Made Red

My beautiful sister posed a very small question on Tilted Tiara. She took the time to fully answer the question. I smiled, I frowned, I laughed. Then, right there at the end, she asked the question. What makes you?

Red Dwyer HeadshotIf you know who you are (and I do), you have some insight into what made you. I left a cryptic answer to my sister’s question which read:

I, too, am a cobblestone identity. I think I shall take this exercise. Suffice the short answer to be a kaleidoscope. I love your answers. You are a wonderfully talented and beautiful person I am proud to call sister. <3″

I shall leave you to decide which pieces are which color and shape in the kaleidoscope. Give it a twist and see how my world falls into place.

Momma and IParents:

I have quite a few. They spanned three previous generations. They were grand and great, despite to which generation they were assigned. Their participation and absenteeism, loyalty and defection, taught me the impact of presence, cooperation, teamwork and denial. In toto, they were a dual exercise in how I wanted to be and how not to be. My love for them extends beyond the grave, in spite of their actions and inaction, and makes a daily difference in my life. My parents made me.


Girls and LeroyI have many. Their interaction, pride, jealousy, indifference, concern, love, scorn and loyalty made me. They were the first people outside my own skin I defended. I still do. My siblings made me.


I have had a lot. From lackluster classrooms of institution green to grand antebellum halls, from meagre budgets to extravagant expenditures, from shared books to sprawling libraries, I have learned. I continue to learn. Education made me.


I have always had pets. Some domestic. Others not. Horses, frogs, cattle, pigs, lizards – large and small, ducks, chickens, peacocks, geese – wild and domestic, squirrels, exotic birds – game and traditional, raccoons, jaguars, alligators, iguanas, snakes – poisonous and not, dogs, turtles, cats, fish – shark to guppies, and more. Each expressive and loving and companions worthy of care, affection and protection. Animals made me.


Red & ELMI have many. I have my own and grandchildren, nieces and nephews, younger siblings. Delicate little lives placed in my care to safeguard against the perils of an uncaring world taught me of a genetic propensity which is like no other force on Earth: maternal instinct. They installed eyes in the back of my head and bionic hearing to discern the silent goings-on in a room far removed from the one in which repose was fleeting. They breathe life into the stolid corridors of everyday existence. They bear the hope of a better tomorrow. My children made me.


IMG02602-20130320-0225I still do. Pointe shoes, jazz shoes, tap shoes, bare feet, second skin, stilettos. My varied background includes all of the classics and more: ballet, tap, jazz, modern, interpretive, ballroom, pole, line, group. If it has a beat, I can dance to it. And probably have. It helps me keep my balance. Dance made me.


Crime has played a large part in my life. Crime against me. Crime against those I love and have loved. Bullets, knives, hammers, theft, rape, burglary, drugs, drunk driving, homicide, domestic violence, arson. All of them make me look at life through what many accuse of being jaded glasses. I prefer to weigh the evidence before me and judge life realistically. Criminal justice holds no solace for me. It never will. Crime made me.


I live with it. As life draws to a close, I will have more of it than I have today. Rather than a fatalistic view of my future, I prefer to think of all the things I should do today before the day arrives I cannot. Although I often thwart it, pain made me.

Unrequited Love:

I am a loving person; however, very few in my life have loved me in return. Only one has ever loved me on the level I loved. Through those same glasses many think are jaded, I see the absolute good in people. Often, the peeling away of the façade, erected as a show of strength and to cloak the compassionate heart seen as weak, is sufficient to drive away whom I could make happy. It will not be still my heart. I continue to love. Unrequited love made me.


Tiny Hand (2)The equalizer of men visits my world more often than it does most because I have more people than most. The loss of husbands and my child forever changed me. After sufficient grieving, and sometimes before, I have walked away from death with a passion for life. Having stood toe to toe with death on more than one occasion, I respect the strength it takes to wake up to breathe another day. It makes me yearn to teach the strength to others, not just death’s inevitable victims but those who have the ability to stop it. Death made me.


Red Dwyer's BooksShelf after bookcase after library after shelf. I read with passion. My commitment to write books is on par with my passion for reading. From three-page masterpieces of preschool to the sprawling titles I now have to the cadre to join them, I love to write books. It is a boon I do it well. Books made me.


I do everything with passion. From the mundane jobs I would rather be flogged than do to the simple pleasures and the activities which I find orgasmic, I do everything with passion. Long ago I learned I had not the time to do things over; ergo, I do them with passion the first time lest I not be afforded the opportunity again. Passion made me.


DNA and sex make relatives. Loyalty makes family. Those who call me friend are written on my heart as sisters and brothers. I do not differentiate between them and the progeny of my parents. They are ageless. They spend hours with me rain or shine, regardless of prior engagement, dependability of electronics and at the expense of precious few hours of sleep. They are the mixing board through which I make music from the cacophony of information and emotion the world serves me. Family made me.


I am intelligent. Throughout my life, my brain has segregated me from many I would have drawn near. It has placed me with those I found arid company. Everyday, it parses the inane from the functional, the ludicrous from the rational and the squalid from the beauty. My brain made me.


I am loyal. If I say I am going to do something, you can take it to the bank. Even when betrayed, I do not abdicate my responsibility. It is a character trait we only learn by example. Someone taught me. I will always be an example for others. Loyalty made me.


