Wednesday, November 11, 2009


the painful feeling arising from the consciousness of something dishonorable, improper, ridiculous, etc., done by oneself or another:

I took this photo last week. This woman recently had surgery to correct her cleft lip. I've seen many patients like her before. Too hurt to allow a glimmer of her soul to escape through her eyes, she doesn't look into the camera. When you speak, she half pays attention, not having the confidence human conversation requires. Insecurity is written on her face. Without words, she communicates a lifetime of rejection. Shame embodied.

It breaks my heart to see someone in that condition. I don't want to imagine the rejection, humiliation, and mockery they must have endured.

But I'm hopeful. I hope, when her stitches and bandages are removed, she can smile. Maybe for the first time in years.

And I'm glad. I'm glad for little Anicette who has received surgery as a baby. I'm glad she won't come to the ship bearing shame in 20 years. She won't even remember anything was ever wrong.

And I'm happy for her.

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