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count your fingers

published: 2012-10-23

“Sit there. Count your fingers. My unhappy, little girl blue.”
When Janice Joplin sings this, you understand she knows what she’s talking about. She has sat there and counted, over and over again.
Recently, I stepped into a bookstore which only sells books about self-help and spiritual enlightenment. It smells of incense there and everyone that walks in looks like they’ve just entered a church.
In my twenties, I worked my way through stacks of those books. How to deal with set backs, how to be happy, what does grief mean, meditate your way to inner peace. And so on, and so forth.
I have learned to hate those books. Why? For their false presentation of hope. We can only change so much of a soft outer shell but not the rock hard core. Even if that core is only the size of a pebble.
This evening, I told my older sister that I’ve stopped blaming my childhood for my quest for acknowledgement. I now conclude that I must have been born with it. From the very moment I opened my eyes they said to the world: I see you, so please see me. Please.
So then why do I step into a store that sells promises of inner peace and balance? For the same reason I buy anti-aging cream. Sometimes, you feel better simply for the fact that your are taking care of yourself. Instead of buying a book, however, I decided to consult an angel card reader who had set-up shop in the back of the store. She was from Jamaica and her eyes turned two different ways. I kept wondering which one to look at. She asked me when I had stopped being a child. She advised me to go back to that child, to call on her. That child, she said, can handle everything that crosses her path. The child knows no stress and is not afraid of break downs.
These days, I call on the little girl when I need some help to make it through a challenging situation. But she isn’t helping me now. On this day that I find myself sitting there and marveling at the damages the angry little girl created by throwing a few of her rocks into the outer world. That little girl still seeks acknowledgement. She is blue and counting fingers. The little girl is counting raindrops.

Janice Joplin sings Little Girl Blue

One Response to “count your fingers”

  1. tj says:

    i really find myself in this piece… looking at my book shelf i see many such books – helped at some point and then became dusty. i still relish them because i believe that admitting to not wanting to go the rocky road alone manifests a sense of inner strength. in the end, though, we do possess all the tools to tackle all kinds of issues but nobody wants to do it alone and needing to be acknowledged is certainly a big part of that.

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