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Unveiling the Veils

March 5, 2006

Half-truths, glosses, white lies, are these so harmful? I missed instruction on how to cover my trails with deflections. My father told me outright that I lacked tact; learning tact has been a lifelong aim. I blurt out what I hoped to hide. I’m not cruel or insensitive, but I am unable to talk behind anyone’s back without ultimately telling them what I said. I don’t sound believable when I’m trying to cover my real responses. Nor can I string anyone along. Forget jobs like sales, getting anyone to sign a dubious contract, pretending to be more knowledgeable than I am. I’m not a good businesswoman. Worse, though, I’m gullible; if I could deceive then I’d be wise to deception when it comes my way. I’m not. Is this inability to lie a positive attribute? Okay, it makes me trustworthy, but tactless and gullible.

But, oh, I am a master at hiding! If I don’t want to be found I can throw a harem’s bounty of veils up. And become invisible by disappearing into the walls or landscape. You won’t find me if we’re playing a game. I know exactly where your blind spot is, and I’ll stay there, hovering in your every move, out of view. With fears of being constrained in a relationship, I’ve developed an arsenal of ways to delicately avoid potential dalliances by becoming impossible to find. I smile and disappear like the Cheshire cat. In the pre- and post-marriage years, before becoming a half-centurion, there was often a small pack of men in varying stages of pursuit, phoning, wanting to meet for coffee, movies, dates, and I became adept at dancing a dance of flickering appearances and disappearing. Wrapping your invisibility cloak around you is sometimes necessary if you don’t want to hurt anyone.

Nowadays, I can be openly friendly, and not be followed home. No silent sitting in a dark house while a man knocks endlessly on my door, nor any hiding behind voice or email anymore. But have I been cognizant enough of the fragility of the desiring self, especially since my natural honesty borders on tactlessness? I hope I gave enough care and love to those who found their way to me. I’ve finally hung invisibility in the cedar closet of memory, it was a flamenco whirl of pursuit and escape. Instead I’ve disappeared into that smiling aging woman passing you by.

Written by Brenda Clews of Rubies in Crystal.

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  1. laurieglynn
    March 6, 2006 at 12:37 am

    There is a bittersweet honesty to this composition. The metaphors are quite captivating, but even they point to a poignancy, of deeper meaning in the spirit of self-reflection, and mirrored response to what we experience in facing our own frailties in character and mortality.

    But I disagree with the final line, for you are not invisible. A stranger could not fail to notice the gait of your Artistry.


  2. MB
    March 6, 2006 at 12:23 pm

    This makes me reflect on where the line is between truth and fiction, between being seen and not seen, between story and reality. Where, among veils and dances, does the line in the sand lie… or does it?

  3. March 7, 2006 at 8:55 am

    What a poignant comment from this strange midpoint of life. I was especially moved by the line “I hope I have given enough care and love…” – it seems to me that, in spite of all the reflection on self, this is where your heart really is.

    Wonderful to see you here, Brenda.

  4. March 10, 2006 at 5:35 pm

    The self, identity, is a very strange composition, isn’t it. Thank you, laurieglynn, MB, and beth, your comments thoughtful, heartfelt.

  5. April 9, 2006 at 12:31 pm

    brenda, i could really relate to this piece, and i loved this:

    “I’ve finally hung invisibility in the cedar closet of memory, it was a flamenco whirl of pursuit and escape. Instead I’ve disappeared into that smiling aging woman passing you by.”

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