Red Mo WhiskeyI love to laugh. I do it everyday. My children are a never ending source of amusement… even if they do not understand why I find it comical. I laugh at myself. Mostly because someone should. I earned my wrinkles with giggles, guffaws, side-aching laughter. I have a huge grin, sometimes sly, sometimes sarcastic. I do not hide my not-so-pearly whites. Laughter made me.


I have a lot to say. Day after day, you come and listen. You talk back. You challenge me to stand behind my words with armfuls of facts. You shake your fists when I complain the world is askew. You laugh because it really was funny. You think because you can. You validate I am not always the island I may seem to be. You made me.

Monty and Red


I have experience. Each one has been dropped into the shaker at the end of the kaleidoscope. When the picture is not one I find appealing, I change it. I am malleable, but strong. I bend and rarely break. I am a master rearranger. When I have been broken, I have fixed me. When I have been good, I made me better. I made me.

What made you?

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  1. I cannot say what made me, it includes a string of obscenities to make a sailor blush. Seeing the good in people, something I lost long ago. Now when a child runs from someone or the chills run through my body like someone walking on my grave, not yet dug, I walk away trying not to knock anyone over in the process.

    • You are one of the people I would love to see write this. I think you will find there are more than just the obscenities when you begin to break it down. I happen to know you love to laugh. That is your inner child showing you she exists. xxx

  2. Someone taught me love, was it me? Someone taught me to respect myself, was it you? Another taught me I didn’t deserve to exist, and so I left that person and now I shine in my life. I’ve learned in the past ten years to replace those who attempt to drag me down to their level with people who wish me well in my pursuits. I am creative and unpredictable. I am serious, yet playful. I love large and long. I gave up being the island and decided to be the warm
    Gail Thornton recently posted..ContemplativeMy Profile

  3. I could almost say that darkness made me, as I was born into an abyss–except that I feel so deep that I can’t cause harm and feel everyone’s pain. Not just humans, animals, plants, the planet, the universe.

    I struggle every day and night to see the light. I put on a good face during the day and I’ve been called a good person by many, but at night there is no pretending and I rarely rest for stuff that haunts me.

    Yet, if you believe in certain things, I chose this existence on the other side of the barrier. I must have been nuts!
    Alexandra Heep recently posted..St. Patrick’s Day Meal at Beacon TapMy Profile

    • Then, Alex, you need to look at some other portions. You have the big piece. Look at the pieces which fill in the cracks. You have a fabulous sense of humor. Gracie would tell me how cuddly you can be. And if pressed, I bet Tom could tell anyone who would listen where the light is. You are so much more than just the abyss. You always have been. <3 xxx

  4. I am so glad you took this up! You are a deep well, a wonderful kaleidoscope and a brilliant star in the night sky.

    I loved reading this and I loved the pictures you paired with it.

    Valentine Logar recently posted..FTP 11 BrokenheartedMy Profile

  5. We are the sum of our life experiences. Lizzie recently pointed out that if it didn’t kill us, we are stronger. I think that is usually true, but sometimes it is not. If we were strong to begin with, we are stronger afterward. Bad things can beat us down if we let them, or build us up if we choose that path.

    Our lives are a kaleidoscopic of pieces backlit by our past. We need only step back from the tube to see the full picture of who we are and know ourselves.
    MJ Logan recently posted..Of Dogs, Boats, and MuskiesMy Profile

    • Some of the things which killed me just did. For me death reaches more than just one level. I wish everyone could take a step back. So many are stuck in the tumbler at the end, they never realize the light at the other end of the tube is the rest of reality. Thank you, Mike. I am glad to see you today.

  6. I thought of this when reading your blog post.
    frigginloon recently posted..Hey, Stop Pushing In I Was Here FirstMy Profile

  7. Little Wombies are made of chocolate and wine gums.
    Binky recently posted..Grocery Shopping With WombiesMy Profile

  8. loved both the write ups Red both Yours and Vals
    This life with all its meanders made me
    This life with all its true days and false promises made me
    The day my parents decided they were going to have me my story was written piece by piece,leaf by leaf and the book is thick with characters and our lives intertwined in ways which fills me with wonderment each and every day….
    Soma Mukherjee recently posted..How Mr. GRIBBIT got LOL’edMy Profile

    • Very true, Soma. I think I will always be wondering about the people who come into and out of my live. I am glad you did. xxx

  9. Loved this post, too, Red, and my reply may not be as deep as others…some of what made you, made me, too…My family (Dad, Mom, Sisters) and My family (husband, daughter, son), Singing (from youthful days), Laughter and Silliness (my kids can attest to this), Emotions (I wear them on both sleeves), Dogs (every single one I’ve had, from Duffy, in 6th grade, to Copper, now), Faith in God, Love (Romantic, As a Mom, and love for others), Writing poetry, the desire to see the good in all and everyone (though, difficult, at times) and the desire to help others, Trials, from which I gain more strength to move forward in this precious gift called Life…♥
    LScott recently posted..Arrive AliveMy Profile

    • Lauren, it is deep. You have a broad mix of components. It takes character to look within yourself and see others and your past with a grateful eye. xxx


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