Banana Peel


Yesterday was a tough day. Days when we feel sorry for ourselves always are. Like you, I have my damn demons and they all decided to torment the fuck out of me in the afternoon. You know the saying, “don’t kick your opponent when he’s down?” Yeah. My demons don’t play by those rules either.

Injured body. Traveling husband. Beautiful weather while laid up. Boredom. No food in the house. Exhausted.

I cried. No. I sobbed. I mean I cried so hard, I had to sink to the floor (and when you are down one leg and one arm, that’s no easy feat). I let it all out. I cried so long my eyes are still red this morning. I feel asleep with a stuffy nose and the hiccups we get after hysterics.

For all you yogi manifest-ers out there who like to pretend we should not feel sad, fearful or pissed off, I’m here to tell you something: Bullshit.  Sometimes things do suck and sometimes we should sit in this sucky space. Because when we let ourselves succumb to the emotions we are having, we get to possess something extraordinary when we come out on the other side.

I went to bed and slept all night. Solid as a rock.

And I woke up thinking, enough of this shit, girl. You’ve been down before, you will heal. I woke up ready to move forward. I accepted that I needed to let myself express those icky emotions first so that I could be real.

So I got out of bed deciding that I would put on my hiking boots, the ones with ankle support and walk the level path in the open space nearby and even though my injured arm decided to cramp up and the pain was horrid, I remained determined.

I was walking by the sink on the way to make some coffee when I spotted something extraordinary almost hidden beneath the dirty dishes and food waiting to be composted. It was the inside of a banana peel. A banana peel. And it was shining like some rare diamond in the trash.

I lifted the peel out of the sink knowing I had to photograph it, the inside showing the lines from the knife used to cut the fruit inside were dramatic and seductive. There was a message here I decided to explore.

The peel faded into our kitchen countertop so I placed it on the wood island and I saw that the inside of this peel looked more like wood grain than a jacket designed for fruit. It wasn’t until I finished playing with the photo edits that I took a step back and realized that inner passion and excitement had taken over the fear and worry I had gone to bed with.

If our soul was hidden beneath our skin and we could turn ourselves inside out, showing the world our real selves, our real wounds, our real fears, our real beauty, would we do it? Would you recognize your friends? Yourself?

Would I show you the knife marks from all the times others had hurt or disappointed me? Would I show you my unprotected underbelly and trust that you would care for it? Would I let my extraordinary and playful inner child take your hand? Would I let the unmasked version of myself stand in front of you without apology?

I’m not sure. But the older I get, the more determined I am to try.

I imported the picture of the peel into Snapseed and began my favorite part, the editing process where I get to decide what I want to emphasize and what I want to say with my images. No picture is ever taken and shared by me without an accompanying story. Sometimes I don’t know the story until I’m done with the editing, sometimes I discover there was really nothing I wanted to say and I delete the image, sometimes I am touched in the limbic portion of my brain and I only feel something deeply without the ability to use my words.

For me, art is like that. I never begin a writing or artistic project already wedded to a desired conclusion or outcome. The very endeavor is a seeking of what is lying underneath my banana peel, hidden, but real and deep. And important. Needing expression.

Funny how we human beings can go to bed in tears, feeling insignificant and lost, and then wake up and find inspiration in a banana peel.

Isn’t life fucking fabulous?

This entry was posted in Grief, growing up, Inspiration, The art of living, The creative process and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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