Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Get Ugly. Get Great.

Do you know Alex Clare's song "Too Close"?  The first time I heard it, the video was playing on a television in a room I couldn't see.  My brow furrowed.  I stopped what I was doing, stared into space, and listened with perked ears.  To me, it is kind of acoustic singer-songwriter-y which I tend to like, but it is hard too which I also like.  Then there are these unexpected techno sounds around the refrain.  I felt his breaking through what bound him, his giving voice to his torment, his freedom.  My adrenaline rushed.  It got me.  Or I got it.  I don't know.  We intertwined.  

Each year I make a playlist of my favorite songs from that year and put it on cd's for my friends.  Too Close was a given inclusion.  On the way here this morning I was listening to it.  As I sang it, my chin lifted, my eyes squinted, and my face twisted.  "...I'm just too close to love you...."  I was feeling it.  When I pulled up next to a truck at a traffic light and the driver glanced over at me, I realized that there is no way to sing that song without getting ugly.  

That got me thinking.

Megan Rapinoe is my favorite soccer player. She is amazing on the field.  The first time I saw her play I was struck by how she was EVERYWHERE.  As a woman who wears many hats myself, I related.  I have two Rapinoe tee's.  I love her.  But, Abby Wambach is my hero (and FIFA Women's World Player of the Year, may I add).  I don't relate to her, I look UP to her.  She is the leader I'll never be but always strive to.  As a player, she never stops pressing, pushing, digging deeper, no matter what.  Before the 2012 Olympics she is quoted as saying that she would leave her "human being-ness" on the field.

When she plays, she is ugly.  Understand this:  I think Abby Wambach is beautiful.  What I am trying to put a name to is the complete absence of vanity she has when she is playing.  Look at her - wild-eyes, sweaty, strained ligaments in her neck.  No self-consciousness.  She is a vessel for greatness.  

(It absolutely kills me to remove Abby's photo but search engines were using it as my blog's cover photo.  Can we say, "Confusing to the reader"?  Imagine her majesty here.  :))

I've seen Dave Matthews roll his eyes back in his head.  Sometimes, I swear, that man speaks in tongues.  Check out this photo of gumby-faced John Mayer.

These are not ugly men.  My very attractive husband is actually Dave's goofy doppelganger.  John Mayer once dated the gorgeous Jennifer Aniston.  

Pulling from the depths of our honesty, using every sinuous fiber - it looks ugly.   

It is anything but.

Get ugly.  Get great.

~MM Finck
@MMFinck on twitter

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