Sunday, September 11, 2011

A Tinge of Red

Red seems to be on my mind alot these days.

In terminology I come across; the color of items I purchase; or just within my general mood and mindset.

Over half a year ago, I wrote The Persistence of Red, both a poem and a blog ( for this very same reason. The color seems determined to be a part of my life. And the more I resist, the more it seems to pop up.

In the title of books I read (The Red Tent), in the color of a glass ornament I find in a resale shop (pictured here) and in the color of my world and home. The sun casts a rosy red glow through my closed curtains, bathing my entire den in this warm light. My niece has colored her beautiful long hair a deep shade of red. The color explodes from the tips of my fingers, red nails symbolizing both femininity and fierceness.

I can across those terms on a friends facebook post recently. She had simply stated them, no real phrase or sentence. They were just there. Feminine. Fierce. I'm not sure what was on her mind when she posted them. But I'm glad she did.

They made me think, have I been fierce enough? Have I been feminine enough?

I was tomboy growing up. I remember one birthday, when my parents gave me a Cabbage Patch Kid, because that was the toy of choice at the time. I was hopelessly disappointed, having not played with dolls beyond the age of maybe 2. I had asked for a telescope. The Cabbage Patch Kid stayed on a shelf in my room, in it's original package, until I gave it to a younger cousin some months later. I got the telescope for Christmas. And I don't think my parents understand me anymore now than they did back then. Girls played with dolls, after all. They didn't sneak out of the house late at night to look at the moon through a telescope.

I was blessed with a male child, and I have loved every minute of being mother to a son. But I like to think I could have raised a daughter, too, and shared with her the secrets of the feminine. And maybe I will have a chance before it's all said and done. Poet Anne Soni states in Your Whole Life Till Now, "What else might God show you....actually....that you'd only heard....or read about...your whole life...till now?" In this moment, writing this, I have no idea what tomorrow may bring, much less the rest of my life.

This is part of the joy, that we do not always know what is waiting. But I claim, in this moment, the words Feminine and Fierce. At least twice, I can tell you, I have been fierce enough to face what needed facing and rebuild my life from scraps. And I know I can be feminine, even if I prefer telescopes to dolls.

And I claim the color red, which has an usual way of symbolizing both.

Your Whole Life Till Now, by Anne Soni, was featured in her 2009 collection of works titled The Body That Shadows This Space, published by The South Carolina Poetry Initiative Series. For more information on Anne Soni visit