The hardest battle, Part II

It happens this way …

Many moons ago I read an article by a psychologist who claimed that little girls begin to lose their True Selves about the age of 7. She didn’t mention when this happens for boys and, given the acceleration of all kinds of media, I bet this loss starts for everyone much earlier than the proverbial “age of reason.”

In any event, she said the messages girls receive from schools, parents, churches, and society-at-large, move them toward adopting identities that are not authentically theirs.

Her suggestion? Find a photograph of yourself before the age of seven and take a close look. If you’re lucky, you may be able to spot the True Self you were born to be.

I followed her advice and found this photo taken in 1948 on the front porch of myScan 5 grandmother’s house in Carteret, N.J. What a revelation! Where had this feisty girl with the straight-on gaze gone? I hadn’t seen her in decades. Of course, a poem arrived to capture the photo and my response to it.

It’s your turn. Find your photo and see what it says about the person you arrived on the planet to be!

Portrait of a Cowboy as a Young Girl

 Mugging for the camera

in brand new cowboy boots,

she still insists she’s Roy not Dale,

riding down the Happy Trail with Trigger

and the Sons of Pioneers.

 

She smoothes her bronco-busting chaps,

pulls tight her white-fringed gloves,

adjusts a broad brim hat that tilts

above her bangs straight-cut

and ties beneath a stubborn chin.

 

The lens clicks up the front porch steps,

corrals her closed-mouth smile,

her arms akimbo, stance girl-proud.

It’s 1948. She’s three,

decked out in faux rawhide.

 

This day, You Are My Sunshine plays

inside her head, the words exact,

a bit off-key. You make me happy …

those straight-on eyes convey … please

don’t take my sunshine away.

 

I don’t recall who shot this frame,

or how it felt to roam the Jersey shore

as the King of Cowboys, Son of Pioneers.

I don’t recall the guns, the fringe,

the voice that sang when skies are gray.

 

I can’t recall when I was more

of me than on that sunless winter day.

6 Comments

  1. Beautiful poem, Carolyn. Don’t worry, you’re still feisty—with a gentle spirit shining through as well. I wanted to be Annie Oakley and still wear my hair in braids occasionally to remind myself of those freedom-filled days.

    Liked by 1 person

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  2. Carolyn

    Got chills when I read this. I am going to try and find an old photo and see what I find

    I had to chuckle also as you and Chuck have something in common….Roy Rogers. chuck loved him.from about 8 to 10 years of age. From ages 3to 7 he was a Hop along Cassidy fan.

    Hope and Kathy you are doing well. We are coming down off a extremely busy week, and today it is 2 pm, still in jammies and haven’t even had breakfast….life is good

    Take care

    Geri

    Sent from my iPad

    >

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