Friday, October 14, 2011

"Inappropriate" by Tracy Lynch (Excerpts)

"Inappropriate: How the Uncomfortable becomes Comfortable"
Brain Child: The Thinking Magazine for Mothers (Fall 2011)

“That’s inappropriate” is an off switch. It’s a way to stop the conversation, the image on the screen, the dog humping your leg … and thereby stop yourself from thinking too much about something that just doesn’t feel right. If we label something as inappropriate, we stop ourselves from walking through the thick, foggy patch, through the unpleasantness and toward understanding. “That’s inappropriate” keeps us safe. It keeps us comfortable...


One evening in November 2010, a few months after I discovered Jay’s photographs, I was re-examining his extensive collection online. One by one, I clicked through the pictures, sucked into their honesty, until I slowly became aware that someone was looking over my shoulder. It was my younger daughter.

“What are you doing, Mama?” she asked, quietly.

“Looking at these amazing photographs.” Long silence. “Do you want me to stop?”

“No,” she said softly, and I continued on. Eventually, we reached a photograph of a beautiful woman, arms stretched high over her head, that revealed penetrating eyes and double-mastectomy scars.

“That looks like you!” my little girl practically gasped. I agreed, and we sat there in silence until my other daughter slowly came over, timidly, ready to see, too. They were safe there with me, computer screen in my lap, and they saw something new in that woman who looked like their mother...


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