Paper Dolls


I used to love those paper dolls.  You bought them in a flat packet, containing sheets of card. You pressed the doll and her outfits out of the card stock, and folded tabs to “dress” the doll.  I loved all the different outfits, how she could be in a party frock, or ready for horse riding…anything was possible

It seems to me that I’ve been living life like a paper doll for a  long time now.  Trying on different costumes to see if they fit, struggling to keep them in place (those tabs never were very reliable).

But then over the past seven years or so something happened.  It was as though I began the slow transformation from two to three dimensional.  Like a balloon or inflatable billboard blowing up, I filled out, and in the process all the clean lines of two-dimensional living disappeared.

I feel like a creature woken from sleep.  Everything is too much.  Too loud.  Too painful.  Too bewildering.  So beautiful it hurts.  It makes no sense because on one plane of existence it is all exactly the same, in the same place, with the same people.  Yet on another all the shrink wrap has been pulled off and I can feel.  All of it.

When I went to church, in my early teens, I was “born-again”.  This was an ecstatic spiritual/ religious experience, suddenly removed from my own body I could see life from a different perspective.  This feels akin to that, coming to the place of re-birth, re-visioning, evaluating what matters, feeling one toe at a time forwards, gently, carefully.

Shedding skin like blossom petals, whirling along the ground in delight, floating on the breeze and out of sight.


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