Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Rolling Stone

I have been finding my life again here in Columbus. Little by little, I am defining what is normal life. I started going to a writing group...it really sprung me back into action this week. My poor, neglected blog!! I have internet and am reunited with my camera man. Before I go back into my usual blog format, I have to share my writing group assignment. If you are looking for a great writing prompt, here is one. Write a response to something. Pick a song, poem, or even a piece of art and write a response. I picked "Like a Rolling Stone" By Bob Dylan. When I went away to college, I wrote a paper about this song. I said I felt like that poor little rich girl about to step out in to the big nasty world. I thought it was pretty fitting to use the same song for my new life, and how much I have grown since then. (and I am not talking about the size of my behind....). 

I couldn’t wait to get away…to go somewhere. Somewhere that wasn’t home. At three, I packed my clothes into a plastic Minnie Mouse suitcase and ran away to my Grandma’s house. At nineteen I ran away from a failed relationship and a certain future. I packed up my journal and my small town attitude to something bigger. I was pretty brave, that spoiled little rolling stone who was used to a walk in closet and an easy life. Is the poor little rich girl metaphor a bit tired? Why are we so happy to watch her fail, why can’t we cheer for her as she grows up to be a stronger woman? Just like a butterfly, she sheds her overpriced designer cocoon.

Once upon a time you dressed so fine
You threw the bums a dime in your prime, didn't you ?
People'd call, say, "Beware doll, you're bound to fall"
You thought they were all kiddin' you
You used to laugh about
Everybody that was hangin' out
Now you don't talk so loud
Now you don't seem so proud
About having to be scrounging for your next meal.

You don’t know me at all. Just because you fail doesn’t mean you are a failure. Just because you are broke, doesn’t mean you are broken. This little doll needed a slice of humble pie to appreciate the walk in closet and dream that one day those eighty pairs of shoes would find themselves a home. I don’t talk so loud, because I listen. I don’t judge because I am not perfect.

You've gone to the finest school all right, Miss Lonely
But you know you only used to get juiced in it
And nobody has ever taught you how to live on the street
And now you find out you're gonna have to get used to it
You said you'd never compromise
With the mystery tramp, but know you realize
He's not selling any alibis
As you stare into the vacuum of his eyes
And say do you want to make a deal?

The deal wasn’t so bad. I didn’t sell my soul or anything…just a piece of my youth. But really, don’t we all need to trade that in for a suit and tie? Why does it matter where I got my juice? Do you always like to kick a girl when she is down? Sometimes Miss Lonely is a mask, or a cover for what we are scared to show. I can live on the street and in that mansion on the hill, I can live with my self and the decisions I have made. While you are so quick to judge me, ask yourself this when was the last time you fell from grace and got back up?

You never turned around to see the frowns on the jugglers and the clowns
When they all come down and did tricks for you
You never understood that it ain't no good
You shouldn't let other people get your kicks for you
You used to ride on the chrome horse with your diplomat
Who carried on his shoulder a Siamese cat
Ain't it hard when you discover that
He really wasn't where it's at
After he took from you everything he could steal.

He didn’t steal anything. I stole from him. Experience and life. They come with mistakes. Maybe I used the diplomat, maybe I loved him. What do you care? It is over. He wasn’t for me…..maybe he has a lovely wife now and a lovely home with a white fence in a gated town…his chrome horse retired for an even bigger one. Are you going to be better for me, with your accusations and your mockery? I saw the jugglers and the clowns…I laughed in their faces and threw pennies in their hats. I wasn’t perfect, I was a child who tossed her self into the lonely world. I lifted up with a smile from the juggler and a hug from the clown. We all need a little comfort food on the coldest of winter days. I admit I took advantage and they got hurt. I feel bad about the frowns, but we all have to walk away sometimes. How is that any different from you getting your kicks from my sadness?
Princess on the steeple and all the pretty people
They're drinkin', thinkin' that they got it made
Exchanging all precious gifts
But you'd better take your diamond ring, you'd better pawn it babe
You used to be so amused
At Napoleon in rags and the language that he used
Go to him now, he calls you, you can't refuse
When you got nothing, you got nothing to lose
You're invisible now, you got no secrets to conceal.

The language wasn’t what drew me in, how silly of you to assume that. Amused only tells half of the story. What do you know of love? I like to run away, as I said. I ran away from Napoleon. Maybe I didn’t want a life of rags and pawned diamond rings. I am not proud of breaking his heart, but mine broke as well. Don’t you know that the pretty people do have it made? A smile opens a door, a flirty gaze gets a drink. Precious gifts are fine for a while. I didn’t exactly hike up my skirt to the highest bidder, but I used some charm to get somewhere that wasn’t calculating IQs. The pretty people demand something from you, they take back what they have given you the minute you aren’t one of them. My face has long been replaced by now with something younger and prettier and bustier. Another little rich girl who will learn the same lesson when she is ready. You ask how it feels to be on my own but you didn’t warn me of the dangers. You laugh at my mistakes and riddle my failures. I have no secrets to conceal, but I am far from invisible. I guess that makes me a metaphor, or as you like to think, such a cliché. Rags to riches, poor little rich girl. She went away to the big city and learned a thing or two about life. She made some mistakes and took advantage of some people to get ahead. She became a person of strong convictions and then a strong person with some convictions.

How does it feel
To be on your own. With no direction home
Like a complete unknown Like a rolling stone ?

I like being on my own. I am in charge, I call the shots. I am no longer the rich girl or the poor girl. I don’t need a direction home. I am a bird, so I flew away and built another nest. Being an unknown has its advantages, but I am far from that. I don’t need a big fancy name or a group of admiring followers to be valuable. I am not as superficial as you would like to make me out to be. I am every nineteen year old princess who leaves her suburban palace to find her prince or maybe her destiny. It has been over ten years since that journey started, since I listened to your words and cried. I knew what you were warning me of, and I tried so hard not to become that little rolling stone. Then it happened, I stopped caring what you thought. You can paint me whatever you like, but I don’t care. You can call me names and make me fit nicely into your box of stereotypes. Maybe I could have chosen you and you would have made me happy, or maybe your inconsistent intolerance for my flaws is what turned me off. You sound like a scorned lover. How easy for you to mock me and point out the poor judgments I have displayed. You are that insecure voice in my head telling me that I am not good enough or that I don’t deserve this happiness. Not once did you point out how I have learned from them or that I have changed some of my girlish thoughts. It is your voice that has haunted me since the day I left home, your words I was afraid to become. A stone won’t roll forever, it will eventually stop and become sediment. You won’t haunt me forever, I will eventually tune you out.

(um..insert random pictures of things that look like rocks and travel? sure, why not. I love pictures. )