Picture It and Write It-Scars in Ink

Thank you Ermilia for the kick ass photo prompt this week.

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The tattoo is the mark of the soul.
It can act as a window through which we can see inside,
or it can be a shield to protect us from those that can not see past the surface.

They lie side by side in a king size bed. Their black lab, Mowgli, takes up the other half. He juts his paws out and appears to be running as he dreams. A soft whimper escapes from his open mouth.

“What do you think he’s dreaming of?, Damon inquires.

“Chasing rabbits in the woods,” Rhiannon replies.

“Why do you think he’s chasing rabbits?”

“Because he’s smiling.”

Damon shakes his head and chides, “Dogs don’t smile honey.”

“Mowgli does, but only when rabbits are involved,” Rhiannon giggles.

Damon turns on his side and faces Rhiannon. She is so beautiful. Green eyes, freckled nose, and red hair. Real red hair.

She continues to lie on her stomach but turns her head to stare into his blue eyes.  He begins to gently trace the lines of ink on her back. Wishing he could understand her need to have a needle full of color driven continuously into her skin. It becoming an amalgamation of many stories into one. Harmonious in its chaos.

She looks at him. “You want to know why, don’t you.”

“Yes.”

“Is it that important to you?”

Damon lies and tells her, “no.”

Eyeing Damon suspiciously she begins to speak. The tale that Rhiannon weaves is almost beyond comprehension. He had no idea the pain she’s endured during her life. He wonders how she ever made it. A beautiful, broken woman with ink permanently etched into her skin. They are her scars and badges of honor. Rhiannon wears them proudly to prove that she is a survivor. Oh God, how Damon loves her. Even with her scars.

“My step father raped me and then passed me around to his friends. I was a young girl and confused. It felt good to be needed. Felt good when he touched me. I thought he cared about me. As I grew older, he wanted less to do with me, and his attention turned to my little sister. I endured pain and humiliation, but I would be damned if he was going to touch her. One night while he and my mother slept, I shot him. I made sure that he would never touch another young girl again, especially my baby sister.”

Damon stares at her unblinking. He can’t believe his ears.

“You asked me why, and now I’ve told you. The images cut into my skin are reminders of a life left behind. I didn’t get charged with anything and Sis was safe. At 15, I became a grown up, but my innocence was gone long before that.”

“I have no idea what to say,” Damon admits.

“There’s nothing to say, and no balm invented to fix me,” Rhiannon explains. “Isn’t that all we ultimately are, scars that have been repaired?”

“I guess you’re right, but I’m sorry. That’s all I can think of to say.”

Looking into his eyes she says, “that’s all you need to say, and that you love me.”

“I love you Rhiannon, with everything I have.”

She rolls over and into Damon’s waiting arms. He kisses every inch of the tattoo on her back. Rhiannon gives a contented sigh, and watches as Mowgli continues to dream of rabbits and smile his doggy smile.

Picture It and Write It-Memories of a Young Dancer

Thank you Ermilia for the picture prompt this week. It is so romantic and majestic. I have no idea what will come of it, but we’ll see what this silly brain can come up with.

Genre: memoir

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“Many other women kicked higher, balanced longer, or turned faster. These are poor substitutes for passion.” -Agnes de Mille

I wished to wear those shoes once. To be a ballerina. To dance. To feel the music flow through me and out of my body. I wished to move with grace and utter elegance. I tried. I did. I was okay at it. Who am I kidding? I was more than okay at it. I was good. Very good.

I remember working the barre on Saturday mornings. One arm fixed lightly on the handrail, I would practice placing my feet in the first through fifth positions. My favorite was fifth. Although it was the most difficult on my body, I liked the complexity of it. How it morphed me into an exquisite creature. I stood straighter. My free arm would be lifted above my head and I felt bathed in heavenly light. I would raise up demi-pointe and Releve’. Nothing I had ever done made me feel so free.

Mind you, I was only 12. I had not yet found the joys of the flesh. Or the simplicity of a night spent with a loved one. Eating take-out from a box and snuggling on the couch. Or felt the incredible love I had for my children on the day they were born. No, I was only 12, and dancing was everything to me.

I would release my hand from the practice barre and raise my other arm above my head. Ah, the sweet freedom. I was a statuesque beauty dancing the part of the Black Swan. I’d close my eyes, and see the choreography in my mind. I would smile and know, that this was my life; my passion. I’d open my eyes, turn my whole body and fix them on the mirror across the studio. It was time for Pirouettes.

Feet from fifth to fourth position. Arms at third position and turn…

I injured myself that year. Dancing would not become my passion.  It would be another dream stored away, dusted off and remembered from time to time. I’m still exhilarated by the memories though and my heartbeat accelerates when I watch Baryshnikov dance. I always fantasized about being his partner. It’s okay though, I have found my passion. It’s here in these words, stories, pages and posts. These are my dreams, come true.