Wednesday, March 4, 2015

the velveteen girl

Once upon a time...

Yesterday's outfit and the bright prickly green of the desert in the budding Spring had me feeling like a character in a fairy story. There's something magical about the colors of the desert at sunset at this time of year. Green, grey, purple, blue, pink, yellow. These ethereal feelings might also have something to do with the book I'm currently reading, which is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast by Robin McKinley. It has me in an imaginative spirit. I recently went on a book-seeking voyage in my old room, and found a small pile of unread books that I had collected 10-15 years ago. I used to love wandering through Barnes and Noble and picking out new books. Nowadays I read mostly on my Kindle and choose books by popularity or recommendation - I miss choosing something based entirely on cover art, character names and instinct. I'm finally getting around to reading some of those old choices, time capsules of my first serious reading years. 

I like to think that maybe I was channeling a little royal Beast yesterday with the deep velvet dress. Yes, I wore velvet - I know you're shocked. You and me both. If anyone's to blame, it's Greer from Reign. I think maybe her green velvet dress finally broke my resolve to be anti-velvet forever.

The truth is, this velvet dress felt like a cushion for my fragile state of being. Like wrapping myself in something truly luxurious, it made me feel dressed up and pretty and beloved. It's silly how much clothing can mean to me sometimes. I'm sure I'm not the only one who can feel transformed by what I wear. The last two weeks have been largely pajama-clad, and while the solitude and relaxation were needed and cherished, there comes a point when you have to put on your boots and walk outside of yourself again. 

Dress (similar)/Blouse: Ruche, Sweater: Target

I tell my story in bits by blogs and texts and memories, and reflecting back on my life is always surreal. It goes by so fast, doesn't it? Time heals all wounds and it goes ever on and on. It helps to know that the world is a big place, and I am infinitely small. That even the earth is just a speck of thriving life, and it's not all there is. It's easy to be overwhelmed and to forget the big picture. To stay in that pajama-clad universe (introverts unite) and disappear within. But life is not a wish granting factory because it isn't (shouldn't be) a selfish endeavor. Living is only worth it when shared with others. I am just a velveteen rabbit on that journey for realness. A worn and torn beloved being, made real by love.

I think that's the magic. I obviously don't believe in fairy tales (much), but I do believe that there's power in lying on the cold ground and trying to count the stars, feeling the odd emotional sensation of staring into an endless space. Realizing how gargantuan the universe is and how teeny tiny you are. A pinprick in someone else's telescope. That's the only way we can ever let go of the small things and become better, realer people. To discover that there's a Creator and we are purposeful. That life is short and time swallows it in great gulps. But it is marvelous and worthwhile. Every single moment, every single life, every single teeny joy. Things like coffee and velvet dresses and Spring colors. Fragrant creosote flowers and good books and cool breezes.

Pack up these moments in your arms and carry them with you. Gather others into your heart and love them. Sacrifice and embrace and become a beloved. It's a simple world of velveteen people, and we're all made real by love.

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