I was thinking a lot about my family today. Not just my mom and dad, but grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles, even those people I call family though we're of no relation at all.
We had this pre-dawn family photo taken over ten years ago. I was bleary eyed and not especially happy to be around my cheerful cousin that early in the morning. The thing that upset me then, and still upsets me to this day is that everyone is dressed in the same colours- except my mom and I. The rest of the clan is clad in black, red or white. Mom had on yellow, and my dress was blue with purple flowers. Looking at the portrait always reminds me of how I never felt like I fit in with the rest of the family...In some way I stuck out a little. Sure I was still allowed to be in the photo, but I wasn't allowed to know about the dress code. No one else noticed, or if they did, they never mentioned it.
Perhaps it has always struck me so, because I know I'm different, yet don't' want to be, or am not comfortable with it yet, and I don't want people to know. I'm not yet the point Anne talks about in the following quote. Are you?
"There are pictures of the people in my family where we look like the most awkward and desperate fold you ever saw, poster children for the human condition. But I like that, when who we are shows. Everything is usually so masked or perfumed or disguised in the world, and it's so touching when you get to see something real and human. I think that's why most of us stay close to our families, no matter how neurotic the members, how deeply annoying or dull-because when people have seen you at your worst, you don't have to put the mask as much. And that gives us license to try on that radical hat of liberation, the hat of self-acceptance; we're allowed to escape from underneath one of the fatwas."
Anne Lamott~ Traveling Mercies~ Chapter on "Mom".