On Dissent

In just a few days, a man will be coming into the Presidency of the country where I live, who, when running for office, vividly reminded me of my own father. Time and time again, this man has been called, at best, and authoritarian, and at worst, a fascist. Everyday, I read about the fear that people have for him to be in control. What can we do? How do we resist? Maybe this has been my role all along. Let me instruct you in the ways of resistance. Let me tell you what resistance looks like against unbridled cruel power, where there is no one to help you, but you. Let me tell you that I made it, and you can make it, and it can be ok, but it will be hard.

I grew up in an abusive home. The numerous ways in which I was hurt and neglected goes on and on until it disappears into my memory, only to surface, unwelcome at strange hours of the night, on the verge of sleep, vivid as ever. All of the factors that contributed to the way my house was, are often looked at as stigmas and taboo topics that we hurriedly turn away from in polite conversation. We want to be comfortable. We don’t want to think about poverty, and substance abuse, domestic violence, child abuse, or sexual assault. Continue reading “On Dissent”

Married

I’m getting married. It’s still jarring to articulate. Growing up, whether because I am female, or for some other reason, there was always a focus on “someday”, when I would get married, by peers and adults.

In Church, we were taught from when we were children to prepare our whole lives to be worthy of the spouse that God had chosen, and to be the kind of spouse that God wanted us to be. Our whole lives we were supposed to be thinking of marriage and children. Many of the people I knew at church married as soon as they turned 18, and had children not long after. When we were young together, a lot of our conversations would revolve around boys and girls, who we liked, did we think we would marry that person someday. For me, the problem was that in these conversations my mind may as well have been an tv set with static. I could never imagine being married, I could never imagine some kind of partner, or children, or living in a house taking my kids to school, all of those things I had been told to want.

From school, to Church, to family, these conversations cropped up again and again, as I got older. “Can my friend come over?” “Sure, what’s her name?” “His name is-” “HIS name? Your friend is a boy? Is he your boyfriend?” I always rolled my eyes at my family and friends, but sometimes I wondered if something was wrong with me. Were there people who didn’t get married, who didn’t want to get married? Or was I just all alone? Continue reading “Married”

Secret and Subversive Magic

“Did you bring them” I whisper furtively, as my best friend slides into the hard wooden seat across from me. “Yeah!” she whispers back, and pulls out two fabric bags we sewed ourselves at her house after school one day. Inside, are cut semi-precious stones with marks we painted on them.  The stones are ones that we had read had more energy from the universe, and the paint color is significant as well. These are our Runes.

We both have a pile of books, and we look around, as if anyone else in the library is paying attention to what a couple of 14-year-olds are doing. My stack of books is mostly Shakespeare, with some Poe mixed in, a book about the interpretation of Runes and a few about Potions and Spells. Her stack of books is about various methods of Fortune Telling, Symbology, and Divination. Between us we have a notebook and gel pens, to write down important notes from our books. Continue reading “Secret and Subversive Magic”

Brother

I look out the window and snow flakes fall gently down. I think of you. It’s early January, and I sit with my coffee, searching with my phone for files on the cloud of scanned in photos from a long time ago. Scroll, scroll, scroll. Little me and little you, but none of baby you. Maybe we didn’t have a camera then, or maybe those pictures were lost. Maybe our parents were just themselves and didn’t take any pictures of you as a baby, or maybe those pictures are with a relative somewhere. I choose a different picture of you and I, when we got parakeets for Christmas one year.

Tapping the screen, a message forms: “Brother. You were born one time. Look, we were little together once. Message me back or something. Love your face. -Sister” Select, Attach Image: “parakeet”. Send. Continue reading “Brother”

Full Hearts and Broken Hearts

In the last few days of the train wreckage of 2016, the activist, writer and well known actress Carrie Fisher died of a heart attack. The world reeled. She was too wonderful, too incredible, too amazing, too strong, to be struck down this suddenly by the seeming blight that was the year. Memorial art was instantly thrown online, and memes were shared with her hilarious quote saying she wished it to be said after she died that she had drowned in moonlight, strangled in her own bra.

The very next day, trending on Facebook was Debbie Reynolds, Carrie’s mother, who had died in the night. Carrie’s brother said it was a broken heart, that Debbie couldn’t live without Carrie. Continue reading “Full Hearts and Broken Hearts”

#52essays

This year I want to work more on my writing, so I joined a group that will be working on essays together. We’re supposed to write one a week, on a topic of our choice. The moderator started us off with some ideas:

Because a number of people has asked, here are a few ideas/prompts for essays. Please know that this is not an exhaustive list, just suggestions. And if anyone wants to chime in on suggestions, please do:

  • Write a letter to yourself at __ age.
    – Write a letter to a loved one who is gone.
    – Write a letter to someone/anyone. Letters are great essay starters.
    – Write a list of memories from your past. That list is a slew of essay starters.
    – Write a list of things you can’t forget. Another list of essay starters.
    – Write about a book or books that shaped you as a writer. What about that book/books inspired you?
    – Look at the pictures around your home, office, etc. What do you remember (or don’t remember) about those pictures? Is there one that calls your attention or that you’ve carried with you throughout the years? Why?
    – Think of a milestone or something memorable or a turning point in your life. What were your impressions? What do you remember specifically? Use your senses. What did you learn? What meaning came from that personal experience?
    – Choose an essay that you love or hate. Write about what this essay stirs in you and why?
    – Do you collect quotes? Or does reading this remind you of a quote you’ve come across? Write about that quote or those quotes.
    – Write about the places you’ve written?
    – Write about writing.
    – Write about your resistance to writing.
    – What topics do you tend to circle back to in your writing? Write about that. Why do you think these themes or experiences/memories continually come up in your work.
    – One of the first rules of autobiographical writing is “don’t fuckin’ lie”. Write about the lies you’ve told and why you told them.

This isn’t 52 ideas, and probably these in themselves aren’t whole ideas. They need to be split apart and looked at. But these are starting points, and these are the things I will be thinking about and delving into as I get down to writing this year.