Crayon Chameleon

Photo of colourful macarons used for a creative writing prompt microfiction/flash fiction for Sonya's three line tales
Photo by Baher Khairy

The silent assassin, a chameleon with a saccharine smile, gracious only in affording her victims their choice of poison. Salivating, they were lulled into a false sense of security with the crayon hued assortment. Nostalgic for the colours of their youth, their mouths moved of their own volition, each bite leaving tell tale crumbs of life’s gradual erosion.

 

Inspired by Sonya’s Three Line Tales, Week Forty Four. 

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28 thoughts on “Crayon Chameleon

    1. Yes, uncomfortable to admit but to some degree I guess most people are. Interesting in light of your recent discussion on authenticity. To be authentic as a person requires a consistent persona/set of values/ voice and I think living inauthentically is cause for cognitive dissonance which you either do something about or strive to or justify in some way to feel better about it. How’s that article going? I’ll visit that post soon to reply to your last comment- I couldn’t give it the attention it deserved during NaNoWriMo, but that’s behind me now and we’re literally and figuratively in a new season 😊

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      1. from the authenticity dialogue authenticity it could be argued is sort of, how to put it, scene specific, it is flexible, it is about honesty. i take from this to behave how somebody knows you; some part of us persists as a constant, but a part of us is altered to meet the requirements of the situation.
        the cognitive dissonance i might say comes from believing we need to be a single entity for a plurality of situations, which then causes the dissonance. i am not saying i am necessarily right, but that it is a way of seeing.
        as to the article, i am trying to think of structure, i am thinking of oscillating between blocks of my personal research, perhaps tradition as regards society, specifics, probably Korea & how it has warped, then switch to a sort of dialogue written in the format of a play, as i have been reading Tom Stoppard lately & feel it might work well to make the essay less formal & orthodox & mix up the style. i also want to avoid droning on for paragraphs, the snappiness of dialogue i think will hold people’s attention better. what do you think?

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      2. I hadnt thought of it that way- that the dissonace could be from an unreal expectation be uniform. When i made the initial comment with examples of cuisine and architecture, the fluid definition of authenticity wasn’t one i tried to ascribe to humans too. I very much believe that authenticity in a human is when one is consistent in actions that reflect values regardless of the situation, so when i talk about a cognitive dissonance in straying from that consistency, my view of what is a case of cognitive dissonance is very much influenced by my definition of being authentic. Mind you, when values aren’t being compromised and a person is different to suit the mood or company they’re in, then I don’t see that as necessarily inauthentic, but just on the spectrum on the many facets ‘I’. Your comment actually made me see it differently- I love when that happens! As for your article style- sounds great- it will definately make it an engaging read. Happy to put the question here too if you’re still interested in more input…as you see, Kathy has joined the discussion already!

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      3. thinking about authenticity has changed my perspective on many things, i am glad others are seeing the complexity of it too.
        it gets very complex in fact as i research it & think on it:
        culture is the point from which we are moulded, it determines our traditions that make us authentic. however this can be split into what is essential & what is normal. an essential tradition that makes someone authentic may be adherence to religion or race, any divagation from this is perhaps, by the group one is diverting from, a corruption of the tradition that has produced the authentic you, there is little room for autonomy in this definition of authenticity. a normalized sense of authenticity i’d take to consist of freedoms, autonomy itself being the springboard of the tradition, such as consumerism or democracy, the right to vote, to have your say, this is normal to many from the west (such as myself) & to have this taken would seem to be an inauthentic way of being. so that autonomy itself is a means of determining authenticity makes things very complicated. because when we have multiculturalism, we are supposed to give people the right to fulfill their obligations to what makes them feel authentic, when we don’t & they rebel they are using an authenticity from a culture that is not practicing what it preaches but has created an environment in which to rebel, blacklivesmatter, or the NODAPL comes to mind, Brexit in it opposing camps too: the protesters are exercising the right to keep their authenticity & so are those trying to stop them, which begs the question: what then is it to be authentic when their is this impasse caused by the determination to be authentic? maybe you can shed some light.

