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I feel like I should say a few words about the new journal, even if it is less new now. First I want to just quote Audre Lorde because "The Transformation of Silence into Language and Action" is a completely life-changing piece for me every time I read it and is intimately connected with what I'm working on here. It would help me if you would read it in its entirety.
      In becoming forcibly and essentially aware of my own mortality, and of what I wished and wanted for in my life, however short it might be, priorities and omissions became strongly etched in a merciless light and what I most regretted were my silences. Of what had ever been afraid? To question or to speak as I believed I would have meant pain, or death. But we all hurt in so many different ways, all the time, and pain will either change or end. Death, on the other hand, is the final silence. And that might be coming quickly, now, without regard for whether I had ever spoken what needed to be said, or only betrayed myself into small silences, while I planned someday to speak, or waited for someone else’s words. And I began to recognize a source of power within myself that comes from the knowledge that while it is most desirable not to be afraid, learning to put fear into a perspective gave me great strength. I was going to die, if not sooner then later, whether or not I had ever spoken myself. My silences had not protected me. Your silence will not protect you.
      But for every real word spoken, for every attempt I had ever made to speak those truths for which I am still seeking, I had made contact with other women while we examined the words to fit a world in which we all believed, bridging our differences. [...]

[W]ithin the war we are all waging with the forces of death, subtle, and otherwise, conscious or not– I am not only a casualty, I am also a warrior.
What I am trying to do, as of right now, in this journal is to speak publicly those "small silences." I recognize that I have a problem with language and speech. I lose words often, I forget things, and my brain is often completely, disconcertingly blank. I suspect, though, that in those times my brain is in fact not blank, but utterly full of the need for emptiness. Is this the "fear [of] the visibility without which we also cannot truly live" that Audre describes as the "cause of silence"? I'm sure I should be citing theorists here but the lack of the thing marks the presence of the thing.

Part of what I am trying to do here is to practice verbalizing things, which means practicing feeling, noticing, decoding, and sharing them. Each of those steps is difficult for me in their own way. For this reason, I am trying to treat each entry almost as stand-alone. It's very hard for me to remember things, any things, so my feelings change often even about a single event because I don't have that stored up emotional response to that event. So I'm trying to make that okay, whilst creating a record of what I do think and feel. Already it is becoming clear to me that I think, feel, recognize, and remember a lot more than I tend to realize I do. But my attempts to take down the bricks of the wall to pave the road means also that the terrain may be some what rocky and repetitive for the reader. It is important that people hear the things I say, but it is more important that I say them.

In other words: I don't take it personally if you find yourself scrolling past me, but I am trying not to use cuts, even when the entry is long or angsty. I will make an effort to use one when triggery. Feel free to ask for one on that front. I should also note that I am trying to post most things publicly, but you may find that entries appear and disappear depending how I am feeling in relation to them. I'm not deleting, just making decisions about what words are for whom when.

I'm finding often in these entries that my words go in directions I did not plan to go. I am trying to follow them. They know best what most needs to be said.

There are very, very few pictures of me. I know of only about a dozen from my teenage years. Camera shyness and photo-destroying rampages are only part of the story. As I once explained to a friend, I had for so long the intention of not "sticking around," so I didn't see any need to document. I now see the need. This journal is apart of that reclamation of my right to exist.

"And there are so many silences to be broken"...

(no subject)

Date: 2011-01-16 12:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mangofandango.livejournal.com
I am so glad you are doing this, and that you see the need.

I also want you to know that I read everything you post here, and I feel sometimes like there is nothing I can say or no words I can find (and okay, it doesn't help that I am sometimes interrupted mid-thought by a toddler). But I care and I am reading and I am glad that you are writing things down. I glad you are reclaiming your right to exist.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-01-17 06:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] also-warriors.livejournal.com
Thanks. I know there's not usually much to say in response to these entries, so even the "read it" replies are good.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-01-17 05:06 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] withyoures.livejournal.com
I am so with you on all of this. this is exactly what I am trying to do. not that it was cool or fancy or anything but I did a creative thesis in college that I titled "navigating silence" in which I collected 30 of my own poems and wrote a 20 page introduction highly based on the words and ideas of audre lorde. in many ways it failed terribly because I had to admit that I was still so silent and still so in the process of just attempting to "speak" but it was the best I could do at the time and I think all you can really do is the best for right now, which is what you're doing. pushing yourself to learn how to speak. I just want to let you know that I feel like I am undertaking the same process of learning, and I sympathize and empathize in many, many ways. not to undermine your own individual work, of course, we are all fighting demons very specific to ourselves. but yeah. I hear you. I really, really hear you.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-01-17 06:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] also-warriors.livejournal.com
I don't think that undermines it at all. I think that's one of the things that is really incredible about Audre Lorde. Her words have such power and show such potential for coalition-building. Even though she always situated her words in her identities as Black, as a woman, as a lesbian, as a poet, as fat, I never feel like they are closed off or exclusive to only those categories. I think it's totally in the right spirit to speak of your own silence in response to someone else's. Thanks.

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