We’ve been reading Trinh T. Minh-ha in my Global Feminism class (thank you Professor Tweed!) and inspiration struck. I wouldn’t ever dare compare my own writing to hers, but I wanted to give credit to the inspiration and driving force behind these words. Also, this was written in a time when I had very seriously considered giving up on writing and am ever so glad that I found the courage to get past that (thank you Kelly Mcgonigal!)
*hasn’t been edited
I come to this space with no apologies. It is not my own, but a borrowed corner that has been overlooked. Empty and isolated, it is a good space for practice – half exposed, half guarded. Four sides of a space that allows me to dip my toes into the world of bodies and thoughts without having to submerge or commit.
I do not speak so that others may listen. Yet, I am mindful that these words – if observed – will resonate. I am still playing pretend with this life of mine. Still unraveling the pieces and gluing them back together in a way that is better suited to my needs.
Needs and wants. Two sides to the same coin. One a powerful driving force that can allow us to transcend our own desires and surpass all expectation. The other side a paradox of confusion and complexity that craves to be sated. But which is which? How do you know, when the situation is staring you down or breathing on your neck. Hurry, it cries, make your decision known. Time is not on your side, my darling.
When my grandmother passed away last year, they spoke of things like a legacy of love and family. While true, it was not enough. She wasn’t a cookie baking, storytelling, craft fixated being. She was a cookie stealing, story creating, crafty person that impacted all she touched.
I see more, though. I see a girl left behind with an imagination fed on books, a heart of hope that can always find it’s way with a song, a temperament that, while always compassionate and forgiving, is fiercely protective and wickedly quick witted and an independence that borders on strength and leadership (no matter how much she resists).
This girl is me, but she is also my grandmother. Lost in the 1940s, my mind is full of passion in the struggle. We shall unite. We shall overcome. We shall spread hope. *side note* We might also take a moment to pause this action and burst into song and dance just to put a smile on your face.
This girl inside me, not the woman I am by daylight, can fly so high off of creative juices that there is not a situation she cannot face and learn from. There is not a puzzle she cannot work out of. She knows the rules, but she also knows their secret. This puzzle, story, world is hers – and changing the rules is always fair play.
Change your thoughts and the illusion of perspective crashes down and you are left alone. Alone, wrapped up in the words you use to tell yourself who you are.
Words have power. They are magic. A special sort of alchemy that we will never fully understand. They are the very essence of what keep you and I from being one. Our bodies are machines – the same needs to keep each one running. That does not create us.
We are forged through experiences created and responded to with thoughts – words. Even the passions and emotions we claim as our own are created and instilled within us by the experiences we live.
We are but words forever talking, thinking, being. We can be played with, organized, manipulated, conjugated, scratched out, misspelled, written over, and even erased. Or – we can call out to the universe and claim our words, name ourselves as something else, something other and become.
I am here. I matter. Because despite what you tell yourself, you DO matter. Your words don’t just create you. We create each other. A world without that creation of literary perfection and all of it is beauty perfected by its/our own imperfections, would cease to matter. Cease to exist. Machines, working in conjunction, filling needs.
So I am here, taking up this space and making no apologies (any longer). Writing is my superpower, I have come to understand. I must use it. “Adapt or perish, now as ever, is nature’s inexorable imperative.”*
The scene is always changing, but my words continue to forge a path that I must follow. They have saved my life and my sanity, but more importantly, they are constantly keeping me alive. I am my words. The same words that are now a part of you.
As you pick up the pen, place your fingers to the keys, or part your lips to whisper, “I matter. I have substance,” the words pass from me to you. Even if the only thing you did was scan your eyes across the letters, you comprehended and the thought transcended – words. There is no escaping from this chain reaction, so be mindful of your words. Be mindful of how you give yourself to others. As others have said before me- be kind in your thoughts, for you are always listening.
*H. G. Wells