June 28, 2015

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“My Sunday Hat”

A metaphor about life and the days in it

Is that a church hat?

The kind you greet strangers in

As you sit perfectly in your pew.

Your life in order to the world

A freshly dripping painted smile as you and your devout family take their places in the puppet show

You’re tired and your family is more divided than devout but

You’re there to tell God “thanks for the blessings” not “Look, I’m drowning”

It’s the kind that is supposed to hold you together

But being held together feels like a lie

Physical not verbal and it’s not liberating

At all

As if taking it off would unzip your skin and allow you to step out in your birthday suit

Naked and real and alive

Or is that a garden hat?

The kind you wear when you sing

And plant flowers in the dirt the world’s buried you with

A sanctuary where your soul sets butterflies free before ever catching them

Where you look up at the clouds in awe of the truth

The past is fine and future will be fine but the present is extraordinary

It’s the kind that keeps the sunshine out of your eyes because you cannot fit anymore in your soul

The air inspires you and your heart is full of the euphoria of being as alive as a person can possibly be

“It’s both” I said

It’s a Sunday hat.

It’s the kind of hat that makes me feel like my life is in order

The flowers I plant on the inside match the colors I’ve stained my outsides

I’m a devout adventurer; the kind that paints smiles on top of real ones

And thanks God for letting me drown in the company of those whom I love

It’s the kind of hat that may sit upon a plastered bust one day and a horse’s ass the next but

That’s never a problem

No, it’s not liberating. It’s assuring

It’s not “you’re free now” it’s “you’ve been free all along”

It’s a sanctuary, a safe haven where everything is okay and I’m alive

Whether that’s good or bad

It’s raw and often misunderstood but it’s beautiful

And it’s a thing of its own

Like me

Like each of us

Nights with you are my Sunday hat

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