My mama raised me in a manner that permitted self-expression, at times I’m in awe in how she let me out of the house. I remember her taking me to the Helping Hand Thrift store where my grandma volunteered and I would then roam about looking at all of the shit, I mean, actually, it was a suburban thrift store–thus it was indeed not shit, but people’s nice excess. Regardless, I loved going to second hand shops, or Marshalls & TJ Max, or dollar general stores. There were many excursions when my mom and I would have carts full of miscellaneous garb. Consequently, I would end up in a very, really, muchly layered outfit for the next day, in addition to the permed, short hair and very, really, muchly red and large glasses. Many of my days, I was a cross between Punky Brewster and Woody Allen.
My permissiveness led to an exchange between my best friend Kate and I one night. She was ranting about these shoes in a catalog, which I took interest because they seemed more absurd than normal shoes. And yes they were odd (for the early 90’s in a small town) and oh boy were they moccasins. Mocc. As. Inssss. No diggity. Kate’s mom, with funkness, purchased 2 pairs–one for Kate and one for me.
The day I received them was the day I got ridiculed. I remember standing in line after recess, gazing downward at my new animal skinned flats with fringe that swayed with such ease and fluidity. My stupor was tastelessly interrupted by the boys and girls squirming around me, forcefully requesting my reason for wearing such primitive footwear. Umm. It was probably more like this, “Heatherrrrr, what are those things?? You are not an Indian. Duh. Sike. Maybe you are. Maybe you run around naked with those things on.”
Pitiful. I beseeched my memory to find shame in that moment and there was some, indeed. However, as I recall, I remained really pleased with my shoes and (quite possibly) sheepishly beaming over what commotion they created.
And now I coyly (or not so coyly) love making self-expression-commotion, although I need the right circumstances to let it loose, but when it is loosed, I am exhilarated and skin-close to myself.
Moccasin glory, the kind of glory where the innermost part of you is viscerally, mentally, emotionally assured that this is truth, that this is what you want to express, what you need to let loose onto the earth. Hot diggity, I adore those moments. Whether it is in dancing, painting, humoring, loving, weeping–you just have to do it otherwise you might implode.
Those seconds that have implored my glory, my beauty, my voice are ones that have evolved and matured since being in grad school. I have been given space to locate myself in the midst of others, which in turn, allows me to self-disclose more accurately than to muster up something for the sake of being seen or unseen. This space feels very similar to my mom giving me room to self-express artistically. For that, I am grateful. I am grateful for those evidential photos of strange clothing schemes from the past as well as the present evidential exchanges of others calling forth glory and desire in my life. And How painstakingly hard it is to grapple with the strategies I’ve employed to kill off glory and desire…sadly and often for the “glory of God”.
But Grace has descended this year, as hard and long and agonizing as it has been–it rests and expels words of hope in repentance, wraps love with tactile outworkings, and binds my faith through Christou Iesou, in which requires none of me and yet all of me.
Mocked Moccasins, who knew, who knew.