Tuesday 17 June 2014


(Picasso, Woman at the Mirror, 1932, oil on canvas, Museum of Modern Art, NY) 

Purveyor of sandwiches.
And bandager of knees.

She is the girl who wears green jumpers.
She is the girl with red shoes.
The girl who writes.
The girl who eats brown sugar straight from the jar.

The sick girl.
The quiet girl.
The good girl.

She is the construct of the perceptions of others.

She is all of these things.
She is none of these things.

She pulls the flesh from her body.
Slowly at first.
Then faster and faster.
Until all that remains is an amorphous pile of flesh and bones.

She surveys the pile.
She pokes and pushes.
Lifts and twirls.
Each fragment inspected in detail.
A lengthy process of selection and exclusion.

Understanding is reached.
A decision is made.
Excitement builds.

She begins building herself anew.
Piece by piece.
She selects what she wants.
What has meaning.
What feels true.
The pieces that are her.

Slowly the pieces coalesce.
They shudder and strain.
They intertwine and weave.
A portrait of herself of her choosing.

Others see the new her and shy away.
This is not the girl they saw.
The girl they knew.
The girl they were comfortable with.
This is something new.
The new her jars.
The new her challenges.
The new her blinds those who cannot see.

She walks tall.
She dances as she moves.
Her body fluid and right.
She has found her at last.
Her voice is present in every movement.
In every action.
In every word.
In the angle of her head.
And the song in each breath.

She stores the other pieces.
She reworks some.
She sees potential in others.
She stores them for later use.
For future changes and new possibilities.

She was always there.
Under the layers forced upon her by others.
But now she can finally feel and see and hear and know the lightness of her essence.

The lightness of being.
The lightness of reclamation.
The lightness of her.


I found this bit of writing in an old notebook. I used to write whilst I sat in the car waiting for my boys to finish various after school activities. I have a collection of pieces of paper and notebooks with all my scrawled half-formed ideas. 

Remember to head on over here to donate to my Clicking My Heels For Dysautonomia, raising money for the Greg Page Fund for Orthostatic Intolerance and Dysautonomia research, at The Baker IDI. Thanks to the generosity of many we've already raised over $2,000, keep donating and hopefully we can reach $10,000.


  1. 'the song in each breath'
    love it.
    Loved all of it and I thought your choice of art was perfect. Thanks for sharing Michelle. I think I am beginning to pick through the pieces of me to find my essence too. Maybe the dismantling is necessary so you can see all of yourself with clarity. Thank you so much for writing, and for sharing. :-)

    1. Thanks Rach. I think we all need to dismantle at times. Often multiple times in our life. Being aware of the need is half the battle. xx

  2. "A portrait of herself of her choosing" - I loved this poem, Michelle. It's an ongoing process for me too (I have chronic fatigue)- reclaiming, uncovering, growing Self and meeting Self ... and I love this part as well
    She sees potential in others.
    She stores them for later use.
    For future changes and new possibilities."

    I love looking for and seeing the potential in others. There is so much beauty and intelligence and courage on the journeys we see others doing... It is inspiring.
    thanks for sharing your journey (and I love your welcome message about sharing a comment. it's just brilliant)

    1. I'm so glad you liked it Veronique. I used to write poetry when I was younger. But it's only since I became sick that I started again. Sometimes it just feels right. I can't explain it any other way. :)

    2. Is there any need for there to be any other reason?! haha :-) I'm so glad you have found your inner poet again, that she has room for expression, and that we get to meet her too :-)

  3. I LOVE this. Did you write this about my journey the last few years? lol


All who are lovely enough to comment should be showered with cup cakes, glitter and macarons. I promise to use my spoon bending mind powers to try and get that happening for all who are lovely enough to share their words. Those who go the extra step to share posts should really get a free unicorn. Or at least the gift of finding the shortest and quickest line at the supermarket on a regular basis. xx

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