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Pinned

Robin Rice

You think you’re not pinned in, like some butterfly on a black velvet wall in a nice walnut frame?

Try peeing in a bedpan, yelling at a teacher or challenging a cop.

Try crossing family values without imagining your mom giving you that look, or your dad shaking his head, or your ex saying you’d better watch it.

Try walking alone at night in the worst part of town without your heart beating out of your chest.

Try crunching up your car or having a fight with a friend without running your coulda, shoulda, woulda’s through your head sixty times an hour for days, maybe weeks. Maybe years.

Try making a mistake without remembering all your mistakes and then making a mountain out of a hundred thousand molehills.

Just try.

Oh, you’re pinned in, all right. You, and me too, pinned in, just like the butterfly. Framed as well, no matter we were minding our own business, innocently flying as winged creatures will, just because.

What good is our beauty, all those exuberant golds and blues and greens, and that exquisite mirrored pattern, when it’s trapped against the black, when what we notice is the pain and our immobility?

This is why we have to notice when we feel that black velvet backdrop rising up and those long straight pins going in.

Why we have to notice the voices in our head, be they ours or someone else’s, whether on their 5, 468, 942nd cycle, or starting fresh right now.

Why we have to stop ourselves, dead in our tracks, and challenge our own thinking, our own reflexive feeling, our own “that’s just the way it is” or worse “that’s just the way I am.”

We must ask ourselves why we do what we do, and who said so, and why the hell not?

I’m guessing a full 99% of the world is made up in our own heads, and for sure a whole lot of the constructs and categories in there were created before we had any idea about it, let alone input.

But here’s the thing: We know now. Or at least we can.

And some real and true adult within us must stand up to the tyranny. Must gently go about the unpinning, and the tender healing, and the setting ourselves out to fly again.

If you do that, and if I do that, well, you know what will happen...

Butterflies, returned to the wild, flapping wings, carrying on, littering the skies with excitement, not fear. Butterflies everywhere.

Can you hear the pin drop?