Every year my Catholic elementary school had a play, usually with some music and even dancing and singing. I was never in one, but my sister Maureen was in one that I have never forgotten. She was to play a beautiful fairy princess, who would appear to sad and lonely children, and show them the way to happiness. I figured she could never pull this off. The casting director must have been desperate. Maureen was the deliverer of sadness and misery in my world. Witch. I had to go to the play, since it was a family thing. I figured Maureen would bomb as a "nice" anything, much less a beautiful fairy princess. Curtain goes up. Play goes on. Maureen sells the role. She looked beautiful and loving and kind and helpful. She had a smile that radiated. No frown. I began to think that maybe underneath the witch there was this beautiful big sister and I lived with her. I was confused. My world was unsettled. When we gathered together with Maureen after the play, I blurted out, "Maureen, you looked beautiful tonight." She smiled a beautiful smile. No fangs. I was still thinking about this later that night as I got ready for bed in my jammies with my teddy bear. I left my bed and walked over to Maureen's bed where she was sitting filing her claws. I was not frightened. She just looked different, not witch-like. I sat on her bed. She did not push me away. "Maureen," I said, "I am confused. Sometimes I get lonely and sad. Could you be a beautiful fairy princess for me?" She sat next to me and put her arms around me. No claws. "Well little brother," she said, "Anything is possible."
As long as I see only the claws and fangs in others, I will live in my lonely and sad world. In that world, love is impossible.