Thursday, June 3, 2010

When I was Young

Mother always said I was a strange child. I firmly believed I was not hers. At the very least I believed I was adopted which is why as I have aged I find it shocking that I look more and more like her. But my brother believed this too and we even demanded to see our birth certificates once to prove we belonged there.

I believed a lot of things in my youth. For instance I was quite convinced until 25 that I was going to die at 23. Hey, if I was adopted they could have lied about my age too! And I knew I had a twin. All through college I looked for her. We had been separated at the orphanage undoubtedly.

All these beliefs did not endear me with my parents so I stopped mentioning them. In fact, for a year going on two at the age of 12 I only spoke when spoken to (isn't that what they were always asking of me?) and then with the shortest possible answer. Nobody noticed.

I was a highly creative and imaginative child and spent hours alone with books and sketch pads and clay. I saw things in clouds and cliffs others missed. I could make up elaborate fairy tales about the rose garden and illustrate little books for my baby sister. School was a serious interruption to these activities so I constantly got "Does not attend in class," "Does not use time wisely," and my favorite "Runs with scissors." In spite of aptitude tests I was just an average student. Mrs. Hill, my fifth grade teacher summed it up, "she sees no reason to achieve academically." Or to get along at recess. Not that I fought. It just seemed such a huge waste of time.

Hey, I was a changeling forced to live in a world I did not appreciate and without my twin! That I would stare at parents and teachers or classmates as if they came from another world earned me no points in life. At 16 I learned to fake it. So well in fact that until I turned 35 I forgot I was living this elaborate lie! I often think of that day, September 9th, as my real birthday.

It was clear to me I had to become an artist of some sort because artists were excused for all sorts of strange behavior. So I dabbled in various arts: dancing, costume design, acting, photography, mask making, sculpture and of course painting. I am happiest before a blank canvas in the quiet of my studio surrounded by my plants and my fur kids.

So, today being the birth date on that forged birth certificate, I plan to be in my studio creating for much of the day. Unfortunately I forgot today was suppose to be my birthday and made a dental appointment for the afternoon. Bummer.

1 comment:

  1. I just left a comment here and it refused to post!!

    Your description of your childhood years makes fascinating reading. It reads like the start of a novel which makes me think that it should be. A work of fiction based on fact, or non-fiction by you, would make an un-puttable-down read. How about it??

    Happy birthday - be it today or the 9 September! Whatever made you think that it was that particular date?


I appreciate all kind comments on my art and poetry.