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Cultivation of Differences

We ask, require, demand that those around us be like us, 
share our attributes, our beliefs. 
And in so doing, we compare... one to another.
In that process, do we not squash the spirit of one
who is different from us --
one whose thoughts and dreams and talents
lie in a different place?

We are like the gates.
Although similar in design,
what thrives in one spot does not grow in another.
On one, there is rust or corrosion or patina,
while on the other is mellowed brass.

One is not more beautiful than another.
Each has beauty in its own right,
if we will only look... if we will only see. 

This is from my book Opening the Gates of the Heart: A Journey of Healing. The book is composed of photographs of wrought-iron gates and uplifting prose that tells the story of my personal journey from the depths of despair to joy and inner peace. 

This selection was written in my journal early in my sobriety, in response to my grief of having been compared to my siblings continually, and always being found deficient. The image shows a close up of three knobs on the gate in varying degrees of patina, so one is lightly yellowed mellowed brass, one is a deep brass color - brown - and one is black.

Carolyn CJ Jones
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