transformation of silence

“Tell them about how you’re never really a whole person if you remain silent, because there’s always that one little piece inside you that wants to be spoken out, and if you keep ignoring it, it gets madder and madder and hotter and hotter, and if you don’t speak it out one day it will just jump up and punch you in the mouth from the inside.”
– quote from Audre Lorde’s daughter from Transformation of Silence into Language and Action (emphasis mine)

This is one reason why I make this noise, this hum, this yelp.

The bruises from internal punches can be obvious, or not. There are theories that bruises are a form of capital, both of a physical and cultural nature, which could be read as an alternative to the above suggestion that you can’t be a whole person if you remain silent. It’s more complicated than silent and not silent.

There are multitudes of expressions – a thousand decibels within loud, within clamor, and within the deafening silence of quiet. “Silence” does not always equal subjugation. I reject this definition that silence is damaging. My actions, the experiences I embody, and my interactions with others emphatically amplify me whether I choose to give voice to my ideas or not. I am not less brave, less whole, or less anything because I mute myself*.

Keep your ears open for those who mumble, stutter, or fumble their words. Be wary of those that project themselves on you. Avoid those that are incapable of being silent.

The only thing I remember from The Bell Jar was the moss that grew on her body from her attempted suicide, her protracted nap in the basement, and the crushing validation that no one noticed she was gone. The point is that she got up, moss covered, and walked up the stairs.

“I don’t talk loud enough you say, is this loud enough for you?” — Watchmaker, Excuse 17


* obviously this is within context and obviously I contradict myself

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Each time we don’t say what we want to say we’re dying.
Make a list of how many times you died this week.
-Yoko Ono

artist: Harry Morey Callahan

I lost one of my nine lives yesterday in what can best be described as a brutal failure in agency; a failure so epic that my sense of self shattered. According to my rough count, I only have three lives left. The number three has serious significance. This precious triad of lives leaves me clinging to mind, body, and spirit.

The pattern recognition of silencing myself and the weight of carrying around substantial baggage of continued failures has led me to an exploration of self. The structured process requires a public exhuming of formerly invisible somatic memories. This active participation has to mean something; I cannot afford to fail again.

Will my sense of self ever remain solid enough to capture the details I so desperately seek to express?

thinking off

captured Feb 2012

I do my thing and you do your thing.
I am not in this world to live up to your expectations,
And you are not in this world to live up to mine.
You are you, and I am I,
and if by chance we find each other, it’s beautiful.
If not, it can’t be helped.

Fritz Perls, “Gestalt Therapy Verbatim,” 1969


We walked for miles. We strolled through residential neighborhoods that were eerily perfect. We were trespassing on a movie set about how “the other half” lives. Cars matched their houses. We didn’t come from such a manicured upbringing. Where I’m calling from is a place that bragged about its austerity.

There have been many days, far too many, when you tell me to breathe. The calming technique of composing emails in my mind as I try to sleep isn’t working and neither is remembering to breathe. The tightness in my chest is beginning to feel good, which is really bad. Hedonism is our weekend priority. I have no way to properly repay you. The debt is that high.

The found fortune read: You will soon gain something you have always wanted. It’s within this dichotomy of want and need that I struggle. This journey feels mutually exclusive but the destination of finding a complementary way to live an authentic life is what I’ve always wanted.

Be my tug boat captain. And I will be yours.

“It’s baked into the cake”

Today’s title is a reference to the fact that we all know Mitt Romney is a Mormon. The point being that we (ahem…liberals, progressives, nonbelievers, etc.) shall not question this part of Mitt’s identity lest we look intolerant towards another man’s beliefs. Put away your critical thinking hats people; this is a non-issue.

We do not want to mix church and state.

It’s a fascinating internecine contest. The fascist moralist’s position is precarious which is why they declaim so loudly, and so often. This political project, played out on a very public stage, is struggling to remain coherent as words like “polygamy” and “open marriage” are googled in the middle of the night in small midwestern towns – once closed minds swirling with possibility of alternatives. Oh heteronormativity, the depths of your ironic power seems limitless.

The recent Komen pink scab fiasco and their whine about not wanting “our mission marred or affected by politics – anyone’s politics” is another internecine conflict. The pink frosting of Komen’s “politics” has been well documented as saccharine. It is, after all, baked into the cake.

I will make myself really clear so that you do not wander in the darkness – the commodification of women’s bodies is the real politic. Komen’s philanthropy wrapped in counterfeit feminism was exposed and quickly sussed out for its deceit. That abortions could be associated with screening for breast cancer uncovered one truism: women’s health is still controversial. Let us hope that each time we see the ubiquitous pink, we question intent and ask the hard question of who continues to benefit from such commodification.

To quote Wild Flag, “I like the way you make me understand.”