Colour of Sin

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The woman, accompanied by a little girl, enters the church with harried steps; she
genuflects in the poorly lit nave, 
surrounded by saints with stony stares.

Her lips move quickly—with fervour—she mutters prayers which fly up into the ether.

The little girl, all of five years old, who knows she must be still and quiet, shivers inside her coat.

She is cold, always cold.
She is told, always told
how bad she is, that she’ll never amount to anything, her eyes are the colour of sin, it is a shame that she exists.

She trembles, afraid, a tight feeling in her chest – here, in this holy place, can God see-and punish her for-her wickedness?

She readies herself for a possible lightening bolt should God decide to strike, but even in her fear she is careful, always careful

not to make a sound, not to remind the woman she is here at all. God scares her, but her mother inspires terror. 

She is a pathetic little bird, with no safe nest.

She is her mother’s cross to bear, a fact she is never allowed to forget.

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Image credit: vmburkhardt.tumblr.com & Pinterest

 

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61 thoughts on “Colour of Sin

    1. Thank you, Diana. Yes, it is rather stark, it is one of those pieces that I categorise under “self-therapy”, or “exorcising your demons”. I consider myself lucky to have my writing, it has been such a useful tool 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m so sorry you should relate to any of this, Jay…but may I say I’m not surprised? Your writing has a depth of feeling to it that usually comes from a great deal of suffering.
      I like reading things that touch me, move me, make me think. Some people are incredibly skilled with words but their writing is dry, without heart, and that does nothing for me.
      You, write with a great deal of emotion, which is why I love your words so much.
      Have a wonderful day 🙂 💜

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Heartbreaking to read. But I think that little girl grew up to be a strong and successful woman. I imagine, lot, how the world would be…with parents fully understanding what it means to have a child…and also what kind of world it would be without organized religion. Powerful post, Nathalie. 💜💜💜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for the lovely words, Eric.
      I agree, I dream of a world where parents understand what responsibilities they have, what it entails to bring up a child. I guess my own personal experiences have made me particularly sensitive to the subject which is why the charities I’ve volunteered for have usually been about the protection of children. As for organised religion, I won’t even get started on that – there’s too much to say 😉
      Thank you, lovely bard – have a wonderful day 💜💜💜

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh Nathalie, I think I expressed to you a while ago, I felt this same way growing up. As an accident of fate and a burden to my mother. The way I was parented sounds very much like this story. The attention I did receive was usually negative even if it was cloaked in the shroud of ‘teaching’. It takes a great deal of effort to overcome those early impressions on the mind and heart. xo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I remember that conversation well, Meg. It takes a lot of strength to overcome those (first & crucial) years of emotional abuse and no matter how well you recover, it leaves traces that stay with you your whole life.
      But, we’re here now, we’ve made it – we’re amazing 😉
      Have a great day 🙂 xo 💜

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This hurts my heart. People use religion for so much that is wrong. It takes genuine strength of character to reflect like this. In thinking about it, this is my mom’s story, which makes it all the more real and heartbreaking. Hugs, Nathalie. ❤️❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sorry for being a downer, Vic 😉
      Seriously though, I’m sorry your mum had to go through this. No child should ever have to. But I’m sure her experiences made her the most incredibly supportive and loving mother to you though – that’s usually how it works, though not always. If you’ve been through this, you either repeat the cycle of abuse when you become a parent yourself or break it and devote yourself to your children. I’m guessing your mum is the latter and that makes her a very special lady 🙂
      Have a wonderful day and hugs to you too 💜💜

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re not a downer. 😘 Yes, my mom is human and made mistakes but she is loving and supportive. She left home very early and worked hard to be that way. I appreciate you sharing your story because it gives me a little more insight into her. Enjoy your evening, lovely. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      2. We’re all human and we’ve all made mistakes, I love hearing about other “survivors”: the people who had it really hard but still made it back to the surface through sheer determination and strength of character. So many others don’t and fall through the cracks never to reappear. Your mum sounds like a really special person 🙂
        Have a great day, lovely Vic 💜

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Nathalie, what an amazing and powerful piece. While it’s a heartbreaking read, I think that giving voice to these feelings validates the truth, shedding light on the “don’t tell” secrets that may have been kept in a dark for far too long. I want to compliment you on your ability to write this and to share it (it’s important). With admiration, Mia ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Mia, you’re too kind. I do believe it is important to…purge, for want of a better word…and this subject is very close to my heart for obvious reasons. The first few years (and those after too of course) of a child’s life are crucial when it comes to development. Genes + environment which apparently is 50/50 so the love and support from parents is incredibly important, unfortunately what should be a given isn’t always so. It’s heartbreaking.
      I believe I’m on the verge of ranting a little so I’ll stop here and spare you – I’ve had too little sleep and not enough coffee this morning so I might be slightly incoherent 🙂
      Thank you so much for a lovely comment and have a beautiful day 💜 Nathalie

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Beautifully written Nathalie, the past molds us, until we break away. break the cycle. I am alarmed, the new messengers of radical right hiding behind their religious hypocrisy are trying to make choice a crime here. The truth is they don’t have any religion except intrusion and exclusion. I really felt this gut wrenching write. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Holly. I’m with you: “they don’t have any religion except intrusion and exclusion”, it sometimes feels like no matter how much progress we make, there are always those determined to take us back to the dark ages. With what has been happening in the US, I almost expect witches to be burnt at the stake again. It’s a worrying time.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. so true! Did you see where Austria and Italy held a faux “vote” to see if Trump would be elected. Austria voted no, Italy said yes. Austria rocks!

        Liked by 1 person

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