Speak to me. #NaBloPoMo.

30 Day Blog Challenge, Feminist Thought, Personal Narrative, Sexual Violence

NaBloPoMo March 2013

Yesterday I touched on the risk of remaining silent. I have more thoughts on the topic, but I wanted to broach the other end of the continuum – speaking up. In this case, I don’t mean speaking out, per se, but rather truth-telling to yourself.

And of course I am afraid, because the transformation of silence
into language and action is an act of self-revelation,
and that always seems fraught with danger.
~Audre Lorde

Silence into Language
As a narrative inquirer, I investigate stories. I wonder what we can uncover when we treat stories as data; when we mine them and make sense of them. I encourage women to tell and delve into their own stories, to engage in deep reflection about the gems they unearth during this work. This is a liberating, yet potentially painful process.

I made brief mention of triggering. Studying your life reveals truths you had forgotten, weren’t expecting, or had even rejected. Suddenly, there they are, in bold relief, and you’re faced with a choice.

Language into Action
When I hit that moment of great revelation in my own investigation, I cried. These were the wrenching tears of a deeply wounded soul. My tears surprised me. I honestly didn’t know I harbored such profound hurt. But the crying and the subsequent feelings of relief did not mark the end of my work. They became the bridge to further learning and new steps.

I asked myself, now that I see this truth and better understand this part of my life, what will I do with this? What actions can I take to create a better outcome for me, or for others who may face similar circumstances? It wasn’t enough to give voice to my experience, I need/ed to use it.

If it’s true that past is prologue, studying my story gave me tools to construct a plot more to my liking. Rather than aimlessly bouncing to the next experience, I consciously authored next steps: learning vulnerability and inviting love.

And it was freeing. Scary. Difficult. Illuminating. Empowering. Risky. Painful. But freeing.

Speak.

My silences had not protected me.
Your silence will not protect you.

~Audre Lorde

The Risky Business of Silence #NaBloPoMo.

30 Day Blog Challenge, Feminist Thought, Personal Narrative, Sexual Violence

NaBloPoMo March 2013

I have come to believe over and over again that what is most important to me must be spoken, made verbal and shared, even at the risk of having it bruised or misunderstood. That speaking profits me, beyond any other effect. ~Audre Lorde

For years I’ve carried a story untold. Two decades. Thank goddess I finally realized the untelling was its own telling; my silence its own story. Like an ill-trained architect, my silence designed a life that might not have been. And I suppose it had my permission – my silence was consent. But as of late I have been telling the story, rereading it and writing a new ending…building a brand new life.

Silence wasn’t a strategy. Not a conscious one, in any event. I didn’t know I needed to tell it. I didn’t know there was even a story; that there was anything worthy of telling. So I didn’t. I didn’t share it with anyone.

Not even me.

I carried a story untold, never bothering to see if the heroine, teenager that she was, needed to share her version of events. I never checked to see if she wanted to claim her space. Lift her voice. I gave her shelter, but no platform. I thought nothing of it, and without so much as gut check, I muted her.

And with each passing year, her story was reduced to a chapter, a vignette, a scene, a beat. A moment that no longer mattered because it was all those years ago, and here we are in a new time, and space, with new characters. No need for digging up the old untold.

Lies.

What are the words you do not yet have? What do you need to say? What are the tyrannies you swallow day by day and attempt to make your own, until you will sicken and die of them, still in silence? ~Audre Lorde

There is a risk in the telling, yes, but the greater risk is in the untelling. In the silence. In the denial of your story. In the casual disregard of your truth. Voicing your story does not have to mean telling it out there to them, but at the very least, you owe it your life to tell it in here, to you. What truths are hidden in your silences? What love is lost? What life is secreted away, literally buried alive? Can you save it? (Tell it). What is the story that remains hidden so far in you that you barely recognize or remember it? (Tell it).

Funny thing about a story untold. We deny it audience, yet it finds one anyway. We hear echoes of characters past in the voices around us today. We recognize the scenery in our present circumstances. We don’t quite understand why the script, the players, seem familiar. It’s untold story, demanding recognition. When if we could just tell it and see it for what it is, we could get on with the very important business of writing the life we really want.

And of course I’m not promising that telling is easy. Sometimes storytelling is a dangerous, triggering business. But you are the author of your life. Name your reality. Share your story.

And then? Keep writing the rest.

To an epic March. #NaBloPoMo.

30 Day Blog Challenge

NaBloPoMo March 2013

I am risk-averse.

I generally play it safe. But I woke up this morning, overjoyed, excited, and inspired to tweet this:

It’s because I’m on planes every week, logging hundreds of miles in rental cars, memorizing favorite dishes in restaurants, and yet rather than wait for all of that to slow down, I’m writing anyway.

It’s because somewhere amidst my hectic lifestyle, I have to pack up my apartment in paradise, and return to my roots. Something I hadn’t planned to do… possibly ever.

It’s because the last day of March marks the first day of a new life. And I can’t wait!

I’m not sure who this risk-taker is or where she’s been hiding all this time, but she seems to have relegated safe to the margins, allowing LIFE to take center stage.

#30in30. Part Deux.
On a whim, I wrote 30 posts in 30 days last August. My stomach churned a bit as I mulled Aliya’s tweets, asking fellow writers to join her on the quest. It seemed reckless. I had planned to write more in August, but not for all the world to see. Publish every single day? For a month? I’d never done it, despite my claims of being a writer. But because I’d been pushing myself beyond my comfort zone, the discomfort assured me this was likely to be a good decision.

And it was.

It was also very difficult. Like, very.

But I grew as a writer and as a person. And when the 30 days were over, I found I missed the discipline. I gave myself permission to vacation from blogging, and slack off a bit, but eventually the bit became a bite, became a double portion. I wanted to try “something like that” again. I thought I would start in April, when I was logging fewer miles and fewer calories. But two days after my birthday, I found I could wait no longer. March feels like the right time to write.

So here I am.

I have no clue what I’ll be sharing with you here. But I’ll be here every day. I hope you will, too.

Writing Round Up

Writer's Craft

So an interesting thing happened. I wrote every day in August to build a writing habit. Even though it was difficult, and some days I composed opening lines with a begrudging heart, it seems the habit part stuck. It’s the 6th of September. Purposely, I have not made any attempt to write each day, but my silence has been instructive. I miss writing.

I won’t promise daily posts, although I do plan to hang around this space a bit more regularly. Hope you will, too.

~

Trying something new this month, thanks to a suggestion from Joshunda. In case you missed them, here were the top five posts from August:

  • How do you persevere in challenging times? That’s the heart of sustaining faith.
  • Giving yourself permission to take up space is no easy feat, but it’s worth it.
  • Seems I had a lot to say about continuing when daily life seems hard. Sure, acknowledge the hardships, but don’t stop there.
  • Lots of people have pets and pet allergies, including me. But I love my Missy anyway.
  • Love is revolutionary act. What or who can you change if you start from love?