March 3rd, 2008

Seattle Space Needle 4

Messy women.

Last night I went to see ani difranco with Shannon and Kerry. She did this one new song (and one of the few songs that I unfortunately did not upload with my bootleg voice posts) about her daughter. It was about how she -- ani -- has always hated her face, and about how now she looks at her daughter, who shares her face, and thinks that her daughter is perfect, and how can she marry up this lifetime of hatred with this overwhelming love? How does she help her daughter to grow up without that self-loathing and self-doubt?

They're great questions, and I'm sure I'm not even doing it justice here. But in that moment, sitting there, listening to her, I was struck by the fact that so many of my heroes -- ani difranco, Frida Kahlo, Geneen Roth -- are women who so thoroughly put their emotional lives out there. I thought about all of the men in my past who'd been so intimidated by my emotions, and I tried to imagine someone bitching to Frida that her paintings were just so darn depressing -- couldn't she paint some nice flowers? I tried to imagine ani's songs without the constant questioning, or without the inherent knowledge that how she felt was how she felt, and that was OK.

My heroes are messy women with messy lives and messy feelings. Sometimes I forget that, and I try to clean my life up to make the people around me less uncomfortable. But it never works, and I always end up right back here, being exactly who I am. Ain't it a bitch?