33 Comments
Apr 25Liked by Meg Oolders

Thanks for repeating this one, or I’d have missed it. Not everyone can keep a metaphor going without wearing it out, and you did it splendidly.

“Wear hats.” And costumes.

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Thanks, C.L.

I also own an impressive number of wigs from my theater days. The high point of performing for me was always the first full tech and dress rehearsal. Getting into character never felt complete for me until I was wearing their clothes. And hair.

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Apr 25·edited Apr 25Liked by Meg Oolders

Agreed! I’m amazed at how many of us come from theater!

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Thank you, Meg… there is a chameleon in all of us, and rightly so. It is a piece of our survival kit. You brought light to that cornerstone… 😊

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Apr 25Liked by Meg Oolders

Exactly right, Conrad. It is our species' way of keeping the peace. More effective than clubs or stones. As witnessed by the state of the world today.

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Well put, Conrad. Blending and adaptation is one of the ways we protect ourselves. And one of the ways we honor each other's comfort zones. I think when we make a tiny effort to meld with the circumstances we're in, we build trust with the other people there. And trust is what makes everyone feel confident and comfortable enough to really BE THEMSELVES!

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I feel seen by that poem.

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💜Wonderful.

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founding
Apr 25·edited Apr 25Liked by Meg Oolders

Glad you recycled this one -- it's a banger.

I'd like to believe our forthcoming conversation inspired your attention-demaning rant, at least partly, so even if nobody listens to the episode the discussion has already proven useful. Related: I'm joining Instagram.

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Me too. Recycling is good for my environment.

Of course, as my rage muse, you inspire most or all of my attention-demanding rants, Amran.

I jest (at least partly). 😉The episode is great! We covered a lot. And it almost sounds like we know what the hell we're talking about. 🥂Fingers crossed we enrapture some listeners.

Related: HEY! I'm on Instagram and it's totally a waste of time, so you should DEFINITELY join. I'd offer to show you around, but I'm about as cool over there as I was on Twitter, so you're probably better off on your own.

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Apr 26·edited Apr 26Liked by Meg Oolders

You're joining Insta..... WHAAAAAAT

What Meg said. Think of the hours you have left upon this Earth

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founding

How else can I expect to get famous?

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You already are :)

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I'm more of a reader than a writer, but if I were to become a better writer, I would hope that I could write something as beautiful and moving as the chameleon. It truly spoke to me. Thank you for sharing.

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Apr 25Liked by Meg Oolders

Yes. Me, too, Zoe. And I am a writer!

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💜

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Wow. 💜Thank you for this generous comment, Zoe. I'm so glad the piece resonated with you. And I love that you're more of a reader than a writer. Thank you for choosing to read my poem today. 🥂

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Wonderful, heartfelt poem. It resonated with me. We aren’t just one personality. We are a ball of complications. Not even a ball. An ever changing shape.

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An amorphous blob of selves. 🥂

Thanks for reading, friend. 💜

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😂 😂

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I am really loving your poetry. I never spent much time--apart from highschool--reading much poetry (although used ee cummings as my main reading in my wedding because he was my favorite then); Then when I started my substack newsletter, I pulled out all the poetry my father wrote (he started writing in his late 50's with retirement, so was a model for me to start to write full time when I retired), and put them up on my substack. Was a way of both honoring him, but also paying more attention to something that was so important to his life, but I had pretty much ignored. Anyway, I do hope you will keep putting these up (old or new) because they are bringing me joy. As for the theme in the poem. I really identified. I have been spending much of my last decades understanding how much time I spent trying to figure out what version of myself would make others happy. I want to honor that impulse, but I am also working to be comfortable with the idea that I'll I really need to do is be my authentic self, which still includes a desire to be of service to others...but to make sure I am not doing something that is a detriment of my own well-being.

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Thank you, Mary Lou. 💜 I'm really loving writing poetry. I particularly love that in writing pieces like this one, I'm able to fight through something that challenges me in a way that can bring joy to others. I also love that I don't worry as much about how they're received, because they're more for me than anyone else. But I'm very happy you're enjoying them. And I will keep them coming!

You've inspired me to visit your father's poetry. And in reading your comment, I had a moment of gratitude about my own writing. That it's here in the world, where my kids can see it when they're old enough to appreciate it. And when I'm gone it will still be here for them to explore or keep hidden or share widely as they see fit.

As to the poem's theme, I am with you on a similar journey. While corresponding with a friend, I recently compared my mid-forties to a second adolescence. So many of the same insecurities are plaguing me, and so many of the same desires and questions about my purpose. It's pretty wild. And if nothing else, it's providing some serious passion fuel for my writing.

Thank you for walking with me on this road to self-realization. 💜

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Apr 26Liked by Meg Oolders

So refreshing to read a poem sometimes. The Internet sea is choked with weeds... thank you Meg.

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'Tis my pleasure to provide the refreshment. 💜💜🥂🥂

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That was good. Very good. I also write poetry when I'm feeling emotional, including being pissed off. Highly cathartic.

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Also: the last word of my first novel is "chameleon".

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Cooooooool. 😎

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Indeed.

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nice ! a unique capturing of that feeling where people change for others just because they want to be loved!

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While hopefully not losing their true selves in the process. 🙂

Thank you for reading, Bethel. 💜

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Ahhhhh dumbphone! Swiped my reply. Well, it basically said that this whole piece was badass. From poem to the end. I can’t see the full poll choices because the words get cut off. But I vote YesToAll.

Yes come to the Dark Side. Cookies. Nutz. Chocolate. Nom.

No, don’t be angry. Unless you’re angry and you want to be angry. Rawr.

Yes, be alllll the chameleon. My favorite color for the longest time has been the rainbow. I love your sexy wine posts. And when you rip my widdle heart out. And the 🔥✊rawr✊🔥. And the gray. (Mist. Fuzzy socks. Maker of my favorite scent: just at the start of rain. Sweats and no makeup.) No matter which shade you’re curating, it’s still your delivery and your vantage point, and that’s what keeps me opening your stuff even sometimes on brain fatigue.

(Sidenote: ever since Dain Bramage, poety is difficult for me to read. But something in your formatting allowed my brains to read this in the actual order in which you wrote it. What’s that about?! I dunno. But it was a bonus cherry on top of a fabulous read.) 🤪😱🤩

Also. Polls ARE dumb. Okay they’re not, but this Sagittarius is of no use to this one because: Yes to all the choices. And all the hats. Dang, a bunch of us really do come from theater, don’t we? In other words: thanks for reposting this gem.

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AWWWW! Thank you for this, Alexx. 🦄🤩🌈💜🥂

Rawr, indeed!

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founding

Loved it the first time, too.

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