The Art of Myself

My father told me a few days ago that if I go on eating flowers as much as I do, I’ll eventually turn into one. When I walk through the streets and my mind feels misplaced, I imagine myself as fragile as a flower – quivering in the breeze, my roots aloft sliding on the tarmac, realizing most of the things around me could crush me. In my fragility I find a certain peace, I find a connection to the uttermost sensitivity of my surroundings, and there I feel as if all around me was aligned with myself as a part of my surroundings – in my delicate solitude.

I was a beautiful child, a happy child. When I was still so small I was unable to reach the doorknobs, I’d run from a neighbor to another, from table to table, where I remember I was always given sweets and smiles. I spent the most of my early childhood watching children’s movies, getting to know the fairy tales, and living them when I stepped outside of the door and headed to the forest nearby. In the forest me and my best friend would spend days, glazing all of our doings with our beautifully naive imaginations. Once I found a dead mouse in a familiar path taking deeper to the forest, and I became saddened for its having to leave its life. I decided I wished to help it, and remembering having told there was a special heaven for things, I went home to get a piece of orange colored rope which I came back to set around the mouse, wishing he could use it for climbing to heaven. I wasn’t told much about heaven at home, but I remember how they talked about it in songs in kinder garden. After we sang, we prayed. I didn’t know anyone else in the heaven yet, but the dog – Zero – my mother and father had to put to its end when I was born, so I talked to him. I wept, as I whispered how sorry I was, that I did not wish him to ever die because of me, and that I would do anything to undo what had happened, and I remember making a promise to him : I’d do my best to replace him. In the preschool, when it was my 7th birthday, I invited everyone with the invitations I myself had made. I always invited everyone to my big parties that were always themed as masquerade, to which I wanted everyone to dress as colorfully as possible, for after all my birthday was May the first – a colorful festival in my country. All the boys decided to throw my invitations to the trash not wanting to come, telling the reason being because I was a girl. I do not remember being very sad, but instead thinking they were only stupid, for saying no because of that, for I myself never had made much distinction between boys and girls. In preschool I also had my first kiss, it happened in the small locker where all the games were kept, there I gave a kiss to a girl I liked. In my first to third grade of school we had a small forest just outside the school in which we were allowed to play in. I remember loving the forest, and I remember it from the details of the branches and the plants. There was a large, old tree there, which around we used to play with. The first time when I felt my connection to the nature being much more intense than other’s, was when my friends decided to start carving its bark away, which I knew to be the tree’s skin. Shocked, I yelled at them to stop killing the tree, and as they ignored me, I felt desperate, sad and mad, not understanding why would they want to kill our beloved tree. Older, as I moved to another school a little further away, as I walked there through the forest I whispered to the wind to blow the trees more and more, to caress them, believing I held magic powers and that the nature could listen to me.

These are some of my childhood memories. I am older now, but still I am a young woman, who keeps finding herself from this child who was more sensitive than she ever let anyone know, that she even herself realized. There are some things that have followed me through all these years to my present moment in spite of growing and reaching adulthood, and those things are : I am still incredibly sensitive, I still feel a connection to nature, and I am still unable to place myself in the boxes presented to me.

My teenage years were not pretty, they were the opposite. I gave away my childhoods innocence way too early, having being disappointed so many times I started believing I myself was the thing to carry the misfortune within. This idea started spreading through me like a disease feeding on me, and soon I felt insignificant, unable and worthless. For thinking so, I soon found myself from the company which was the only one I believed to be the one I belong – people who believed to own all of these three characteristics too and lived to them each day writing their own story under these labels. I misbehaved, I treated myself unworthy of any good, and I gave myself away to things that would hurt me, believing those were the only things I would deserve. But still, I didn’t fit to the box I tried to hide to, and for a while I believed it was because I wasn’t destroyed enough, so I kept doing the things that would hurt me the most, all of the ones every loving parent would stop their child from doing, if they were aware, but unfortunately I was relatively good at being very convincing and as most who I talked to, my parents too thought of me as smart for my age. I was raised lovingly and free, I was able to go and try, I was not fed things as truths, and I was stimulated to explore, but under the love I felt there was something which I didn’t understand, and that was that it did not unravel to me why love as I knew it, would include cry and shouting in the nights that would keep me awake trying to listen what it was all about, till sometimes I cried hearing the acts of violence, and sometimes I walked to witness it with the tears in my eyes begging for it to stop. In my own relationships I grew according to the same way of being – I was two. There was the side of me that would bear being treated badly, acting till I myself believed I wasn’t mistreated, and the side of me that would hate herself in her agony, hate her weakness when it came about, punish herself, and later determine herself as failed and after the dust settled I raised the question of what does my existence mean. I spent many years letting people meet only my other face, as I myself stayed back, too afraid, I got hardened.

Now, today I am able to see a little more clearly  why my teenage years were as rough as they were, and I am able to see how finding my own personality has given me mostly agony, for I’ve always felt as if I was never understood. For some years, I’ve worked on dissolving my personality and forgetting gathering characteristics, following my intuition, letting my temperament rise from within me and making a new connection to the child I was, doing only the things I truly love and pushing aside the ”me” who used to work as my face, the zombie or the demon who ate on my energy. The child I still find within me had never left me, staying as pure and simple as it has always been. This child within is the one who dips her hands to the flood of creativity, who wishes to enjoy life through its playfulness, to live each day with wonder in her eyes and to love the world for giving these eyes and the opportunity of living in micro and macro perspectives – both places where I’ve learned to flee from my agonies of being a human being. My adulthood has grown to protect my child as the most precious of all, using all the good methods it was taught by her own parents and experiences: to explore, to love and know the many ways it may return, to have curiosity, to express yourself, to practice the things you love… But still, although having found a deepening connection within myself to myself, having integrity combining all of my multiple sides, having re-discovered a magical connection with all around me, having found some of the things that bring me the ultimate bliss… I am incapable of making myself understood and any of the boxes I am offered do not fit me – I have grown out of shape, my roots are lingering all around me. Therefore I have stopped wishing to be understood and moved to wishing to understand, my priority to be understood by myself so that I can keep on doing what I find a necessity – continuing self-inquiry and self expressing, and through understanding myself I may find a connection to all around me – the nature, my existence and the people and all between. Still, having found my ways and strength in my sensitivity and diving head first to creativity and seeing it manifest itself in so many different ways, I see I am just beginning my journey, I still have agony. I see how I have decided to build my own structures to shelter me instead of making myself an inorganic, clumsy pile of boxes, but as I still do not understand my creativity and definitely not how it wishes to be the most beneficial for me in the world of adults (it being more confident in enjoying its unpredictable child-likeness) I spend my days diving to it again and again, dreaming, wondering, practicing, smiling, crying and living. Refusing to waste many of my hours to things I would find complaining in as many still seem to accept as a determination of adulthood, chasing for my passion and finding glimpses of it everyday. Living in my dreams, making my life my story, and my story my greatest Art. My only box being my organic and ever changing Art of living.

 

Eveleen Poulain