Far too many are deluded into thinking what ails society is other people’s bodies, abilities, questions, insights, ways of being, if those differ from the accepted reality they’ve acquired from
bad interpretations of their sacred texts, harmful narratives grounded in domination, manipulations of power-hungry pundits, pastors, politicians, public figures.
Walking around believing self-determination when what they have is simply compliance to conditions determined by others, falsehoods masquerading as freedom.
Convinced those simply moving to live authentically, share understanding, advocate for equity, impart hard-won knowledge, are pushing a destructive agenda
when they are the ones with an agenda to withhold access, to exclude, to silence, to control, to harm.
So sure that someone else existing as their true self, with needs met, with celebration, with support, threatens their existence that they want the other to stop existing.
Imaginations impoverished, unable to understand, it is their own prison into which they are wishing to confine the world.
Terrified seeing those living in the clear light of true freedom for all, threatened by radical reimagining, unable or unwilling to believe in compassion, in spaciousness, in love that could also be theirs if they freed themselves as well.
No new poem this week, because I spent all my writing time this weekend working on finalizing the publishing of my book!
Heresy and Other Prayers: Poems and Pictures is now up on Blurb and will soon be available from other retailers. A huge thank you to all my friends and readers who have followed along on my writing journey, and to my family for understanding why I disappear for several hours a week to write.
Until now, I was never certain this book was actually going to happen. It took months to choose which poems and which pictures to include, and then even more time to find and hire a copy editor, wait for the editing, and format the edited copy. I wavered multiple times, wondering who I thought I was to self-publish a book and more than once found myself caught up in feelings of it not being a “real” book because there was no book deal or formal approval involved. And all of this while experiencing multiple life upheavals, including finding and starting a new job in a completely different industry.
But, here we are.
I’m grateful for all the writers, artists, musicians, and makers whose commitment to sharing their work helped me remember the importance of our creative pursuits and for everyone who encouraged me and expressed their enthusiasm for being able to read my work in book form.
Lastly, I will always be indebted to Audre Lorde. It was reading her essay “Poetry is Not a Luxury” that helped me embrace the power of poems and my desire to write and share them.
“But there are no new ideas still waiting in the wings to save us as women, as human. There are only old and forgotten ones, new combinations, extrapolations and recognitions from within ourselves, along with the renewed courage to try them out. And we must constantly encourage ourselves and each other to attempt the heretical actions our dreams imply and some of our old ideas disparage. In the forefront of our move toward change, there is only our poetry to hint at possibility made real.” – Audre Lorde
Keep showing up for work, at school events and the supermarket. Keep acting like the world isn’t fraying around the edges, unraveling, coming apart in so many ways.
Make sure to put on a normal face, because that is the expectation.
Don’t let it show that pandemic waves and unsustainable practices and societal demands and personal crises might be getting to you, freezing your once-easy grins into worried eyes and forced half-smiles.
Unless we stop pretending, stop letting status quo demands keep us frozen in place and admit that things need to change.
Unless we make it okay to say things like “We’re not okay” and “This is hard” and work together to find a different way forward.