What does it take
To be your best self?
What does that even mean?

Is it hiding our flaws?
Or accepting our flaws,
And focusing on our strengths.

Does fitting in require giving up our uniqueness?
Or can we let that uniqueness shine forth? Not flaunting it
Just letting it be natural.
Flying your freak flag is no longer
The novel idea it used to be.

Show your scars and and wrinkles
You earned them fair and square.
Perfection is a myth that can be
A prison of the mind.

Our perception of the world
and those who live here has evolved.
The world has not really changed,
It is we who have changed.
More in tune and more willing to share
Who we are.

Bloom where you are planted
May still be true.
But remember,
When the winds of change blow,
Seed can be scattered.

Just take your history with you.
Our past is a reminder of where we
and our ancestors have been.

by Cheryl McDonald 2022©

If you would like to listen to me read this poem, please click below.

Even as a little girl, I loved dressing up. My sisters and I always had a frilly new dress for Easter. Patent leather shoes and lace cuffed socks, and an easter bonnet to go on my long blonde curls were fun accessories that made me feel so special. The night before, Mom would put us all in the tub for a bath, and then wrap our hair in curlers before putting us to bed. It was hard to sleep, I was so excited thinking about all the festivities and Easter treats that would be going on the next day.

My sister Linda and I were only two years apart, and we were each others only playmate much of the time. We played make believe and loved paper dolls. When money was scarce there was always the Sears Catalog. Mom would give us each a pair of scissors and the catalog and we would create our own paper dolls. So many outfits to choose from! It kept us busy for hours.
I also remember going to visit a cousin in Iowa. I had many, many cousins in Iowa, however Susan lived in a house with a big attic that was stocked with a trunk full of Mom’s old clothes. We would play together making up stories about being grown up glamorous women.
Something about being dressed up makes me feel complete.
I’m not talking about putting on a facade or mask, which of course could also be a characterization of being “dressed up”. I’m talking about stepping in to your best self at this moment. Not what others like or think is best, but what you think is best. Choosing the clothing and accessories you enjoy wearing. If you are a knits and jeans straight out of the dryer person wear it proud! If you prefer silk and taffetas also wear it proud. I am somewhere in-between.
This is one of the things I love about living in a diverse culture. I enjoy seeing people wear their cultural dress and also those who have made up their own culture. Purple hair and tattoos are just as valid as a fine suit fully accessorized, or an African caftan with dreds.

This pencil painting called Worn is from a series I created called Left Hanging in Space. If you would like to read the artist statement about this series. Here is a link.

I found this glove in an antique store. Just a single, crocheted, long dress glove with some of the fingertips worn through. It was too small for my hand so it was for a smaller more delicate woman than I, it didn’t seem like it would have been a child’s’ glove. I tried to imagine the life of this woman. Maybe it was her favorite pair of gloves or maybe it was her only pair. Back before there was our current freedom to dress as we like, women always wore gloves in polite company. Gloves were an important accessory especially for women of “means”. Wearing gloves such as these meant you weren’t someone who had to do housework or other menial labor.
So what if you weren’t a woman of means? Maybe you had hope to rise to a more gentile class, a wealthier class. It was important to be seen and gloves were part of the uniform.
I imagined that this glove was not one of a drawer full of gloves, but the only pair of a woman with dreams to become more. I hope she fulfilled her dreams and treasured this glove as a reminder of her past life which was then left to her children to know what it takes to fulfill dreams. Someone finally had to let it go, I decided to honor this life by including this in my series. Done in graphite and colored pencil on museum mount.

So follow your dreams, be your own person and make life what you choose and not what others think your life should be.

Have a happy day

Published by cherylmcdonald

Thank you for taking a little time to get to know me. Making art has been my life, I love to tell stories through words and pictures. I am a multi-media artist working in photography, watercolor, various drawing media, and sometimes digital art.

2 thoughts on “Worn

  1. I found a lump in my jaw some years back. I contacted an ear, nose & throat specialist. They referred me to a plastic surgeon. The surgeon walked into the exam room where I was standing up. He immediately invaded my personal space peering closely at my face. I stepped back stating “That’s not what I am here for. I have earned all that” (pointing to my face).I am here for a lump in my jaw.” The lump turned out to be benign. We went RVing with friends recently and most evenings sat around a campfire. Most of our friends wore brand name outdoor jackets while I wore a fluffy white jacket. I also wore non camping clothes with jewelry to match. One of my girlfriends commented on my non camping attire and jewelry. My response was that I was not camping, just roughing it smoothly. The older I get the more comfortable With my non conformity.

    Liked by 1 person

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