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      4. Interesting points you’ve made about traditions and cultures. In collectivist cultures, members are accepted and considered true to the culture and thus ‘authentic’ if they put the collective over their own individual desires- daring to have their own set of values is like shunning the culture, whereas the kind of authenticity we are talking about is that in an individualistic culture where your authenticity is about you as an individual. I guess even being in an individualist culture still has elements of the collective in it, except we are faced with a myriad of messages in society about how we can fit in to the tribe of our choosing. ‘Multiculturism’ is a word I am uncomfortable with because it assumes ownership of the ‘correct’ set of values and culture for the place and assigns anything that deviates from that as being ‘other’, lumping a whole lot of diversity under the one banner. The world is multicultural, period, it isn’t a phenomenon that only occurs with a refugee crises or migration. Provided people respect one another, who cares if someone wants to ‘assimilate’ or not. Here in Australia there is a patronising differentiation between the migrants who have embraced ‘Australian culture’ – they are held up as examples of successful integration, and those who choose to continue to hold on to their culture, perhaps even living in areas with a high concentration of their ‘own’- they are feared and demonised. All this may be to do with a fear not only of the other, but a sense of losing one’s own bearings of the authentic self- maybe people need to see other versions of themselves to calibrate what authenticity means to them….

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    1. Thanks Jane. You know what? I hadn’t even thought that when talking about a chameleon, but with the imagery from your comment, I reread my post and reinterpreted what I wrote- I guess in could be sinister macarons chomping on unsuspecting gluttons! 😊

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  1. I’m so glad you’re back to being your “regular” bloggy self 🙂 As far as authenticity, not that you asked, lol, I tend to think that if you know who you are, then you can be who you are in any situation. I’m not sure that should change so drastically from situation to situation.

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    1. Thanks Kathy! So glad to be back! I have a NaNoWriMo wrap up in draft form but I think I need a little separation from it before finishing and posting. I agree with you on authenticity in our lives, but Daniel did make me see things from a different perspective and I’m happy to arrive at a slight tweak to my definition that provided there isn’t a compromise in values it is probably not being inauthentic to be loud and raucous with a group of friends but quiet and thoughtful in conversations with an aunt or no nonsense cut to the chase in the corporate environment. I know that the company of different people bring out different sides of me- not necessarily in core values, but communication style. What are your thoughts on that?

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      1. I think that these things do depend on circumstances and intent. I’ll use myself as an example. Part of my authentic self (in the past three years) is to offer honesty in all situations. It doesn’t matter if it’s my Grannie, my director or my daughters. Neither of them would be surprised if they asked me a question and I answered with the truth. Now, how I provide the truth might vary from person to person, but people who know me, even for a little while, typically “know” this about me. It’s one of the things that is authentic about me. So I suppose I agree because being honest is a value based concept, I think. But I also disagree. My personality shouldn’t be so drastically different from one situation to the next that people are surprised if they see me in a different setting. To me, that’s not being quite as authentic as you can be.

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      2. Is it not possible to be honest and communicate differently according to context of mood/situation/company? I see what you mean, but the understanding I have of authenticity for my life (and this understanding like anything else is changeable) is to do with aligning my values and beliefs with my actions…how that is presented I just see as outward frills…but that is my opinion about my life. Also, I think the history and emotions and backstory prior to the moment of an exchange between 2 people can hugely influence things. With my parents for example, I don’t and can’t have the warmth and depth of conversations I have with my closest friends- and I don’t smile or joke anywhere near as much- am I being inauthentic? No- because what causes the tenseness is the fact that my values and beliefs are not heard or respected…thus I am being authentic in not being over the moon about a situation like that…but from my parent’s perspective, how they see me is the extent of my personality known to them, when infact it is only contextual and I am not always like that. Inauthentic (for me) would be to let it all slide, smile and fake a ‘nice’ conversation, which would deviate from my authentic self…and pre-empting a question of why I don’t confront the dis-ease, because that would align with being true to me- been there, done that and failed…but my views are known.

        These conversations about authenticity have raised questions about the self, identity and perspectives…it is all so interesting- looking forward to your input in a post I’ll put up sometime this week on the topic to broaden the reach of Daniel’s questions.

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  2. Great 3 lines, and I enjoyed the discussion re authenticity. I’m a big believer in being authentic and genuine–because that’s the way I roll; however, it doesn’t make for an easy life in a world where most people just don’t have the grit to do it.

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    1. Thank you Stella, and thanks for joining the discussion on authenticity too. I should mention- there is a great post on it if you go over to Daniel’s blog, although I may post sometime in the coming week on the topic and link to Daniel’s original post. I agree- it can be hard but something I read just the other day (but cant remember) was something about when you follow your truth, options narrow because and there is less internal struggle and a more obvious path. I really wish I could remember what it was I was reading…most likely a blog or a newspaper article.

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  3. ONce again, so much colour, drama and artistry in just three lines Mek. My favourite bit has to be “tell tale crumbs of life’s gradual erosion” – how evocative. I can imagine frantic attempts to wipe away the evidence.

    Now, I wonder how vile the pistachio is . . .

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