Aiming for a creative life

I Am Santo

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It wasn’t long that she had to wait for the first tests of her strength. They came at her in youth, fast, like the flash of paparazzi bulbs she dreamed of as a child; trained on her and her winning smile. She was invincible in her dreams and trained herself to fold inward when the arrows were loosed with her as the target. She wouldn’t dodge, she couldn’t. Instead she endured, her skin thickening and her mind toughening, not dried or tanned like leather, but like ice, strengthening but still transparent so her pain was evident to trained eyes, her beauty preserved, even as those insults and circumstances bounced off her. She went her own way. Fashion became armor. Stiletto heels, winged eyeliner, elegant sleeves of ink on either arm shouting secrets locked in her heart; she was fiercely defiant. Betrayals were constant. Trust frequently misguided. But she wouldn’t close off, wouldn’t stop. She blessed herself with openness and stood before every unsheathed knife without fear. Not stupid, never dumb, but brave. She’d faltered, of course, for only the timid don’t seek a way out of turmoil and the meek never truly live. Her missteps were welcomed inside, the ice melting long enough to show where the hurt struck, her growth another healing line of ink. She knew weight, but didn’t carry it as if it were a burden. Such trials snapped spines and crushed the will of plenty, but she wore them as lipstick, blush, eyeshadow. And when beauty embraced her, caressed her curved shell, it all melted. She looked no different, still a rose striving among bramble, but never were her thorns entirely keeping her completely guarded. Allowed in was affection and given were strength, loyalty, understanding; all in a smile suggesting life lived, lessons learned, faith rewarded. Not in any God or specific doctrine, but in herself. In her own star, alight in any room. Bright where so many had gone dark. (at That Courage)

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