An act which confused myself and fooled these people.
This act I could sustain until the inner turmoil I felt transmitted its fear to the outside and dilated my opaque eyes, forcing my dull grey eyes like an overcast sky to widen. Even in fear my eyes never blaze or sparkle, although in my dreams they're glassy bluish opals; iridescent with light and good humour as if they were waves reflecting the sun or the flickering flames from a winter's fire.
I never set out to be a performer, to convincingly prove I was like everyone else, but I found once I was on stage it was too uncomfortable being my honest self. Why be me when I could be, for short stints, a conjurer? Easily create the illusions people projected onto me. Be polite, studious and a good time gal. Please parents, teachers, employers, lovers and peers, and deliberately hide the key to the real me, to this person who I didn't dare be. A person who didn't choose to flee, but to be concealed within this same female body.
A quiet and gentle soul trapped inside will not stay passive forever. Frustrated, it will attempt to find any way out. Repeatedly flutter its wings and bump into windows and glass doors like a shut-in moth or sparrow.
Is that what being a woman is about? Is that what being human amounts to?
Does a part of you always observe when you are supposedly the principle player?
As a woman, and essentially a human, I've found this to be true. My soul has remained unmoved by the scenes which involve me; it has consciously unattached its strings from the puppet. The acted scenes are portrayed by this female that looks a little like me but she feels too deeply. She wrings her hands in the depths of despair or if stressed has murderous thoughts. In times of joy, she beams kind thoughts, but when depressed she wallows in self-pity. The glass which was a minute ago full is suddenly empty.
In these moments her caged soul is stirred. Willed into action. “You stupid fool!” It hisses, “This is no way to conduct your life. Let go, give it up, drop out.” Unlike what you're told, trapped souls do not have a soothing voice. Their gentleness gets stripped away with each passing month, in the accumulation of years. And when you see a soul who's just been released, it's not pretty.
Mine, when it's on parole, is an untamed force. With the multiple costumes ripped off, it's as wild as a Tasmanian Devil. Filled with rage that the 'I' almost lost itself completely so it speaks in short, sharp barks, “Why did you not listen? Live authentically! But no, you kept me locked away and wasted precious time! Time! Time!” Sometimes it's incomprehensible, especially when there's been yet more detours.
By all means act, but don't act so good that it's not you anymore!” “Wake up!” It screams, “Before I snuff out my own candle!”
When a soul screams, as it does in many tragedies, what should you do? Placate it, then wind the bindings tighter? Resume the life you don't like or want? Try to re-attract the job offers you turned down and the men and women who perhaps would have made life sweeter?
Or should you continue to submit to imposed conditions only to be feel defeated? Wrestle with failure because despite your best efforts you can't be like other people?
Each time I've tried to fall in with the world-mob, my tired soul cries out in protest, and its cries are getting distressingly louder.
A soul profoundly lost is not just this woman's act, it's a common tragedy.