Individuality is something we like to pride ourselves on, and to this extent we seek out ways to express how different we are, without being too different, that is.
One is reminded of middle school, in which everyone dressed a particular, outstanding way, in order to stand out, while fitting in.
Other people truly do stand out — recognizing that they are outside conventional norms indeed, they go the whole way with body piercings, tattoos, distinctive hair styles, unusual clothing — and there would be nothing wrong with this at all if the continued sensitivity to being different weren’t heightened by the additional attention they attract.
An older woman we know told us once of waiting in line, and absentmindedly looking at the man ahead of her, whose body art made him look very different indeed.
“Are you staring at me, Lady?” he demanded, surprising her more by his rudeness than his choice of attire and decoration.
“Actually, I wasn’t,” she replied. “But don’t you expect me to?”
So it’s a fine line, being different, and the happiest people are those who recognize that we are all unique in some ways, and the same in others — and the fastest way to dissatisfaction is constantly trying to fit our feet into shoes that are too small for them.
The exuberant woman in She Danced by the Light of the Moon is absorbed in her nighttime, canyon dance, focusing on the elements around her, the fabric embracing her, the movement of her steps, the thoughts and meditation driving her action. And while she would garner a look, or two, were she doing this on a city sidewalk, she is celebrating a moment of solitude, free from the eyes and critique of others.
We all need these moments of solitude, this time of dancing by the light of the moon with only the stars for company, so that when day comes, and we walk out on the streets looking purposeful and socially normal, we retain within a strong sense of our individuality, which just can’t help peeking through.
She Danced by the Light of the Moon is available as an original oil painting, 30 x 40, through Steve Henderson Fine Art.