Thursday, 25 May 2017

It's good to wear your heart on your sleeve….

I have chosen to always be open as a person. To understand the difference between privacy and secrecy, and to above all nurture relationships with friends and loved ones that encourage sharing without second-guessing what the out come maybe for me. Many people believe that cultivating an openness that allows others to share your life is easy. Be rest assured that is not true. It takes more courage to allow people to know you without camouflaging masks to hide behind. I  decided never to blink in the face of adversity  but meet all factors of life head on. I am an advocate of the belief that if one can cope with reality then life can get lived more meaningfully.

Shutting down, switching off or living in a bubble of make-belief merely holds off the process of encountering truth for oneself. Having opened our doors to so many people over the years who have lived in our home I have witnessed the struggles many young people have with owning up to who they are. Art in itself has this system where doors are kept shut (quite literally!) in the process of self-discoveries in ones art practice, inside the hermitage that ones studio often can be. But this should not lead us to  believe that life too can be lived with such "shut" doors. I wonder what we fear in wearing our heart on our sleeve? 

The pressures that we place on ourselves to be the way we imagine others would like us to be becomes the biggest pitfall  that derails the journey of testing out who we really are. We muzzle ourselves without realising that this can lead  to us becoming dysfunctional in the space of communication and sharing. Or on the other hand we adopt the path of communicating that holds typicality. The other day a young mother accidentally let slip the remark  to her little boy saying..."don't cry like a little girl". When I pointed out  that it was inappropriate she changed it to "don't cry like a pansy"….! These structures of language that perpetuate certain histories of gender stereo-typing are yet another space where we disallow the uniqueness of an individual to become nurtured; instead straight-jacketing emotional transactional spaces to become labelled and to conform to societal dictates  to at all times -even if unintended - which perhaps is even more insidious and dangerous. 

The modern woman is wise but too often shy's away from celebrating her wisdom because of the norms that would need to be tweaked by her to do so. So what happens is the head-space becomes the easy territory where she reviews her scope for freedom and liberty, instead of making it a practice within her life. Therefore when life starts throwing the curved ball then these scripted spaces of empowerment (inspiring as they may be), get enshrined like the postcards of a once-in-a life-time trip - to be taken out and lingered over, but never to be revisited ever. 

I watch young women in particular struggling to comprehend what liberty and freedom really  means. What part family love plays and where charting roads of self-travel formed from feminist engagement needs to take them. They need to read the road map of personal journeys that seek the ideals of gender equality with the desire to imbibe it as a lived practice and not merely as a theoretical playground alone. Where self-dignity is realised by the battle to fight to endorse the truth of what you want your life to display as the game plan you have devised solely for yourself. The challenge therefore is to develop an intellectual clarity that would formulate/establish the methodology of how to wean oneself away from influences that are cast from the modules of conservative mindsets.  However when we allow for the smoke-screen of our own sentimentality to cloud our perception on family matters that endorse conservative gender typecasting, then we will never see things as they really are, but how we wish to pretty them into becoming something acceptable for us.

I struggle everyday of my life to stay on that chosen tightrope of mine where I do not wish to be toppled from. If it means I have to point out the transgressions of loved ones that impinge upon my freedom and liberty even by the smallest of gestures, body language of in areas of jest, I am unapologetic in the rigour of my protest towards it -  because this space of equality and the place of my freedom and liberty must be always visible and transparently on view for all to observe as the choice in my life - and therefore,   and most importantly,  be lived by me each day with the conviction and credibility that makes it real and meaningful.

No comments:

Post a Comment