They Long to
Become Visible Again
written by me
in the company of some excellent people...
We paint ourselves in all shades of red,
Wishing to look more like what we know we are on the inside...
The more red we get,
The more transparent we become to one another
And that, say some of us,
Others, we paint ourselves blue, as skies, as we aspire to be,
Higher than we are, the peaks of our potential we have not yet met,
or blue as lakes, or the oceans of all that we hide.
Perhaps not so much hidden
As curated, like we were workers in a colonial museum of ourselves, with Rooms that hold the sum total of all of our diverse identities and life's experiences,
of sounds and smells and languages we refuse to forget,
But that others only politely nod at.
As if they could ever really understand.
I paint myself each morning when I wake up.
Paint myself with water and hair cream
Paint myself with fabric relevant for temperamental Melbourne weather
I have painted underneath my skins with needles and ink
Not only because I have had something to prove,
But because this is what culture is!
Alive, to each moment, unfolding in my body as it meets yours and yours and his and hers
In schools, at work, on public transport
We wear ourselves painted and read one another like scripts.
Culture is inquiry and celebration,
Or despondency, procrastination,
A yearning for saviours, or a game for a messiah complex
seeking desperate players
All of this needs to be loved and cherished and humbly released
Each night again, we go naked unto ourselves
Each night, I go naked, again, unto myself
Each morning, I get up again, to paint.