Mapping the Self

Yes, it’s quite functional to wear Hunter wellies in a rainstorm; but why is that I take to the streets in my black gloss boots in times of sunshine and crispy breeze?

In my boots am I a Scottish gardener, taking long, steady strides along the heather and potatoes, the lip of my boots generating a gentle suctioning noise against my calf, the thick, slightly raised heel kicking back against the earth in undertones reminiscent of a knock upon a wooden door. 

The winter is yielding to the spring, and thus the seasonal wind must hurry in order to complete it’s yearly business of bringing chill. I pull my head through the neck of my Patagonia sweater, draping the fuzzy teal material onto my torso. It encases me in a continual hug, the winged sleeves fold over twice to rest mid-forearm, the front pocket beckoning gently for me to snuggle my hands into its safety net. It wards me from the methodical breathing of the morning dawn.

This sweater is the embodiment of mountains; the smell of a pine forest on a misty day, the sound of a singing stream dangling from the rocks, the taste of a crisp apple on the summit and the tool by which the dribbled juice of the apple upon one’s chin can be rubbed away. 

In my sweater, I am not merely warm; I am a bird watcher shrouded in sensation. 

My burlap-brown cross-body Fashi bag is slung across my right shoulder, tucking me into myself and bringing my head to be held high. It houses keys, phone, wallet…all things that could be secured in the pockets of my blue rain jacket. 

But yet I swing it across my right shoulder; for with it’s presence am I an explorer. The cryptic lands that I cross may contain tram tracks and pigeon feathers, but the steady weight of the thick brown strap of satchel against sternum reminds me that every moment is a chance encounter with the spectacular.

It is the raw, unfiltered beauty in persona. The reason why brands are such an important part of daily life, the reason why we choose to use our bodies as advertisements. 

Perhaps my case is singular.

My favorite clothes do not exist as my favorites because of how they fit against my shape; they are special to me for what they represent and how they allow me to represent myself through them. They are my memories and my intentions, my interactions and my discussions. 

It goes past clothing, as all things must. 

Persona exists in hobbies. The reason why, when I sit down to write formally, I turn off the lights in favor of candles and soft yellow lamps, I snuggle into my fleecy slippers, I brew myself a strong cup of coffee, I turn on noir jazz and I always open the window to welcome the breeze. 

I’m not writing. I am a writer and there is a vast canyon of distinction between the two. 

The aesthetic appeals to me, it draws me in and it welcomes me to slip on a new gown for the evening, to signify to myself what part of me I am going to unleash upon the world. 

I secure a bandana firmly against my wavy hair before slipping out for a morning run. It doesn’t do much in the way of aerodynamic usefulness; my bangs still part in the middle of my forehead, the material of which the bandana is made is not conducive to wicking away moisture, and indeed a thinner patch of hair over which the bandana is knotted has developed, albeit small it is nevertheless definitive. 

But yet I secure a bandana firmly before slipping out for a morning run. 

In my bandana, I am useful. I am the riveting echoes of Rosie, pounding away on the hulls of giant steely ships, humming gently to myself as I stride past clean bridges. In my bandana I get to work. 

Why do certain movies leave us with a racing heart and a desire to go save something, anything? Why do certain songs make us want to rollerblade down steep hills and climb silos and drive with reckless abandonment?

How can I feel so classy, when I haven’t showered in an unacceptable amount of days and am the product of a long, long train ride back home? But yet here I am; nestled on the navy blue print seats, a paper mug of Earl Grey tea steaming on the table to the left of my keyboard, my feet tucked up underneath me, the dancing countryside winking softly as the sun puts itself to bed for the night. 

Why do we get tattoos? Why do we wear Hard Rock Cafe tshirts? Why do we drink San Pellegrini and strap on high heels? Why do we prefer hardback books and marble statues and eating with forks?

Efficiency…usefulness…necessity…preference. Persona. It keeps us accountable to instincts that are appropriately distanced from animalistic behaviors. Our effort to map out ourselves, our efforts to choose the way that we want to interact with our world. 

Peace and Blessings,

Josie 

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