Simply Glowing

Once, while in kindergarten, I brought a glowing action figure into school to show everybody at morning share I could play with toys the way they did. This continued in the bathroom for most of the day, where each time I explained to friends who would follow me into the showing cave all kids need at some point, that my green plastic superhero was irradiated and had the power to melt the wall and continue its mission to burn through the all-despised parental, but only after recharging under the fluorescent god of the overhead. Then in high school I wrote songs about overcoming domestic and social injustice, which is to say, depression, by transforming how I looked at the world, until I felt that same kind of kindergarten burning through to freedom and importance. I didn’t know I needed as much as I did, back when suicidal thoughts about ending my life because of a girl abandoning me reflected the kind of over-attachment I felt for other motherly first loves that took nurturance and beat it down like a ball of dough resentful mothers discover can never be enough to take the stiffness of neglect out. When I learned that attachment is only as good as who or what you are attaching to, and that the imagination doesn’t really know the difference between a mom and a rock that at least never leaves you, we’ve moved on Skinner, Piaget, like most survivors of chronic invalidation I made sure I was always hard to get and could shine an even more penetrating light on how important it is to know the difference between need and want. That was when a more personal world, and why I think we envy others and seek attention like children who think they are keeping a big secret, concealing a big mystery, opened over the known like a flower. It just happened to be the kind that opened in the darkness of imagination, like the gardenia my grandmother loved to land her nose onto when she wasn’t expecting my grandfather to surprise her with one. Of course, now, I’m working in a school helping children with special needs, and the old wants I had back when I was one of the billion out there trying to be invisible, have transformed into a gift for modeling in plain sight how it’s possible to stand in the dark of uncertainty and trust things are going to get better, by simply doing what you tell yourself to do. I’ve learned to trust my imagination and its chaotic sense of humor to pull me up in a storm of suck, like a fishing boat caught out in a typhoon that has to pull up anchor in order to keep from being capsized under its own attachment to the sea it once depended on, but now, in this touch-n-go climate, no longer needs, in order to make a good catch.