The Hermit doesn’t sleep at night:
in love with the blue of the vacant moon.
The cool of the breeze
that rustles the trees
rustles her too. —Chi An
And him. And them. And you. And me. What can you see in the light of the vacant moon? What can you hear? How might you long for that illumination? Those songs. Write us.
I taught a writing circle in Tempe this last weekend. Writing the Forbidden; writing the unthinkable. We were all women, women full of courage and stories.
Here is Sarah Clinebell:
“We are in relationship with our writing as we are in relationship with ourselves.”
I write for other people for a living. Literally. I type out what other people say and have been doing that for almost 20 years. It is easier to deal with their words than it is to deal with my own. I don’t judge their words. I just make sure they are spelled correctly and their sentences are punctuated properly.
I write the darkest stories of strangers without problems. Horrible car accidents. Devastating medical diagnoses. Hospice admissions. I can separate myself from their stories.
I was a performer for many years, but am mostly retired from it now. It no longer brings me joy. I sang other people’s songs but didn’t like to write my own. I didn’t want to be vulnerable, but still wanted to share an emotional connection with people. I wanted to be social but not in the spotlight or at the center of a conversation. Most of my performing career as a musician was singing backup and performing covers.
I liked to sing about my life using songs people already knew and understood. I spent my first decade on a farm in rural Illinois. Then my mom was an alcoholic widow for the next decade. I was neglected and ignored for the second half my childhood. I was bullied by my classmates. As a teen and young adult I was taken advantage of by spouse and lovers. I played the victim role in my adulthood until my mid-30s.
No one wants to hear the song or story about a chubby, red-headed victim who got divorced, so I exist on the outskirts. Which is fine by me.
I have always had excellent performance in school, but I don’t fit into academia and can’t afford grad school. My grandpa thought college was only important for men. Well, I showed him – when I used my inheritance from him to graduate Summa Cum Laude from ASU with an Anthropology degree. Though I still feel I failed because I don’t make good money.
I don’t have my own voice. I allowed it to be buried by the people around me. I want to find it.
Share on Your Social Media