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    « Abandonment Part 2: CARDIOPLASTICITY | Main | Mind Crisis »

    My Sparkly Belt

           I’ve got this sparkly belt. The kind you get at those teeny-bopper earring and accessory shops at the mall. In fact, that’s where I bought mine. It’s leather, has a simple silver buckle, and it’s covered in those highly reflective, prismatic sparkles. It was cheap too. I think it cost me about fourteen bucks.
            When I first saw the belt, I didn’t think of it in terms of masculine or feminine. To me, it was just shiny and bright and sparkling and colorful. I’m drawn to such items, whether it be clothing or cars or music equipment or whatever else. Bright, shiny, colorful things always grab my attention. They excite me, stir something in me, give me joy. Just because they’re shiny and colorful and bright. Very much like a child who finds a shiny marble. It’s an automatic, pre-cognitive, visceral response. I can’t help it. Nor do I want to.
            In one of my first blogs, I talked about wearing clothing that reflects who you are on the inside. If you do this, then you look good in those clothes, regardless of what the clothes are. There is nothing in my wardrobe that better exemplifies this point than this cheap, sparkly belt that was designed to be worn by teenage girls.
            I can pull this belt off. Because I like it. Because I’m not self conscious about it. Because I connect to things that are sparkly and bright. So therefore this silly little belt reflects something that’s alive in me. If any of that wasn’t true, I’d look uncomfortable wearing that belt, and I wouldn’t be able to get away with it, so to speak. If you put me in a pair of khakis with a sweater, you would see a man at odds with himself. The way somebody else might be if they wore that belt.
            It’s got nothing to do with masculinity or femininity. Those are subjective labels that vary from person to person. I don’t find the belt feminine. I don’t look at it and go “That’s girly”. Somebody else might, and that’s fine. I look at the belt and go “That’s cool. I like that belt”. And that’s all I need to buy it. And to wear it.
            I haven’t worn this belt in over two years. I wasn’t even aware of that until this morning when I looked at it, grabbed it, and decided to wear it. The moment I threaded it through my jeans, an epiphany revealed itself to me. The last time I wore the belt was just before my dad died. Then I realized that when he passed away, something bright and shiny and colorful inside of me went away too. Just like he did.
            That something has been missing from my life since then. This past summer, when I experienced a great opening of my heart, that something started to make it’s way back to me. Through the last several months, that bright and shiny and sparkly and colorful something inside of me has been rediscovered. A major reason for that is because I’ve finally allowed myself to grieve the death of my dad, feel that pain, and thus invite this bright and sparkly something back. Pain was blocking this shiny something, and most of the other light in my life, from reaching me. Letting go of the darkness has opened me up to light again. I’m wearing the belt now because of what’s inside me again. Something bright and shiny and colorful.
            Who would have ever thought that a cheap sparkly belt made for teenage girls could teach a man so much?

    © 2008 Clint Piatelli. All Rights (and a colorful amount of Wrongs) Reserved.

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